The River Park Town Center project in Whippany, depicted in this rendering, calls for 11 buildings as part of a plan that would include 967 residential units, 80,000 square feet of retail space, two 125-room extended stay hotels and more than 20 acres of public recreation space. — Courtesy: DMR
By Joshua Burd
A developer has broken ground on a project that will revive the former site of a historic paper mill complex in Hanover’s Whippany section, bringing nearly 1,000 residential units, 80,000 square feet of retail space and other uses as part of an 88-acre town center.
According to DMR Architects, the consultant for the redevelopment and its design elements, the initial phase of River Park Town Center includes the construction of a building with 81 homes and amenities. It is the first of 11 that developer Eden Wood Realty is planning for the site, which traverses a long stretch of the Whippany River with Parsippany Road to the east, Eden Lane to the south and the Morristown & Erie Railway line to the north.
Other components of the project, which would create Hanover’s first walkable downtown, will include two 125-room extended stay hotels, an outdoor amphitheater and the completion of the Patriot Trail along the Whippany River.
“The creative challenge in Hanover was to design something that served a lot of functions that are completely new here while still preserving the community character and existing physical and natural landscaping,” said Francis Reiner, a redevelopment consultant and partner with DMR. “This is a great example of proactive municipal planning and place-making and the successful collaboration of a municipality, developer, planners and architects. This project will promote smart growth with elements that will appeal to residents, shoppers, employers and their staffs.”
March Associates Construction is serving as the project’s construction manager.
When completed, River Park Town Center will also feature more than 20 acres of public recreation space including the amphitheater and a park, community spaces and structured, curbside and surface lot parking options, DMR said. It will also have quick access to Route 10 and interstates 287 and 80, providing connectivity for those living in its 967 residential units and those visiting the site.
More than 40 percent of the land will be left in its natural state.