LeGrand Coffee House, the business started by former Rutgers University football player and entrepreneur Eric LeGrand, will be the first retail tenant at a mixed-use, transit-oriented development in Woodbridge, according to real estate firm Prism Capital Partners.
The store, at Nutley-based Prism’s Avenue & Green development, will be LeGrand Coffee House’s first brick-and-mortar location. LeGrand leased 1,800 square feet at the property, which is currently under construction at the corner of Rahway Avenue and Green Street, next to the train station.
“We are excited to welcome Eric and LeGrand Coffee House to Avenue & Green,” Prism’s Robert Fourniadis, senior vice president, residential, said in a prepared statement. “This property is designed to meet ongoing demand for transit-oriented multifamily, and to provide residents with upscale amenities and in-building conveniences. LeGrand Coffee House will be a perfect fit, offering great refreshments and an inviting gathering place for the entire Woodbridge community.”
LeGrand, a Woodbridge native, has become a well-known figure in the state since suffering a spinal cord injury on the field in a 2010 game. He launched LeGrand Coffee House online in January and has been working with Belissimo Coffee Advisors to bring a storefront to market.
“I lived in a two-family house on Green Street until I was 4 years old,” he said in a statement. “I thought, ‘Why not have my own coffee shop on the street where I was born?’”
The coffee shop will have a larger space behind the bar to accommodate wheelchair-bound staff, as well as accessible seating for guests in the disability community, the release noted.
“I don’t know of many African American, former Division I football players with a disability running a coffee shop,” LeGrand said. “Being in my situation, I’ve seen and experienced a lot, and we want to make this a welcoming place for everyone.”
Ripco Real Estate’s Curtis Nassau and Deborah Stone brokered the transaction, serving as exclusive retail leasing agents for Avenue & Green’s 12,000-square-foot retail component. Additional retail leasing opportunities are available, Fourniadis said.
Avenue & Green also features 232 apartments, and the project is slated for occupancy this summer. Prism purchased the property in 2019 in a joint venture with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Lucas Family Enterprises, the prior owners.