R.J. Brunelli & Co. said Sept. 29 that it recently completed a property sale, as well as a series of retail leases, that are delivering Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, multiple European Wax Centers, Crumbl Cookies, Pizza Hut and several independent retailers to sites throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Acting on behalf of property owner The Racquet Place LLP, the Old Bridge-based retail real estate brokerage sold a 3.5-acre site housing the 27,000-square-foot former NY Sports Club building in Old Bridge to a private investor. Located at 450 Highway 34, the site is situated across from the Marketplace at Matawan, whose major tenants include Dollar Tree and Buy Rite Liquor. R.J. Brunelli CEO and Principal Ron DeLuca and Sales Associate Alexis Fiori represented the seller, while the buyer was represented by Eddie Mardakhaev of Key Commercial Realty in Hillside.
In Philadelphia, R.J. Brunelli Senior Sales Associate Pete Nicholson signed another location for Popeyes, this time for a new, 2,400-square-foot freestanding pad building at the Fishtown Shopping Center at 2427 Aramingo Ave. The chain expects to open in September 2022 at the 154,000-square-foot property (formerly known as Richmond Village), which is in the final lease-up following an extensive redevelopment. Starbucks occupies one of the other new pad sites at the center, which is anchored by an IGA supermarket, Pep Boys, Dollar Tree and Dollar General.
Nicholson represented Popeyes franchisee PN Restaurants on the Philadelphia transaction and is currently seeking additional sites for the operator in Pennsylvania. He previously represented PN—which operates Popeyes locations from Virginia to Massachusetts–on the purchase of sites in Phillipsburg and also Williamsport, Pa.
Back in New Jersey, R.J. Brunelli brokered four leases for European Wax Center in different parts of the state in its capacity as a preferred real estate representative for the franchise chain.
In Central Jersey, President and Principal Danielle Brunelli signed the chain for a 1,760-square-foot location at East Windsor Village, a 248,727-square-foot center at 70 Princeton-Hightstown Road. European Wax Center is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2021, joining a mix led by Target, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx and a Patel Bros. supermarket. John LaParise of CBRE represented the landlord on the transaction.
In South Jersey, European Wax Center leased a 1,885-square-foot space at Manahawkin Commons, a 319,349-square-foot center on Route 72, near the intersection of the Garden State Parkway. The chain is expected to debut at the Ocean County property in the first half of 2022, adding to a tenant lineup currently anchored by TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Regal Cinema, Michaels and Staples. The landlord is also in the process of redeveloping the site’s vacant Kmart space, with proposed new tenants including Ross, Burlington, Old Navy and ULTA. Brunelli represented European Wax Center on the lease, while the landlord was represented by Jim Creed of CBRE.
Brunelli also completed two leases for European Wax Center in northern New Jersey. A fourth quarter 2021 opening is planned for a 1,560-square-foot location at Pompton Lakes Towne Square, 1-55 Wanaque Ave. in Pompton Lakes. The 125,000-square-foot Passaic County center includes a newly opened Lidl, as well as such other prominent tenants as Planet Fitness, The Paper Store, Starbucks, and Hand & Stone. Matt Grundy and Curtis Nassau of Ripco represented the landlord on the transaction.
In Morris Township, a second quarter 2022 opening is anticipated for European Wax Center in a 1,452-square-foot space at Morris Marketplace, 191 E. Hanover Ave. Tenants signed for this new, 137,000-square-foot Morris County center include Lidl, Burlington, Orange Theory, Taco Bell and Jersey Mikes. Bill Lenaz and Stephen Battista of Jeffery Realty represented the landlord on the lease.
Brunelli closed her second lease this year as the preferred real estate representative for the central and southern New Jersey franchisee of Crumbl Cookies. The multi-unit operator—which is expected to open the chain’s first New Jersey location at Seaview Square in Ocean Township in the fourth quarter of 2021–signed for a 1,600-square-foot endcap unit in a new pad building at Commerce Center at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill.
A second-quarter 2022 opening is anticipated for Crumbl at the 191,949-square-foot site anchored by Costco, Petco and Duluth Trading. Commerce Center is one of four retail centers created in Edgewood Properties’ redevelopment of the former Garden State Park racetrack. All told, the four retail properties include more than 1.04 million square feet of GLA, bringing to the massive site such other prominent retailers as Wegman’s, Home Depot, Christmas Tree Shops, Best Buy, Dicks, Trader Joe’s, Nordstrom Rack, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Barnes & Noble.
In Ocean County, the firm signed Pizza Hut for a 1,800-square-foot endcap drive-thru space at 1882 Hooper Ave. in Toms River. R.J. Brunelli is the exclusive broker for the new 12,600-square-foot retail center being developed by March Construction in the municipality’s Silverton section. R.J. Brunelli Vice President and Principal Mario Brunelli, who represented the landlord on this first signed lease for the property, noted that Pizza Hut will relocate from a nearby site in Brick Township. A summer 2022 opening is anticipated for the restaurant, which will focus on take-out and delivery.
Elsewhere in the state, Sales Associate Peter Miller brokered three leases for Lake Lawrence Shopping Center, at 2542 Brunswick Ave. (U.S. Hwy. 1) in Lawrence Township. R.J. Brunelli serves as an exclusive broker for the 19,319-square-foot highway center, which is anchored by Concentra Urgent Care and now has 5,700 square feet available.
Debuting this summer at the Mercer County property were Kayla’s Pretty Paws, a 2,262-square-foot pet stylist and supply store, and Greenhouse Business Center, a 1,370-square-foot shop offering packing, shipping, printing and other business services. They will be followed this fall by Sweet Threads, a 1,778-square-foot vape, apparel and CBD products shop. Miller represented both the landlord and tenant on the Kayla’s and Sweet Threads transactions. On Greenhouse Business Center (which also has two locations in Trenton), the tenant was represented by Frank Consiglio of Las Vegas-based Direct Store Services.
In Monmouth County, Fiore brokered a 2,780-square-foot lease for Middletown Dry Cleaners at the Village Mall, 1140 Route 35 S. in Middletown. The dry cleaning and tailor shop is already open at the 70,000-square-foot center, which is anchored by Bottle King. Patricia McHugh-Amecangelo of CBRE represented the landlord on the lease, while Fiore represented the tenant.
Fiore also represented the tenant on a 1,500-square-foot lease that brought the Puff City smoke/vape shop to Stahl Shopping Plaza at 152 Mountainview Blvd. in Wayne. McHugh-Amecangelo of CBRE represented the landlord on the transaction for the 32,331-square-foot Passaic County center, whose anchors include Dollar Tree and Terrain Fitness.