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SAYREVILLE, NJ-The Sayreville Economic Development Authority has picked the joint venture team of Market Street Investors LLC and LNR Northeast Investments to turn a 430-acre brownfield site into a massive mixed-use project in this Middlesex County community. The price tag for the project, which will take several years to complete, has been estimated at $1.25 billion.

The Market Street Investors/LNR team was one of four finalists for the project, which has been years in the making. As reported by GlobeSt.com in January, the other three finalists were Forest City Enterprises of Cleveland, the Spector Group of North Hills, NY, and a partnership of the Cashman Co. and V. Paulius Associates of Allendale.

The site plan that won out includes a total of 1.25 million sf of retail and entertainment space, two hotels, two marinas, several thousand residential units and a commercial office center. The plan also incorporates a 150,000-sf recreation complex with an athletic center, a performing arts center, playing fields and pools.

The first challenge is to clean up the site, which was used for many years by National Lead for the manufacture of paint products. The cost and control of the remediation has been the source of ongoing litigation between National Lead, the Borough of Sayreville and the New Jersey DEP for several years.

“A sizable dig is needed to remove all of the radiated soils and either cleanse the site or cap the contamination,” says Stuart Miner of Market Street Investors, whose company is itself a joint venture of the Denver-based Brownfield Partners and the New York City-based Citadel Realty Advisors Inc. “We have the experience in due diligence, underwriting, purchase, remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties.”

According to Miner, whose company has done more than 30 brownfield deals in the past seven years, “it is a complex undertaking, one of the largest and most complex programs ever undertaken in New Jersey, and it will require three years just to have the entire site fully cleaned. We are currently in the process of negotiating a full insurance policy to cover all costs and potential liabilities.”

The site itself is surrounded on three sides by water, namely the Raritan River, and offers views of Raritan Bay, which forms an entrance to New York Harbor. The tract is also bisected by Routes 9 and 35, and by the Garden State Parkway. The Driscoll Bridge, which carries the Parkway across the Raritan River, is itself currently undergoing a massive several-years-long expansion and renovation which, when completed, will nearly double the span’s vehicle capacity.

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