M Station West groundbreaking: Big win for Sanofi — and greater Morristown community

2nd phase of project, expected to be finished by Q1 2025, will add 1,900 employees to steadily growing area of town

It’s easy to talk about the incredible design of M Station West — the 260,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art office building with an optimized workplace experience, LEED certification and a landscaped promenade you usually don’t find in a Morristown office project that is tucked in between a New Jersey Transit station and the Morristown Green.

Of course, you would expect nothing less from a project designed in collaboration between SJP Properties and Gensler.

But, at the ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday morning, the build-to-suit office itself — a seven-story structure that aims to be completed in 18 months — was not necessarily the talk of the event.

Steve Pozycki.

SJP founder and CEO Steve Pozycki twice mentioned the impact of the potential 1,900 Sanofi employees would have on the retail in the area — both on the first floor of the building (the early estimate was 33,000 square feet) and in the area. Pozycki twice mentioned it in his brief remarks.

“It’s certainly going to stimulate retail traffic in this town, for sure — and, God knows, the retailers need a little help today,” he said.

Stefan Roehr, head of North America supply chain, distribution and logistics for Sanofi, mentioned the impact on the town, too. It’s a big part of why Sanofi is moving from Bridgewater to Morristown, he said.

“When you look at the city, I think it still has that kind of small, hometown feel,” he said. “It’s a very vibrant community. There’s a lot of activities.”

Stefan Roehr.

One that will appeal to the next-generation workforce, Roehr said.

“When you look at our employee population, we have a young, a lot of young employees that really look to how to incorporate into the community, and how to really be part of the community,” he said.

“We want to work with the mayor’s office to see how we can help revitalize certain areas and really be part of this vibrant community.”

Therein lies the true impact of the M Station project. It’s not just about attracting top-tier tenants such as Sanofi and Deloitte (which occupies M Station East), but about changing the literal and figurative landscape of the area.

That’s the way Reid Brockmeier, co-managing director of Gensler’s Morristown office, sees it.

“This trailblazing Class A office space here in downtown Morristown is ahead of its time,” he said. “We’re proud to be designing the next generation of headquarters that will surely make a major contribution to this vibrant community.”

Mayor Tim Dougherty.

Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty called it a major coup for the city.

“It really is something special — the amount of people that will come here and experience our community,” he said.

To be sure, it will be a pretty cool office space, too.

Roehr said the space will have all the elements the Paris-based, innovative global health care company wanted for its flagship location in the U.S.

“This process and building these office spaces is fully aligned with Sanofi’s global approach to innovating our offices worldwide,” Roehr said. “We’re doing this all over the world in order to build a space that is much more conducive to how we work, how we collaborate, how we can work together to ensure that as our tagline says: ‘We chase the miracles of science, to bring key products to our patients and to our customers.’”

Roehr said he is eager and excited for an occupancy that is expected to come in the first quarter of 2025.

A rendering of M Station West.

“We feel, with the incredible work that will be done over the next 18 months, this office will give us the capability to do that to work more collaboratively, to work more innovatively in a digital enhanced environment — while at the same time enjoying this beautiful city and everything that it has to offer for our employees,” he said.

Pozycki, as respected a developer as there is in this state, couldn’t agree more. M Station, he said, matches the model for another recent Morristown project, the new Valley Bank headquarters a few blocks away.

“Our vision for M Station was to create a work environment that’s centered around excellent transportation, great retail and many cultural institutions,” he said. “We knew M Station was exactly what regional national and international companies, including Valley, Deloitte and Sanofi, needed to attract and retain employees.”

It’s all part of the economic puzzle, Pozycki said.

“Every town needs a balance of high-quality office, residential and retail to create the thriving local environment that we want to see,” he said. “Our new corporate neighbors and the respective workforce use will help boost the daytime foot traffic in the town remarkably — and, again, these retailers with all the e-commerce that beat them up, (need it).

“They are the heartbeat of this city, the eyes on the street. They’re a vital part of what’s needed to be supportive in town.”