The former East Brunswick Kmart at 645 Route 18, as seen in an August 2016 Google Street View photo — Courtesy: Google Maps
By Joshua Burd
A developer has acquired a former Kmart-anchored retail complex in East Brunswick, with plans to reposition the 150,000-square-foot property through a potentially mixed-use project.
The firm, TFE Properties LLC, said last month that it had closed on its purchase of 645 Route 18, giving way to the latest among several properties it has in the township. As part of its proposed redevelopment, TFE said the site could ultimately include retail in front and potentially a mix of retail and other uses in the back.
Terms of TFE’s acquisition were not disclosed. The Kmart store, located between Arthur Street and Racetrack Road, closed last March amid dozens of closures by parent company Sears Holdings.
“We see a great opportunity in this East Brunswick property, and we think it will be an interesting challenge to break up a former single-use large box unit into the optimal mix of retail and other uses,” said Carey Tajfel, co-president of TFE Properties.
He touted the site’s location on a main hub of the Route 18 corridor, near businesses such as Aldi, Stop & Shop, a day care center and several strip malls.
“Exciting things are happening on Route 18 in East Brunswick, including the repositioning of some of the older shopping centers and a commitment by the new administration to bolstering retail and multifamily development on the corridor,” Tajfel said.
TFE’s other East Brunswick properties include the Chase Bank on Cranbury Road and the Cranbury Commons office building on Cranbury Road, whose tenants include Pediatric Orthopedic Associates and Total Renal Care. The East Windsor-based firm also has a multi-pad retail site at 260 Route 18, featuring tenants such as Dunkin Donuts, AAA and the Army Recruitment Office.