DUMONT, NJ—Urstadt Biddle Properties has acquired an equity interest in a new entity that owns the Washington Commons Shopping Center in Dumont, NJ. Washington Commons is a 75,400 square-foot shopping center, which also includes a residential component. The mixed-use property consists of two buildings. One is a free-standing 44,300 square foot Stop & Shop. The second building is a three-story retail and multifamily building occupied by Valley Medical Group, Great Clips, Pet Valu, Blimpie and 26 residential apartments. The residential unit mix consists of one bedroom, two bedroom and studio apartments. The residences have their own entrance and parking field located behind the shopping center. The property is currently fully leased. All retail tenants, except for Great Clips, have been there since 1997.
The transaction was structured as a “DownREIT partnership” in which the seller received a combination of cash and operating partnership units in a new entity formed to purchase the property. Urstadt Biddle Properties is the managing member of the newly formed entity and will manage and lease the property. The seller is a regional real estate developer that originally developed the property. UBP’s initial equity in the DownREIT was approximately $3.9 million, which represented an approximate 31.4% equity interest.
“We are pleased to have acquired another high quality grocery anchored commercial property located in our core marketplace,” says Willing Biddle, president of Urstadt Biddle Properties. “The property is 100-percent leased and Stop & Shop does very well in this space. In fact, they just recently exercised the next option under their lease. The property has an average daily traffic count of over 20,000 cars. Approximately 148,000 people, earning an average household income of $133,000, live within three miles of the subject property.”
“We are thrilled to have acquired Washington Commons, which has been on our radar since 2002,” says James Aries, UBP senior vice president of acquisitions. “This complements other UBP-owned shopping centers in nearby Emerson, Fort Lee and Passaic. We continue to pursue grocery-anchored shopping centers in suburban New York City with high barriers to entry.”
Dumont, NJ is in the southern part of Bergen County. Washington Avenue is a major north/south commercial artery that feeds into competitive commercial markets to the north (Closter) and to the south (Bergenfield). Stop & Shop is the only grocer serving densely populated Dumont. Although Washington Avenue is a two-lane road, it is the only commercial artery in town, and there is a free-standing Walgreens, a free-standing Burger King and a free-standing Chase Bank at the other three corners of this intersection, which creates a retail critical mass. Dumont is located only 10 miles from Manhattan and is an important commuter town to New York City. Dumont commuters are served by NJ Transit bus service with 35 minute travel time to Port Authority.