835 Route 35, Middletown, NJ
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Uplifting Central New Jersey

Uplifting Central New Jersey

Chain Store Age, April 30, 2015 –

The Shoppes at Middletown brings specialty retail and dining to affluent eastern Monmouth County. A unique new shopping center is being designed to bring boutique and specialty retail and dining options to eastern Monmouth County in Central New Jersey.

The Shoppes at Middletown, at 380,000 sq. ft., will emerge as a premier town center development when it opens in 2017. The project will be developed on 50 acres of the overall 120-acre project, and will feature 2,200 ft. of frontage on Route 35, the area’s major north-south corridor.

Current committed anchors include a high-end specialty grocer and a specialty wine and liquor store offering wine-tasting seminars and programs for wine enthusiasts. Discussions are ongoing with other apparel anchors for the project.

“This is a unique area of New Jersey,” said John Orrico, president of National Realty & Development Corp. (NRDC), the developer. “Eastern Monmouth County is home to very affluent bedroom communities. Within 7 miles of The Shoppes at Middletown, 70% of the 211,808 residents hold professional positions. The average household income in the area is more than $130,000 a year.”

Eastern Monmouth County residents currently travel to the Short Hills Mall or New York City for high-end specialty shopping, continued Orrico. Through The Shoppes at Middletown, NRDC aims to provide a local alternative.

Abutting The Shoppes at Middletown will be a 350-unit housing development. The residential project will connect to the retail center with pedestrian-friendly walkways and roadways.

The retail design will feature individual storefronts, each with a separate identity. Units will range from 1,000 sq. ft. up to 70,000 sq. ft.

“We’re creating a sense of place with the architecture,” Orrico said. “It will be a walkable center with wide sidewalks for outdoor dining, benches and extensive landscaping.” The design includes sustainable features, such as energy-efficient LED lighting designed to preserve the night sky; white, energy-saving roofs; and electric vehicle-charging stations.

NRDC hopes to open the center between March and August of 2017. No tenant announcements have been made yet, but Orrico expects to announce anchors toward the end of this year.

Orrico has been watching the property for nearly a decade. “It is a property that has gone through a number of iterations before NRDC’s involvement,” he said.

Why will it work this time? “We are developing a much smaller project than others have proposed,” he said. “Our concept includes more open space and green space. It is more in line with the needs and desires of the community.

“We’re also planning significant improvements on Route 35. We’re proposing to realign King’s Highway where it intersects with Route 35 to provide easier north-south access to Route 35 with multiple points of ingress and egress at the center.”

Headquartered in Purchase, New York, the family-owned NRDC owns and manages about 22 million sq. ft. of retail, office and industrial space. Most of the NRDC portfolio is retail real estate in the form of power centers and grocery-anchored community shopping centers.