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Northern NJ Retail Vacancy Analysis

Brunelli Study Finds Vacancies Up from 1999
March 15, 2001
R.J. Brunelli & Co. Inc, an Old Bridge-based retail real estate firm, has released its 11th annual study of retail property vacancies along northern New Jersey’s major shopping corridors. Conducted in January, the study reviewed shopping centers and freestanding buildings exceeding 2,000 square feet along Routes 4, 10, 17, 22, 23 and 46. While freestanding restaurants and auto service facilities were included in the study, enclosed regional malls and centers under construction or redevelopment were not. The company found that retail vacancies are up to 2.7% during 2000, finding 568,000 square feet of vacancies among the 21.3 million square feet of space surveyed. By comparison, Brunelli’s 1999 analysis showed a retail vacancy rate of 2.6%, with 533,978 square feet of vacancies among the 20.9 million square feet studied. Despite the indication of an extremely low vacancy factor for 2000, Brunelli did issue a caveat, indicating that the vacancy rate will be affected this year by the bankruptcies of Bradlees, Grand Union and other chains. However, Richard J. Brunelli, president of the firm, does anticipate that most of the region’s Bradlees and Grand Union sites, all of which were still open at the time of the survey, will be absorbed quickly. "Even with nearly 1.5 million square feet of new space added over the last 2 years, availabilities remain extremely tight, underscoring northern New Jersey’s standing as one of the most desirable retail markets in the United States," commented Brunelli. The breakdown for Brunelli’s vacancy analysis is as follows:

Route 4: The vacancy factor for the section between Paramus and Fairlawn rose to 4.1% from just 1.3% in 1999 and 1% in 1998. The rise in vacancy was generated by the addition of the 135,000-square-foot Mall at Four, which a new developer is restructuring.

Route 10: Vacancies increased in the Livingston to Ledgewood corridor to 2.7%, which is a .2% increase from 1999 and a .9% increase back from 1998.

Route 17: The 15-mile stretch from Paramus to Mahwah has probably been the most erratic over the past few years, as the vacancy rate tumbled to 2.1% from 5.2% in 1999 and 3.7% in 1998, attaining the lowest level since the 2% recorded in 1994.

Route 22: Along northern New Jersey’s most heavily retailed corridor, vacancies increased to 2.9% last year, rising from 1.8% in 1999. "Despite the year-over-year escalation in vacancies, Route 22 remains a very healthy and desirable roadway," Brunelli observed.

Route 23: Vacancy rates along the 10-mile stretch from Wayne-to-Butler have remained static at 3.9% since 1998, with 64,900 square feet available in the 1.68 million square feet studied.

Route 46: Rates were up to 2% in 2000, along the 21 miles from West Paterson to Dover. This is up from 1999’s 1% rate, but not nearly approaching the 1995 high of 8.5%.
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