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HARRISON, NJ-An agreement has been signed to redevelop 275 acres of mostly vacant industrial land along the Passaic River. The site, which sits directly across the river from Downtown Newark, is being turned over to several groups, which will develop its various components. No overall price tag has been put on the project yet, and build-out is pegged at eight to 10 years.

The project is massive, even in a state where mega redevelopment projects have become the norm. Its components will include almost 3.4 million sf of office space, 600,000 sf of retail space, almost 3,000 new residences and a major hotel. Development partners include Millrose Harrison, a joint venture between Roseland Properties of Short Hills, NJ and Edgewater, NJ-based Millennium Homes. The companies will develop 885,000 sf of offices, 100,000 sf of ground floor retail and 428 residential units on 31 acres.

The Pegasus Group is slated to build the hotel, and that may be the component that gets into the ground first, according to Peter Higgins, chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency. The Advance Group, based in Bedminster, NJ, will develop the largest portion of the project–2.5 million sf of offices, 600,000 sf of retailing and 2,500 residences on 135 acres.

“It’s not simply an extension of what’s been happening in Newark,” Joseph Romano, SVP and regional managing director for Advance, tells GlobeSt.com. “We saw this as a property that worked very well on its own. All the elements are in place, and we’ve already been contacted by potential office users.

“This is a rare opportunity in an urban environment–it’s a consolidated tract of 135 acres,” Romano continues. “We were able to plan things on a larger scale. It’s not a matter of developing a small tract while wondering what’s going to go on in the next tract. And Harrison gave us the latitude to do what we wanted to do.”

Another aspect of the project, according to Romano, is that “all of us have been able to work cooperatively to get done those things that we all need–such as a traffic study. We have competing elements [with the other developers], but there has been a real spirit of cooperation because there is enough to go around.”

The one element that hasn’t quite fallen into place yet is a 25,000-seat stadium and parking deck Advance wants to build for the MetroStars professional soccer franchise. The team wants to move here from nearby Giants Stadium, but the deal is predicated on Harrison’s obtaining state funding. Discussions are ongoing.

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