IRR-Coastal New Jersey Mid-Year Viewpoint 2015 Local Market Report - Retail
The Coastal New Jersey retail market has continued to improve with evidence of decreased vacancy, slowly increasing rental rates and positive absorption. The northern portion of the Coastal, NJ market, particularly Monmouth County and Northern Ocean County, are experiencing most of the new development and leasing activity. Phase I of The Grove at Howell, anchored by BJ’s, was recently completed along Route 9 in Howell Township, Monmouth County. Once complete the shopping center will include 350,000 square feet and the remainder of the space will be occupied by a movie theater, fitness club, and various national apparel and dining chains.
In addition, construction has been completed on the expansion of the new Crossroads Center in Toms River Township, Northern Ocean County. The expansion includes a Buffalo Wild Wings, Smashburger, Social 37 (restaurant), and Panera Bread. In addition, groundbreaking has commenced on Barnegat Crossing, a mixed-use retail development expected to include over 60,000 square feet of space within Phase I, located along Lighthouse Drive at the Garden State Parkway Exit 67 in Barnegat Township.
Aside from the projects mentioned, most new retail development consists of freestanding drug, convenience, restaurant, auto parts, and banking pad uses. The empty 'big box' stores in the 20,000 to 50,000 SF class which created significant vacancy in the market during the recession have slowly been absorbed, namely by fitness facilities, dollar discount chains, arts and crafts stores, and smaller grocery tenants. While the retail market is in the recovery stage, there remains a fair amount of vacant space among the neighborhood centers in secondary locations. Some older established centers have been renegotiating longer lease terms at reduced rents to minimize rollover risks. However, as the broader market continues to recover, the lower rental rates at these centers makes them an attractive alternative. Regional mall vacancy rates have generally been stable and are expected to remain steady.
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IRR Mid-Year Viewpoint 2015 comprises a National Overview report and 300+ two-page Local Market Reports for all key property types as well as additional resources, including metrics methodology, graphs, and tables; these free reports may be downloaded from IRR’s site here.