Cooper Robertson Planning Largest N.J. Mixed-Use Project
Cooper Robertson's client, the owner/developer North American Properties, has announced “Riverton,” a 418-acre, shovel-ready waterfront redevelopment on the Raritan River, in a joint venture with New Jersey-based PGIM Real Estate.
In what is considered the largest mixed-use project in New Jersey history, and one of the most comprehensive, aggressive plans in the United States, according to officials, NAP is poised to deliver a $2.5 billion community that combines residential, retail, entertainment, marina, office and hotel in a carefully curated street level experience, highly-programmed gathering spaces and resort-inspired hospitality. Passive recreation and open space will complement the built environment, along with an array of public and civic uses focused on more than a mile of riverfront located within twenty miles of Lower Manhattan.
About 600,000 vehicles traverse the Driscoll Bridge, at Exit 125 of the Garden State Parkway, each day, and considerably more in the summer months. The newly opened exit supplements exceptional access already afforded by interchanges on Route 9 and Route 35, rivaling virtually any site in the United States for unimpeded access to America’s most coveted marketplace, the New York metropolitan area.
This project will serve as a national example of next-generation, mixed-use development, placing “heart share over market share” in creating New Jersey’s next hometown. In the development of plans for the community, the NAP team visited many of the region’s legendary hometowns, including Montclair, Summit, Spring Lake, Princeton, Westfield, Red Bank, Asbury Park and Hoboken, seeking to identify the essence of each.
NAP will introduce the next generation of commercial real estate to the site, one of the largest brownfield remediations in New Jersey history and widely considered the largest developable tract along a major transportation corridor in the United States, said company officials. The result will be a vibrant community that will generate tens of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in ongoing tax revenue and a magnetic attraction for the 20 million people who live in the New York metropolitan region and for the millions of others who visit each year.
“We create great, walkable places that connect people to each other; cities to their souls; partners to opportunities; and individuals to experiences that move them,” explained Mark Toro, managing partner, North American Properties in Atlanta. “We are bringing together a world-leading visionary team to create New Jersey’s next great hometown, advancing the community-building skillsets we developed at Avalon.”
Key public approvals for this site were initially obtained in 2014; however, NAP has thoroughly updated the redevelopment plan. As such, they are in the process of securing the necessary state and local approvals required to implement the new Riverton project.
The project has received strong support from State leaders, as well as the leadership of Middlesex County and the Borough of Sayreville. A critical component of the project financing will be the continuing support from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) through the Economic Redevelopment & Growth Program (ERG), which EDA approved in 2014 and will be asked to reaffirm for the updated vision.