Original Article

Prism Capital Partners is set to begin construction on a plan to modernize and add two stories to an office building in downtown Morristown, bringing a much-needed infusion of high-end space.

The developer said Friday that it has secured full approvals for the project at 21 South St., which includes the addition of two new 12,000-square-foot floors. When complete, the structure will be a six-story, 70,000-square-foot Class A office building.

Prism, which has partnered with The Hampshire Cos. and Gramercy Property Trust, expects to tap into the demand in downtown Morristown. The central business district is notoriously tight on modern office space, with demand driven by amenities such as the Morristown Green and popular restaurants, retail and cultural options.

The building is currently home to a street-level Wells Fargo bank branch. Studio 1200 is the architecture and interior design firm on the project.

“This is an excellent building in an excellent location, just steps from Morristown Green,” said Edwin Cohen, principal partner with Bloomfield-based Prism. “The expansion will maximize the site’s potential, and the renovation work will incorporate features like a two-level atrium lobby and high-end finishes to enhance its image.”

A report last fall by Newmark Knight Frank found that downtown Morristown contains 2.2 million square feet of office space, with an availability rate of 8.8 percent. But the firm also noted that nearly 80 percent of the office space was developed in the 1980s or earlier.

At the time of the report, NKF found that there was just one block of Class A or B space of more than 20,000 square feet available in the downtown.

“Walkable, transit-oriented downtowns will continue to dominate in the coming years, as employers seek locations that provide recruiting advantage,” Cohen said. “Based on the high level of interest we are seeing already from major office users, we anticipate 21 South Street will both contribute to and benefit from Morristown’s sustained appeal in this regard.”