OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (1/29/03)–R.J. Brunelli & Co., Inc. today reported that it brokered just under $100 million in retail real estate transactions during 2002.

The Old Bridge-based retail real estate firm completed 60 lease transactions carrying a total aggregate rental of more than $74 million and closed seven property sales with a total selling price of approximately $23 million. The transactions covered properties throughout all areas of New Jersey.

“Even though 2002 was certainly a trying year for the retail industry, strong, expansion-minded companies continued to look for opportunities to capitalize on New Jersey’s excellent demographics,” commented Richard J. Brunelli, president of the firm. “Given this climate, our team’s productivity met or exceeded our expectations in all phases of our business, including landlord representation, tenant representation and property sales. With a solid and expanding portfolio of exclusive property and tenant representation agreements, we anticipate that 2003 will be another productive year for our firm.”

Among the firm’s property exclusives, activity during 2002 was highlighted by the 10 leases consummated for The Commons at Holmdel, a 235,000-square-foot lifestyle center that opened in the fall and is now 99%-leased. The transactions completed by the firm were highlighted by the first stores for the Ulta, haircolorexpress, and It’s Greek to Me chains in Monmouth County, Salad Works’ first non-mall location in the county, and leases with such major national retailers as Lane Bryant , Children’s Place and Michael’s, which is relocating just across Route 35 from Holmdel Towne Center. In another deal brokered by Brunelli, the former Michael’s space was leased to Marshall’s, allowing the chain to expand its existing Holmdel Towne Center store into a 50,000-square-foot Mega Marshall’s offering a full selection of homegoods.

“The Commons, whose initial anchors included Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Linens ‘N Things and Modell’s, has gotten off to a flying start,” said Mr. Brunelli. “Indicative of the pent-up demand in the high-income Holmdel area for a property of this type, sales at virtually all retail and restaurant tenants are exceeding expectations. With negotiations under way on the single 3,000-square-foot space that remains, we expect to be 100%-leased shortly.”

In Philadelphia’s New Jersey suburbs, the firm completed eight leases in its role as exclusive leasing agent for Hartford Corners, a 400,000-square-foot power center now under development along Route 130 in Delran. In addition to executing those eight leases, Brunelli brokered the sale of the 66-acre property to ARC Properties, Inc. as well as the sale of land on the site to Lowe’s, which is building a 165,000-square-foot home improvement center that will co-anchor Hartford Corners with a 67,000-square-foot Shop-Rite supermarket.

On the tenant representation side, the firm closed on deals for Borders Books stores in Flemington and Chester in its role as the chain’s exclusive broker for central and northern New Jersey. In the former deal, Borders will join Burlington Coat Factory and such other prominent newcomers as Kohl’s and Michaels in the redeveloped Flemington Mall.

Other tenant representation accounts with multiple deals included haircolorxpress, which in addition to the lease at The Commons, signed a deal for another location in Monmouth County and its first for Ocean County. Brunelli is exclusive broker for the Florida-based chain in Essex, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

R.J. Brunelli & Co. currently serves as exclusive leasing representative for 15 existing centers and three under construction with a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of over 1.9 million square feet; and 10 proposed projects in the approvals stage with more than 900,000 square feet of total GLA. All properties are located in New Jersey. The firm also serves as exclusive tenant representative in various New Jersey counties for 13 retail, restaurant and service chains.

For additional information on the firm’s tenant or landlord representation services, contact Richard Brunelli, president, or Greg Williams, senior vice president, R.J. Brunelli & Co., Inc., 400 Perrine Road, Suite 405, Old Bridge, N.J. 08857. Telephone is (732) 721-5800.


Press contacts: At R.J. Brunelli & Co., Inc., Richard J. Brunelli, president, (732) 721-5800; at Parness & Associates Public Relations, Bill Parness (732) 290-0121.