HARRISON, NJ—Advance Realty, a Northeast owner and developer of class-A office, mixed-use and multifamily properties, announced that Riverbend District—its 80-acre, transit-oriented development in Harrison, N.J.—has received a Smart Growth Silver Award from the Hudson County Planning Board.

Oneof the largest urban redevelopment projects underway in the State of New Jersey, the Riverbend District is a mixed-use development that will feature retail, residential units, a hotel and office space. This summer, Panasonic Corporation of North America will move into its new technology center that Advance is developing at the site. This build-to-suit facility will house the company’s engineering offices, a lab and various testing facilities.

Bestowed during a ceremony on June 19, the Smart Growth award recognizes the Riverbend District for its role in the continued development of a mixed-use, compact, pedestrian-friendly transit village. Honorees were evaluated based on site selection, site design and proposed green infrastructure criteria from a number of sources, including the American Planning Association, the U.S. Green Building Council and NJ Future. Required elements included sites that preserved existing resources and repaired damaged systems, sites that included affordable housing and workforce housing and sites that were walkable and promoted public transportation.

“The Smart Growth Silver award is a well-deserved honor for the Riverbend District, which is playing an integral role in the revitalization of the Harrison riverfront and the area surrounding Red Bull Arena,” Harrison Mayor Raymond J. McDonough said in a statement. “The project serves as a lynchpin of the new pedestrian-friendly identity that we’re forging for the area. I applaud the vision of Advance Realty and look forward to celebrating upcoming development milestones as the company brings this transit village to life.”

Built on a long underused former manufacturing and industrial site, the Riverbend District will extend the Harrison street grid, creating eight new city blocks and providing the foundation for a new neighborhood. The development is part of the Harrison Waterfront Redevelopment Project, the town's revitalization plan that capitalizes on its transit-friendly PATH station and the long-neglected Passaic River waterfront. Located in the southern portion of town, Harrison’s redevelopment area encompasses 32 percent of the town’s 1.2 sq. miles.

The Riverbend District, which surrounds Red Bull Arena, puts users within close proximity to multiple modes of mass transit, including NJ Transit, Amtrak and a centrally located, onsite PATH station that will benefit from the Port Authority of NY and NJ’s plan to invest $256 million to completely redevelop and modernize the station.

“We are extremely pleased that the planning board has recognized the Riverbend District as one of Hudson County’s premier transit-oriented developments,” Peter Cocoziello, CEO of Advance Realty, said in a statement. "The project will continue to play a key role in the revitalization of this sought-after waterfront location. The momentum is beginning to build as the construction process moves along and we are excited to see the Riverbend District’s live-work-play atmosphere come to fruition in the near future.”

Advance is included among a number of the region’s most prominent residential and commercial real estate developers that banded together to form the Harrison Community Development Association, a coalition dedicated to working cooperatively with town officials and the local community to promote and drive development.

The town’s master plan calls for the transformation of the town’s 250-acre redevelopment area over the next 10 years. The area is within a mile of Downtown Newark, less than five miles from Jersey City and eight miles from Manhattan.

The comprehensive redevelopment effort will deliver new residential opportunities and hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and commercial space, as well as public spaces, and serve as a significant economic catalyst for Harrison, which is easily accessed via the New Jersey Turnpike and located within a few miles of Newark Liberty International Airport, the Garden State Parkway, US Routes 1 and 9 and Interstate 78.