Freehold Mall at 3681 Route 9 North in Freehold — Courtesy: Colliers International
By Joshua Burd
A joint venture has acquired a four-building, 220,000-square-foot retail property in Freehold, under a newly announced transaction by Colliers International.
Brokers with the firm represented the seller in the transaction at 3681 Route 9 North, the site of what’s known as Freehold Mall. Aspen Real Estate and Devli Real Estate paid an undisclosed price for the property, which is home to several national operators among its 11 tenants.
“Freehold Mall is a unique investment opportunity located in one of the premier commercial areas in the region,” said Jacklene Chesler, an executive managing director with Colliers. “The sale of the property speaks to the strength and resilience of the New Jersey market. We’re pleased that our team was able to leverage its deep knowledge of the landscape to successfully close the deal on behalf of our client.”
Chesler led the assignment alongside Matthew Brown, Patrick Norris and Frank Summers. In a news release, the team cited the strength of the Monmouth County retail market and the property’s proximity to routes 33 and 18 and other major highways.
The property, which includes 1,205 surface parking spaces, has an NJ Transit bus stop directly in front of the complex. Tenants also include an urgent care, optometrist, bagel shop and nail salon.
The transaction marks Aspen and Devli’s third acquisition together and the second property they have purchased out of foreclosure. The firms last year added two office buildings, also in Monmouth County, with a combined 318,000 square feet.
“We are very excited to acquire a well located shopping center at such a low price per square foot,” said Phil Proetto, principal of Aspen. “We will have immediate cash flow as well as the opportunity to add value through leasing of vacant space and renovation of the center. We are already in late stage discussions with two national tenants to take additional space. We are planning a new façade that we believe will result in a fully leased shopping center.”
In a news release, the firms noted that the shopping center is 71 percent leased and is anchored by Burlington, which recently extended its lease. The investors now plan to modernize the center, which had been neglected for years by prior ownership.
“There were many obstacles in getting this deal to the finish line due to the pandemic but I’m proud of our team’s execution,” said Christopher Devli, Devli’s chief operating officer. “The onset of COVID-19 combined with the state of the retail environment allowed us to purchase this property at a fraction of its stabilized value.”
Kathleen Pless of Bogota Savings Bank financed the acquisition.