The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for the commercial real estate market, with the retail sector hit the hardest. However, despite the marketplace’s downfall, deals are still being made, according to Levin Management Corp.
The North Plainfield-based services provider said over the past four months, it has secured 165,000 square feet of new retail leases and renewals.
“Although we experienced a pause in business in conjunction with the initial store closures in March, our leasing team has remained focused on keeping activity alive and successfully bringing these deals to fruition,” Sidney Signer, vice president of leasing, LMC, said. “This has been the most trying time any of us have seen, yet experienced real estate practitioners and retailers have moved forward, working through these uncertain circumstances.”
The largest deal included Burlington Stores‘ 47,000-square-foot commitment at Mill Creek at Harmon Meadow in Secaucus. The other transactions included commitments from America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses in Raritan, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Woodbridge, Blue Foundry Bank in Chatham; and Charlie’s Pizza in Philadelphia.
Essential retail categories, which includes grocery stores, home improvement stores, pharmacies and fast-casual dining, have continued to show strength, according to Singer.
“We are seeing movement involving retailers looking for locations where they can best serve customers in a world that has changed,” he said. “For example, pad sites that can accommodate drive through service are particularly attractive for restaurant tenants.”