By Joshua Burd
Restaurants have remained especially active among retail tenants, fueling nearly two dozen leases since the start of the pandemic at properties served by Levin Management Corp.
That’s according to the real estate services firm, which said that fast-casual concepts were fueling much of the activity in its portfolio in and around New Jersey. Those include established brands looking to expand their presence in the region, including Jersey Mike’s Subs and Wingstop’s recent commitments at St. Georges Crossing in Woodbridge and Union City Plaza in Union City, respectively.
Elsewhere in the region, LMC cited Texas Chicken & Burgers’ recent lease at 667-669 Stanley Ave. in Brooklyn. The North Plainfield-based firm also pointed to recent openings in its portfolio, including Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen at St. Georges Crossing and Five Guys at Hartford Corners in Delran, among others.
“Dining tenants are confident, and transactions are coming together quickly,” said Matthew K. Harding, the firm’s CEO. “National brands and franchisees are making deals. They have come ‘off pause’ and are capitalizing on current opportunities to lease exceptionally good real estate at a good price.”
LMC is also “seeing movement among independently owned restauranteurs,” Harding said. Those include Joe’s Bagel & Grill committing to Wall Towne Center in Manasquan and Snap Back by Hook & Reel to both Twin City Shopping Center in Jersey City and Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark.
“Restaurants of all types are valuable additions that contribute to an open-air retail property’s appeal for consumers,” Harding said. “And open-air centers, in turn, remain a preferred destination for dining tenants. Neighborhood, community and power centers not only house traffic-driving categories like grocery and home improvement, but they also provide a higher level of operational flexibility and convenience than other product types.”