Riverton, the massive mixed-use project in Sayreville that has long been on the drawing board, took a major step forward Thursday when it was approved for an Aspire tax credit of up to $400 million by the board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
The project, which is associated with more than $1 billion in private investment, is believed to be $2.5 billion in total. It would revitalize a 400-acre brownfield site along the Raritan River that was formally the site of the National Lead paint company and has been talked about for nearly two decades.
North American Properties announced it was taking over the site in the fall of 2017. Its LLC, Sayreville Seaport Associates Urban Renewal, is the applicant of the Riverton project.
The project is expected to include more than 1,300 units of housing (20% affordable) as well as more than 800,000 square feet of retail and entertainment, including the largest Bass Pro Shop in the country.
It also will feature additional public amenities, including a public Waterfront Promenade, to which Sayreville residents and the general public will have access. The walkway will feature Heroes Walk (exhibits and installations honoring Sayreville’s veterans), along with lighting, seating areas, gathering spaces, enhanced landscaping and an open-air amphitheater; on-site spaces for municipal offices; and two designated open-air performing arts venues.
Riverton also is expected to include numerous office projects, making it a true live-work-play destination.
Aspire is a place-based economic development program created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 to support mixed-use, transit-oriented development with tax credits to commercial and residential real estate development projects that have financing gaps.
With the approval, the EDA board has approved a total of $694 million in Aspire awards for residential projects, which will create 1,800 housing units and $271 million for a commercial transformative project under the prior rules.
Gov. Phil Murphy obviously is thrilled.
“With today’s approval, Sayreville is poised to undergo a tremendous renaissance, which will bring new housing, jobs, retail and recreation that will benefit the entire community,” he said. “The Aspire program continues to drive critical investments that support economic growth in communities across New Jersey.”
EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said the project is an example of who Aspire can work for the state.
“Aspire’s flexible design had enabled us to support this long-anticipated project, which will transform a vast tract of land that had been rendered unusable many years ago, and, once rehabilitated, in ways that will reinvigorate Sayreville, create jobs for the local community, and improve quality of life for Riverton tenants and residents of nearby areas,” he said. “This is exactly the sort of thoughtful, impactful investment the legislature and Gov. Murphy hoped to attract when creating the Aspire program.”