Positioning Retail Real Estate for a New Generation

February 16, 2018

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Levin Management Reports 38,500 SF of Restaurant Leases, Openings

Activity Among New and Established Concepts Remains Strong

NORTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., Feb. 16, 2018 – In response to shifting consumer preferences, restaurants – particularly fast-casual concepts – remain among the most active retail tenant sectors, according to Levin Management Corporation (LMC). In fact, the commercial real estate services firm has seen 13 leases and openings totaling approximately 38,500 square feet with dining tenants over the past 12 months in its Northeast-focused shopping center portfolio.

“Dining is an important part of today’s retail experience, and restaurants comprise a larger percentage of typical shopping center tenant mixes than ever before,” said Matthew K. Harding, LMC president. “These valuable additions not only are significant traffic generators, but contribute to a shopping center’s appeal by creating a ‘one-stop’ atmosphere for consumers.”

Much of LMC’s restaurant leasing activity in 2017 and early 2018 has involved concepts looking to establish or expand their presence in the regional marketplace. Recent grand openings include James Joyce Pub at 35-71 South Ocean Ave. in Patchogue, N.Y., and Cheeburger Cheeburger at Aldrich Plaza in Howell, N.J. Breakfast and lunch chain Famous Toastery will soon be opening a new location at Mayfair Shopping Center in Commack, N.Y., while Patsy’s Pizzeria will join James Joyce Pub in Patchogue. At Twin City Shopping Center in Jersey City, N.J., Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen is gearing up for its imminent opening, while Taco Bell just signed a lease.

Fractured Prune Doughnuts also recently signed on at Bradford Plaza in West Chester, Pa. Additionally, T.G.I. Fridays – a long-time tenant at Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung, N.J., and Somerset Shopping Center in Bridgewater, N.J. – has significantly renovated both restaurant locations to create vibrant, more contemporary dining experiences.

“In addition to its contribution toward the health of retail properties, the restaurant industry is an important driver of the economy as a whole,” Harding added. “The level of activity we are seeing bodes well in that respect.” In fact, the National Restaurant Association estimates that 48 percent of current U.S. domestic food spending is in the restaurant industry. With an anticipated $799 billion in projected sales in 2017, the restaurant sector represents approximately 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

For more than 65 years, LMC has served as a trusted single-source commercial real estate services provider for institutional and private owners. LMC today maintains a diversified, retail-focused portfolio of approximately 100 properties totaling 14 million square feet in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, offering leasing, property management, financial management and reporting, construction and development, lease administration, marketing services, and acquisition and disposition consulting services. LMC’s capabilities continue to evolve with new technologies, efficiencies and sustainability-focused initiatives to serve a new generation of properties, investors and tenants.

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