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14A — June 18 - July 22, 2021 — Retail Development Reimagined — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal www.marej.com

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R etail D evelopment R eimagined By Joe McKeska, A&G Real Estate Partners Post-pandemic landscape creates newCRE imperatives 700,000 s/f of trans ctions & new agency assig ments among 2020 Levin Mgmt. ushers in 2021 with a look back on rogres R etail D eve R eimagineD


day-to-day, he notes, grocers can lose sight of the need for their portfolios to support their longer-term strategies. At many chains, for example, new approaches to the ecommerce supply chain are changing the parameters for store footprints and locations. “Your real estate plan needs to span multiple years and be fully in synch with all such strategic consid - erations,” McKeska writes. The veteran grocery ex - ecutive also advises grocers to plan early for lease expira- tions/extensions and store closures . Extending a lease well be - fore its expiration date is an - other way to create incremen - tal value, McKeska advises. He cites a scenario in which the grocer plans to spend several million dollars on a renovation. In agreeing to ex - tend the lease by 10 years, the grocery stands to substantially increase the resale value of the property, potentially into the seven figures. “This gives the landlord a good reason to provide rent concessions, con - tribute capital to the remodel and/or make improvements to the center,” McKeska writes. It’s also important to make the tough decisions now — especially when it comes to closing underperforming Non-retail leasing highlights within LMC’s div rsified port - folio included a 135,000 s/f renewal by Hall’ Warehous C rp. at Rutgers Industrial Center (Piscataw y). “De pite the economic u certainty and business- lated disruptions facing our indu - try since March, there has be n prog ess – wi h certain k y dynam cs c ming i to sharpened focus,” said LMC’s Matt w Harding , chief ex- ecutive officer. “For examp e, positive landlord/t nant r la- ions have always been impor- ant. Durin 2020, as tenant worked t navi ate an incred- ibly difficul environment, we approa hed everything n a very granular basis, r view- ing the distin tive needs and na ure of each business. Li - wise, we av done the same with our andlord clients and heir individual properties to high-profile anchors like Lidl (North Brunswick) and Burl ing o Stores (Raritan).

stores. “It’s more critical than ever to be aggressive in right-sizing, consolidating and relocating your stores as needed,” McKeska notes. “By making tough decisions pro - actively, grocers gain the time needed to pursue early lease terminations and find suit - able replacement tenants.” Lastly, McKeska urges grocers to fully appreciate their leverage , which was growing even before the pan - demic but is even stronger today. That’s because landlords aim to maximize the produc - tivity and value of grocery- anchored properties by adding outparcels, drive-thru lanes and other convenience-orient - ed amenities. Due to protective lease restrictions commonly enjoyed by grocers, however, landlords are often unable to pursue such plans without the grocer’s permission. “With this powerful bargain - ing chip, you stand to secure lower rents and more favor - able terms in exchange for granting the landlord greater freedom to redevelop the prop - erty and repurpose common areas,” McKeska concludes. Prior to joining A&G in 2016, McKeska served as senior vice president of Real Estate for Southeastern Grocers. MAREJ LMC also continued t ex - pand its leasing and manage- ment portfoli , which today totals 110 ropert es to al- ing nearly 15.5 million s/f. The firm was appointed leas and managi g agent for Springfield Avenue Market place, a 112,000 s/f supermar- ket-anchored prope ty at 204- 234 Springfield Ave. in New a k. I Bergen County, LMC was named managing agent for Marketplace at Edgewater a 73,000 /f shopping center located at 725 River Rd. in Edgew ter. MAREJ help them best respond to ten- ant requests and ope ational ne ds. “This customized appro ch has always been cent al fo our team; however, this year has intensified the practice to a new level that we will sus ain moving orward,” Harding added. “This is an ad- vant ge we can provide ov r some of our larger, nationally focus d pe rs.”

ELVILLE, NY — Grocers need to re - examine how their ORTH P L A I N - FIELD, NJ — Amid the chal lenges of

real estate will function in the post- p a n d e m i c world, writes Joe McKes- ka , a senior m a n a g i n g di rector at A&G Real 2020, commercial real estate services firm LevinManage- ment C rporation (LMC) achiev d tangible progress – a promising sign for the industry moving into a new year. Over the past 12months the North Plainfield based organization secured nearly 700,000 s/f of new leases and renewals, add d new leasing and ma ag ment assign ments, solidified its staff with new hires/promotio , and garnered several indust y re ognitions. Estate Partners , in an April 26 opinion piece for Progres- sive Grocer. While many chains per - formed well over the past year, McKeska explains, consumer spending continues to swing back to dining out, in-person entertainment and travel. “That means many grocers will need to redouble their ef - forts to improve fundamental weaknesses that they were able to gloss over during the pandemic, such as subpar in-store experiences and in - adequate omnichannel infra - structure,” he advises. Optimizing real estate is an important way to free up the capital needed to fix those problems. In the column, McKeska offers four specific tips. The first is to align your real estate and business plans . Inmanaging real estate Highlights of LMC’s retail leasing act vity includ d a a chor leas with off-price ret iler Burlington Store at Mill Cre k at Harmon Mead w (Secauc s), 24,000 s/f leas with Aqui Market at Twin City Shopping Center (Bayonne) and a 20,000 s/f lease with Pla t Fitness t M yfair Shopping Cen ter (Commack, NY) LMC’s transactio al activi y also brought a host of renewals as well s new r tailers and service providers to the regio punctu ted by nearly one dozen leases with restaurant tenants – sever of which have alre dy l unched op ra- tio s. Other openings involved Joe McKeska


Burlington Stores at Mill Creek at Harmon Meadow

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