A rendering of Riverton, a mixed-use retail village that is planned for a 418-acre site in Sayreville — Courtesy: North American Properties
By Joshua Burd
The developer of a planned 5 million-square-foot, $2.5 billion project at a long-dormant site in Sayreville has hired a new executive to oversee the effort.
North American Properties announced this week that Mark J. Fetah has joined its firm as senior vice president and director for the Riverton master planned projects. In his new role, the industry veteran will spearhead design, engineering, permitting, approvals, construction and management of the massive mixed-use undertaking known as Riverton, which seeks to transform more than 400 acres along the Garden State Parkway and Raritan River.
The developer touted Fetah’s deep experience in development and construction, noting that he has delivered more than 40 million square feet of commercial, residential, hospitality, retail, resort and mixed-use projects throughout the United States and abroad.
“Mark Fetah has worked on some of the world’s most recognizable real estate projects, and he will play a tremendous role in the growth and direction of Riverton as an innovative, retail-driven development,” said Mark Toro, managing partner at NAP-Atlanta. “We are thrilled to add his extensive background in real estate development, construction, and finance to the Riverton team and help us make Riverton a fun and exciting place for people to live, work, shop, dine and play.”
NAP, which is based in Cincinnati, revealed in late 2017 that it was taking over as the developer of the well-known site in Sayreville. The company is partnering with PGIM Real Estate in hopes of transforming the formerly contaminated site that was once home to a sprawling paint pigment manufacturing complex.
Previous plans by O’Neill Properties, which never got off the ground, called for a 2.2 million-square-foot “fortress mall” that would lure customers from the hundreds of thousands of cars that passed by on 24 lanes of traffic on the Parkway and routes 9 and 35.
A groundbreaking for Riverton is now slated for this year, NAP said.
Fetah began his career in hands-on general contracting field assignments, followed by senior leadership executive roles on major projects such as Epcot Center in Orlando, Euro Disneyland in Paris and 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan, among others. Prior to joining NAP, he oversaw the development, design, project management and capital expenditure operations for two pre-eminent national real estate investment funds.
He will work in tandem with Kevin Polston, project executive for Riverton for the past 18 months.
“Personally, I am very excited to play an active and central role in bringing Riverton to reality for the enjoyment of New Jersey residents and particularly for the benefit of the citizens of Sayreville,” Fetah said. “We are literally crafting a village that will feature world-class retail, many unique and diverse dining experiences, luxury residential living, modern commercial work environments and opportunity for the latest innovations in hospitality venues.
“Riverton will truly present a transformative (setting) for families and friends to enjoy everything that already makes New Jersey a great place to live and an unforgettable place to visit. From experience, I know for a fact that the unparalleled talent and drive that exists within New Jersey’s vibrant union construction trades, design community and engineering professions will absolutely ensure the ultimate success of Riverton’s grand ambitions.”
Fetah received his bachelor’s in architectural engineering, with advanced construction management option, from Penn State University. He later earned MBAs from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland.