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$2.5B Sayreville Mall Project Pivots To Mixed-Use With New Partner

The change in plans for the 418-acre site in Sayreville, New Jersey, reflects the real estate world's changing attitudes toward retail.

A rendering of Riverton, the mixed-use community planned for Sayreville, N.J.

PGIM Real Estate and O'Neill Properties Group initially planned for the site on the Raritan River to be a 2.2M SF enclosed mall called the Pointe, but after PGIM bought out O'Neill and brought on North American Properties as a new partner, the two now plan for an outdoor, mixed-use community called Riverton, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Riverton will be a $2.5B layout of small streets and plazas lined with every real estate use: 1M SF of retail — less than half of the Pointe plan — 2,000 residences split between apartments and townhouses (unchanged from the original), 1M SF of office space, two hotels and a marina. It will be the largest mixed-use development in New Jersey's history at full build-out.

North American Properties will be filling the public space with a heavy events calendar in the same manner as its Avalon development in Alpharetta, Georgia, which PGIM purchased in two chunks from NAP in 2016 and 2017 and cited as the reason for bringing in its new partner after buying out O'Neill in March.

“We’ve got to be able to provide an experience for our guests to get them to come to the property,” NAP Managing Director Mark Toro told the WSJ. “We can no longer just lease space to retailers who just sell stuff. They will fail and we will fail.”

Located just off the Garden State Parkway and multiple other thoroughfares feeding directly into New York City, 600,000 cars per day pass the site of the former lead-processing plant, according to NAP. It was considered the main driver for the initial mall idea, and remains the foundation on which the Riverton ambitions are built.

Before any development could begin, the lagoon on the site had to be decontaminated from its industrial history. The Pointe plan received a $223M Environmental Redevelopment & Growth Grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, but the revised plan still has to go through state and local approvals and put together financing.

Sayreville Mayor Kennedy O'Brien has thrown his support behind the Riverton plan, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.