ITC Crossing South at 10-50 International Drive South in Mount Olive — Courtesy: R.J. Brunelli & Co.
By Joshua Burd
An investment firm has acquired a large Morris County shopping center for nearly $50 million, in a newly announced transaction by R.J. Brunelli & Co.
The buyer, Black Lion Investment Group, is now planning a sweeping renovation of the 373,612-square-foot ITC Crossing South property at 10-50 International Drive South in Mount Olive, the brokerage team said. Located just off the intersection of Route 46 and Interstate 80, the complex is home to dozens of tenants, with anchors including Lowe’s, TJ Maxx, Michael’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart and Old Navy.
R.J. Brunelli represented a group of 36 tenants-in-common property co-owners in the sale of the 46.72-acre site. Mario Brunelli, a principal and vice president of investment sales with the firm, was the sales agent on the transaction, while Principal and President Danielle Brunelli was the listing agent.
“We are beyond enthusiastic about the potential for growth at ITC Crossing South,” said Robert Rivani, president of Beverly Hills, California-based Black Lion. “In true Black Lion style, we are going to add tremendous value for our current and future tenants by investing in a full-scale renovation that has never been seen before in this trade area.
“We transacted about $250 million in high-quality assets like this one in 2021, and are looking ahead to an even more promising 2022 for Black Lion and those who do business with us.”
In a news release, the firms said the deal was part of Black Lion’s program to acquire $100 million in power centers throughout the U.S. in 2021. R.J. Brunelli has completed a flurry of leases at ITC Crossing South over the past year with tenants including Five Below, AT&T, Amy Murphy’s Salon and Spa and Rita’s Ice.
The Old Bridge-based brokerage team will continue in its role as the property’s leasing agent, the news release said. The complex has a limited amount of specialty retail space available, the firm said, adding that it’s in negotiations with a national retailer to lease a large portion of the center’s one available big-box space, a 37,961-square-foot former Babies R Us store.
“At a time when a number of power centers are still struggling to backfill vacancies arising from the wave of retail bankruptcies in 2019 and 2020 and the pandemic, the current 88 percent leased rate at ITC Crossing South testifies to the quality of this real estate and R.J. Brunelli’s ongoing efforts to keep our tenant mix in tune with the needs of this market,” said Carol Scott, managing director of Los Angeles-based National Asset Services, which had served as asset manager for the center’s former owners. “These factors clearly contributed to the multiple offers we received for this property.”
Danielle Brunelli said the firm is seeking to add users such as fast-casual restaurants and retailers in furniture, babies and children’s products, outdoor and recreational apparel, sporting goods, electronics, men’s apparel, vitamins, physical therapy, dental, eye care, waxing and music. The site draws from nearby communities such as Roxbury, Ledgewood and Hackettstown, serving a largely affluent population of 246,826 within a 10-mile radius.