Retail leasing resumes in New Jersey, reports LMC

Hamilton Square. Image courtesy of Levin Management Corporation.

The demand for retail space in New Jersey has increased in the post-pandemic world. The North Plainfield-based Levin Management Corporation (LMC) recently revealed that it has arranged 1.2 million square feet in new leases, renewals and extensions, and license agreements in 2021.

According to LMC, industry-wide trends suggest that this rental momentum will continue into 2022, with expansions among traditional brick-and-mortar tenants accompanied by increased rental among digital-native brands. LMC also noted an increase in retail construction in 2021.

LMC reported 59 new store openings in its retail-focused leasing and management portfolio in 2021, more than doubling from 2020, and a 33% increase in transactions from 2019. On the construction front, LMC has completed 200,000 square feet of construction, with 380,000 square feet currently underway or in the short-term pipeline

Some New Jersey-area retail leasing highlights for 2021 included a 20,400 square foot transaction with The Goodwill Store in Hamilton Plaza (Hamilton Twp., NJ), a 10,000 square foot lease with Ulta Beauty in St. Georges Crossing (Woodbridge, NJ), and a 9,600 square foot lease with LL Flooring at Fairground Plaza (Mt. Holly, NJ). A highlight of non-commercial leasing was the 118,000 square foot full construction lease by USA Container Co. Inc. at Rutgers Industrial Center (Piscataway, NJ).

“Levin’s buoyant transaction activity reflects the continued viability and resilience of brick-and-mortar retail,” said Matthew K. Harding, chief executive of LMC. “Commercial tenant confidence has driven strong rental velocity throughout 2021 and shows no signs of slowing in the new year. National brands and franchisees will continue to capitalize on opportunities to secure real estate exceptionally good at great prices. We are also seeing movement among independent retailers. This activity is happening at a brisk pace, fueled by current market conditions.

As LMC’s transactional activity demonstrates, the value of physical stores in a post-pandemic world is driven by demand from New Jersey retail tenants and consumer enthusiasm for the physical experience.

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