By Joshua Burd
A decades-old Mercer County shopping center is at full occupancy after new leases with a fitness chain and a new restaurant, according to brokers with R.J. Brunelli & Co.
Representing Dover Park Plaza LLC, the landlord at Dover Park Plaza in Hamilton’s Yardville section, the brokerage on Monday detailed the new commitments by Jersey Strong and Mama Dude’s. The operators are leasing 25,067 and 1,758 square feet, respectively, joining CVS Health, a pair of existing restaurants and several other longtime tenants.
The lease-up comes two years after ownership acquired the 58,000-square-foot complex at 1-23 Sunnybrea Blvd., which came as part of a 1031 exchange. R.J. Brunelli Sales Associate Peter Miller spearheaded the leasing effort to raise occupancy at the property from 75 percent.
In a news release, the brokerage firm noted that securing Jersey Strong included the relocation of Sun Lok Gardens, an Asian restaurant, to another space in the center. The firm also said it helped win municipal approval for the construction of a 3,500-square-foot mezzanine within the gym for yoga, Pilates and other workouts.
“To optimize the location for this statewide fitness chain, we worked with the landlord to reconfigure and combine several narrow, deep, less functional spaces with a former dollar store that served as the centerpiece for the new gym,” Miller said.
Robert Kwiatkowski, a vice president of tenant representation with R.J. Brunelli, represented Jersey Strong, while President and Principal Danielle Brunelli served as listing agent on the transaction.
Mama Dude’s, a farm-to-table concept that started as a food truck business, will use the new space as its first brick-and-mortar location.
“We pounded the pavement to find Andrew Dudich — a talented, ambitious 26-year-old chef fresh out of culinary school whose food truck business has been a huge local success,” Miller said. “His father was always known as ‘Dude,’ so people always referred to his mom, who lived in Yardville, as ‘Mama Dude.’”
Both Jersey Strong and Mama Dudes are under construction and likely to open later this year, Miller said. They are helping to revive a complex that was once anchored by an Acme supermarket, a bank, a postal service branch and other daily needs tenants before suffering declines in foot traffic and multiple store closures over the years.