ShopRite at Blue Star Shopping Center on Route 22 in Watchung — Courtesy: Levin Management Corp.
By Joshua Burd
ShopRite is getting a new home at Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung, under a major redevelopment of the prominent 420,000-square-foot property on Route 22.
According to Levin Management Corp., which is spearheading the overhaul, the grocer has signed a new 72,000-square-foot lease to relocate within the complex. The store, which is operated by Village Supermarkets and has been a Blue Star tenant since 1980, will begin the ground-up construction this summer for what will be a larger, modern space.
LMC is also the property’s leasing and managing agent, representing ownership in the deal.
“Blue Star Shopping Center has long served as a preeminent Somerset County shopping destination,” said Maxim Gagneron, LMC’s vice president of construction and development. “We are thrilled to unveil the details of its bright future, centered on the addition of this state-of-the-art ShopRite. It is always gratifying to work with long-term tenants to accommodate their evolving needs. The end result will be a source of pride for property ownership, every Blue Star tenant and the entire community.”
Located between Terrill and Bonnie Burn roads, Blue Star Shopping Center is one of the region’s busiest retail properties, serving a population of more than 254,000 within a five-mile radius. ShopRite will remain operational in its existing space while the new location is built, LMC said, noting that it then plans to reconfigure the vacated store to accommodate multiple tenants.
The real estate services firm detailed the project at Blue Star after securing land use approvals for the redevelopment project. The center-wide modernization is also slated to include façade and common area updates, an extensive landscaping redesign and the addition of outdoor seating, along with new lighting, parking lot refurbishments and the incorporation of infrastructure to support electric vehicle charging stations.
Also anchored by Kohl’s and Marshalls, Blue Star Shopping Center houses other tenants such as Dollar Tree, The Children’s Place, Roma Salon, and Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. The center draws more than 2.6 million visits annually, LMC said, citing real time traffic data from Placer.ai.