‘Vibrant transformation’: New owners of Bridgewater Commons have big plans

Pacific Retail Capital Partners, known for work around country, makes 1st acquisition in New Jersey

Who said malls are dead?

Pacific Retail Capital Partners, one of the nation’s leading retail-led real estate companies, announced Monday that it is coming to New Jersey in a big way, with the purchase of Bridgewater Commons — and plans to bring the property back to life.

PRCP, which has significant expertise in repositioning large format retail-led properties into high-performing, multiuse assets, currently is repositioning the Galleria at White Plains in White Plains, New York, among other efforts.

CEO Steve Plenge said the group has similar plans for Bridgewater Commons, a 1.2 million-square-foot property.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition includes the Village at Bridgewater Commons, a 94,000 square foot open-air shopping district adjacent to Bridgewater Commons.

Per the terms of the transaction, PRCP assumed Bridgewater Commons’ existing loan and secured an extension that will provide the company with sufficient time to execute its plan to transform the mall into a vibrant mixed-use destination.

“The acquisition of Bridgewater Commons represents another important step in our ongoing efforts to acquire well-located, quality retail centers in fundamentally strong markets that will enable us to thoughtfully evolve them into market-leading mixed-use assets,” Plenge said.

“While we will continue to pursue strategic joint ventures and other partnership structures to execute our long-term strategy, we will also seek to own more properties outright, such as Bridgewater Commons, providing us with even greater optionality when it comes to repositioning and monetizing assets.”

As with its other projects, PRCP officials said they are committed to working closely with local officials and community members in order to help revitalize Bridgewater Commons and create a destination that will continue to be an anchor for the market for years to come.

Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench told the Patch in Hillsborough that he is confident the mall will continue to play a key role in the community.

“The Bridgewater Commons Mall has been the centerpiece of Bridgewater’s commercial sector for over 30 years and the township looks forward to working with its new owners,” he said. “I am confident that a collaborative relationship will help to ensure the mall’s viability for the next 30 years and beyond.”

PRCP said it has had success doing just this around the country, including:.

  • Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois: PRCP acquired the former Carson’s anchor box and is transforming it into an exciting mixed-use destination by adding over 600 multifamily units and a park;
  • Shops at South Town in Sandy, Utah: PRCP is creating a live, work and play environment by building more than 1,000 multifamily units and adding an office and hotel component with additional unique restaurant and retail concepts;
  • Memorial City in Houston: PRCP is serving as development adviser on Memorial City, a proposed 27-acre, urban infill development.

“This transaction is a perfect example of how we are able to use our industry relationships and expertise to identify investment opportunities that we are uniquely positioned to execute on,” Chief Financial Officer Oscar Parra said.

“The way we were able to structure this transaction, together with Bridgewater Commons’ existing cash flow, provides us with the time and resources required to deliver a well-conceived master plan.”