A rendering of the 35,000-square-foot retail center at Vermella Union along Morris Avenue in Union — Courtesy: Russo Development/Rotwein+Blake
By Joshua Burd
Two well-known quick service restaurants have signed on to Russo Development’s new mixed-use project in Union, where the first retailers and residents are expected to arrive this summer.
The developer announced Tuesday that it signed leases with Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, which will be part of a 35,000-square-foot retail center within the Vermella Union project. The complex on Morris Avenue is projected to open in July, coinciding with the delivery of the development’s first residential phase of 415 units.
“The ability to live, eat and shop at the footsteps of your home is an amenity that will set us apart from other residential options in the northern New Jersey,” said Edward Russo, CEO of Russo Development. “We knew the location, dense population and strong traffic counts were going to be appealing to retailers, but it’s still exciting to have big retail names that will attract residents and retail traffic to the community coming on board.”
Glenn Beyer and Rob Mackowski of RKF represented Panera Bread, while Beyer also represented Chipotle.
Located adjacent to Kean University, Vermella Union’s 42-acre campus-style community will include more than 1,250 luxury apartments at full build-out. The property will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with high-end finishes and a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse building.
All told, plans also call for 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity space, which also includes a fitness center, pool, business center and package concierge. Residents and retailers will benefit from a location that is steps from NJ Transit’s Union train station and minutes from the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike.