Waterfront Windfall

New Jersey waterfront is transformed in massive $2.5 billion master plan proposal

Design East News
New Jersey waterfront is transformed in massive $2.5 billion master plan proposal. Rendering of the Riverton waterfront as seen from the Raritan River. (Courtesy North American Properties)

New York-based Cooper Robertson is set to master plan a $2.5 billion ground-up community along the Raritan River in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The site’s owner and developer, Atlanta-based North American Properties (NAP), announced the project on Monday and released a first look at what would become the largest mixed-use development in New Jersey’s history.

Located less than 20 miles from Manhattan and covering a 418-acre site, the new community combines residential, retail, office and hotel spaces with a fully walkable city layout. Named Riverton, the  town will focus on building a street-level pedestrian experience and open waterfront access, including a marina.

Cooper Robertson has also filled the plan with public recreation spaces along an unrestricted mile of riverfront esplanade along the Raritan.

An update of an earlier 2014 plan, the expanded Riverton will also be the state’s largest brownfield remediation. Besides counting on the proximity of the site to the Garden State Parkway to drive demand, NAP is also banking on an influx of potential residents who have been priced out of New York and are looking for a development with a “hometown” atmosphere.

Although none of the others can match its scale, Riverton is the latest project to crop up in New Jersey hoping to court New Yorkers as rents on the other side of the Hudson River continue to rise.

Cooper Robertson is no stranger to waterfront development. Besides contributing planning work to Hudson Yards in Manhattan, the studio is currently working on a separate 1,300-acre master plan for the Charlotte River District near Charlotte, N.C.

Co-developed with New Jersey-based PGIM Real Estate, Riverton is shovel-ready but is still waiting on a new round of local and state approvals. No estimated construction dates have been released at this time, but NAP hopes to complete the 5 million-square-foot project by 2021.

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