Mixed-use is the new mall. Case in point: New Jersey’s new Riverton project

Scrapped plans for a New Jersey mega-mall proves it

(Pixabay, back; Wikimedia Commons, front)
(Pixabay, back; Wikimedia Commons, front)

What was supposed to be a 2.2 million-square-foot mall with enough digital signage to compete with Times Square in Sayreville, New Jersey is now, pending approvals and securing financing, going to be mixed-use waterfront pedestrian zone called Riverton.

The change of direction for the $2.5 billion project came from a new partner, North American Properties, which convinced the team to rethink its mega-mall concept, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We can no longer just lease space to retailers who just sell stuff. They will fail and we will fail,” said the new partner’s Mark Toro.

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Instead, North American Properties convinced its partners to follow the lessons learned from one of their recent developments in Alphareta, Ga., which opened this year.

The mixed-use project in an Atlanta suburb had both residential and public elements, such as an amphitheater and fire pits with home-like furnishings, but what made the project stand out was the amount of programming the company did. The Alphareta project hosted recreational events and entertainment, such as concerts and yoga classes, on a regular basis.

“We’ve got to be able to provide an experience for our guests to get them to come to the property,” said Toro. Riverton is expected to be completed in 2021.

[WSJ] — E.K. Hudson