New Jersey Retail Market Gains Ground on Multiple Fronts

by Taylor Williams

The New Jersey retail market continues to gain strength as landlords redevelop existing properties, successfully backfill formerly vacant supermarket and Sports Authority boxes, and even break ground on several major shopping centers.

Green Leaf at Union, a new redevelopment scheduled to open this fall, will include 111,000 square feet of gross leasable area. Located on Route 22 and West Chestnut Street, the center will be anchored by Bob’s Discount Furniture and LA Fitness.

Danielle Brunelli, R.J. Brunelli & Co.

Danielle Brunelli, R.J. Brunelli & Co.

Chimney Rock East and West in Bridgewater is also under construction. The new upscale center will add more than 200,000 square feet of gross leasable area to the Route 22 corridor. Tenants will include Whole Foods, The Container Store, Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack, as well as ULTA and European Wax Center, which were both represented by R.J. Brunelli & Co. (RJBCO).

The District at Metuchen, a new 78,505-square-foot upscale neighborhood center, opened in downtown Metuchen on Route 27 and Middlesex Ave. It is anchored by Whole Foods, with a satellite tenant lineup that includes RJBCO clients Massage Envy and European Wax Center.

The Route 35 corridor in Hazlet/Holmdel/Middletown has seen its ups and downs this past year. In Middletown, the WRDC-owned property formerly anchored by Pathmark has been completely renovated, adding newly opened T.J. Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond and Livoti’s Italian Market stores. Hobby Lobby is expected to open this fall in the former A&P at Holmdel Town Center, located on Route 35 and Laurel Avenue. Nearby, a site formerly anchored by Pathmark and Kmart has been renamed Hazlet Town Center by new owner Onyx Properties. Under the redevelopment, the 203,000-square-foot center is getting an attractive new façade, but no announcements of new leases have been made to date. Meanwhile, NRDC has announced its big plans for the proposed 340,000-square-foot Shoppes at Middletown, located at Route 35 and Kings Highway. Commitments have been received from Wegmans and CMX the VIP Cinema Experience, contingent upon zoning approval.

In the interim, Wegmans made its Bergen County debut this summer as the 140,000-square-foot anchor of the new The Shoppes at DePiero Farm in Montvale.

Morris County will have exciting new stores this fall, with the grand opening of Hanover Crossings on East Hanover Avenue in Cedar Knolls. Tenants will include T.J. Maxx, Home Goods, ULTA, Five Below and others. Just north of that site, RD Management plans to construct a BJ’s- anchored center on East Hanover Avenue.

On the hotly contested grocery front, Lidl has made multiple commitments throughout New Jersey, which will make for an interesting 2018 and beyond. Many new supermarkets have taken advantage of the vacant A&P and Pathmark properties to enter the state, including Uncle Giuseppe’s, which opened on Route 17 in Ramsey in November 2016. At the same time, several supermarkets that took a chance on vacant Pathmark/A&P locations opened and closed quickly. These include Acme in Newark and The Food Emporium in Garwood. Other notable grocery openings include the downtown Newark Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in Hoboken.

Among other notable leases, Target will put one of its smaller-format stores in the 65,000-square-foot former A&P location in the 211,000-square-foot Troy Hills Shopping Center on Route 46 in Parsippany. Other active tenants include Saks Off Fifth, Marshalls, Home Goods, Burlington Coat Factory and Cost Plus World Market. New to Garden State trade areas are andThat! (by Christmas Tree Shops), as well as TJX Cos.’ Sierra Trading Post and HomeSense concepts.

Smaller tenants expanding in New Jersey include RJBCO client Dollar Tree, which signed eight leases in the past year, with seven more out for signature. Meanwhile, RJBCO client 7-Eleven has signed four leases, with five out for signature. RJBCO has also helped cellphone stores secure nine store leases so far this year. Lastly, new concepts to the state that plan to open several locations include RJBCO clients Urban Brick Pizza and Modern Acupuncture.

— By Danielle Brunelli, president and principal, R.J. Brunelli & Co. This article first appeared in the October 2017 issue of Northeast Real Estate Business magazine.

You may also like