NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—Commercial real estate services firm Levin Management Corporation is seeing healthy levels of leasing activity through mid-2017. The firm says it has executed more than 286,000 square feet of renewals and transactions during the past eight months.
The North Plainfield-based company—celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2017—maintains a diversified, retail-focused leasing and management portfolio of approximately 95 properties totaling 13 million square feet in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
“Retail leasing volume has been and continues to be more robust than the past several years,” says Matthew K. Harding, Levin’s president. “Despite news reports of slower retail sales and continued store closings, activity within our own portfolio and across our market area is quite positive. In short, the bricks-and-mortar landscape is showing endurance and progress, illustrated by the ongoing transformation of retail property tenant mixes.”
Many shopping centers are transitioning from places that simply offer goods and services to those that provide recreational opportunities and community engagement, says Joseph Lowry, Levin’s senior vice-president of leasing and acquisitions, adding that the company’s recent leasing activity is reflective of this trend.
“While traditional retailers – such as grocery, personal services and apparel, among others – remain alive and well, fitness chains, entertainment concepts and restaurants comprise a larger percentage of tenant mix than in the past,” Lowry says.
Highlights of the firm’s recent leasing include a 13,000-square-foot commitment by a specialty grocer at North Village Shopping Center in North Brunswick, NJ. Fitness and entertainment activity featured a 17,000-square-foot commitment by affordable fitness chain The Zoo Health Club at Somerset Shopping Center in Bridgewater, NJ, a 14,000-square-foot lease with indoor play center Kidz Village at Twin City Shopping Center in Jersey City, NJ, and a 3,000-square-foot lease with The MAX Challenge at Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung, NJ.
Levin also arranged leases with several restaurants looking to establish or expand their presence in the regional marketplace. These include a 4,000-square-foot lease with Asian hot pot restaurant Morals Village Hot Pot at Rutgers Plaza in Franklin Township, NJ, and leases with Cheeburger Cheeburger (3,400 square feet) and Bubbakoo’s Burritos (1,900 square feet) at Aldrich Plaza in Howell, NJ. In New York, Levin arranged a lease with James Joyce Pub (4,200 square feet) at 35-71 South Ocean Ave. in Patchogue, NY.
Levin continues to grow its leasing and management portfolio as well. The firm was awarded several new agency assignments in recent months, including shopping centers in New Jersey’s Delran, Flemington, Freehold, Hackettstown, Madison, Secaucus and Union, as well as in Westbrook, CT. Levin also was retained to continue its role following ownership changes at properties in Flemington, NJ, and Pottsville, PA.