Most New Jerseyans still remember the iconic Dutch Boy Paint sign on the National Lead site as you drove over the southbound side of the Garden State Parkway Bridge. The huge unassuming Dutch Boy hovering over a celluloid lake was hard to miss. The sign, the lake, and the salty smell of sea water were welcome beacons that confirmed your family was headed to the beach or that you were halfway home from a long day at work.
Located at the crossroads of four key New Jersey highways, including the Garden State Parkway, Interstate 287, and Routes 9 and 35, Luxury Point at Sayreville is the largest brownfield redevelopment project in the state’s history. After years of litigation since the National Lead Company in Sayreville, N.J., closed its doors in 1986, O’Neill Properties Group, LP was selected through a competitive bid process to acquire and redevelop this contaminated, 418-acre property. O’Neill, a leading privately owned real estate development company, specializes in identifying and acquiring abandoned or underutilized industrial sites, remediating and transforming them into high-quality, Class A commercial space and luxury multifamily communities.
Today, a multi-disciplined team of professionals from Maser Consulting is helping O’Neill perform a complete redevelopment of this abandoned industrial site that blemished the view of the Raritan River from the Garden State Parkway for more than 20 years. Maser Consulting is involved with the complete transformation of the site, currently in progress, which is slated to include a 3 million-square-foot regional retail complex; 2,000 residential developments; 42,000 square feet of office space; 1,250 hotel rooms; community and performing arts centers; two marinas; municipal offices; links to public transportation; and Fire/EMS building. The plans also secure the preservation of more than 70 acres of waterfront land dedicated to conservation and recreation that includes an exclusive, pedestrian promenade with a 2.5-mile-long waterfront vista overlooking the Raritan River.
A spectacular, futuristic shopping complex, anchored by Bass Pro Shops, is being designed with technologically innovative, full-building LED billboards, dazzling media towers, and digital shopping kiosks that are expected to attract best-in-class retailers who will provide shoppers with a revolutionary shopping experience.
However, the biggest commitment to the project is the improvement of the health of the Raritan River through the removal and capping of contaminants on this riverfront property, preserving the shoreline to help restore the balance between man and nature. The development will also implement stormwater quality treatment to clean the runoff from the property before it reaches the river.
Recycling the blighted National Lead industrial property into a viable, functioning world class mixed-use community is in full swing. This is not to say that there haven’t been challenges with this transformation. The redevelopment of this property has been a daunting undertaking from the beginning, if only for the complexity of the remediation and magnitude of the project’s scope. While each of the parcels is being remediated at a different rate, the 70-acre waterfront parcel has been completed and has been dedicated as a Green Acres open space site.
The project goals for the next one to two years include completion of all phases of the largest parcel’s radiological and soil remediation; complete construction of Bass Pro Shops, Regal Cinemas, and other retail anchors; and execution of the grand opening of the Landing at The Point.
When completed, the project is expected to help stabilize the property tax burden on Sayreville residents, create jobs, present a source of pride and family enjoyment for all residents and visitors, and provide naturalized public access to the Raritan River waterfront previously inaccessible.
Daniel W. Busch, P.E., P.P., C.M.E., is a department manager for Civil/Site Development services for Maser Consulting P.A. He has been the project manager for the Luxury Point redevelopment project since 2007. He has progressive experience in all aspects of civil engineering with extensive experience in commercial and residential development.