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SECAUCUS, NJ-Marshall’s and HomeGoods opened a 70,000-sf superstore within Hartz Mountain Industries’ Harmon Meadow retail power center here. It’s the first combined store in New Jersey for the two chains, although Marshall’s has 38 other stores in the Garden State, and HomeGoods a dozen.

“Marshall’s and HomeGoods are an important part of Harmon Meadow’s makeup, and a significant step in the evolution of the retail component into a regional destination,” says Emanuel Stern, president and CEO of the locally based Hartz. “The presence of the new retail element in Harmon Meadow has created an enhanced retail environment for our existing tenants, and continues to be a draw for new tenants.”

Harmon Meadow is actually the combination of four retail developments with somewhere in the vicinity of a million sf of space–Mill Creek Mall, the Plaza at Harmon Meadow, Harmon Cove Outlet Center and Outlets at the Cove. Since the beginning of 2004, the 175-acre MXD has seen the addition of several key tenants, notably Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Bonefish Grill and Cheeseburger in Paradise. AC Moore and Red Lobster are slated to open this summer, with Linens ‘n Things and PetsMart on tap for the fall.

All of the recent and pending openings at Harmon Meadow have Hartz gearing up its retail holdings against a backdrop of the start of sitework by Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty on the massive Meadowlands Xanadu project on the site of the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ, just a mile or two up the road. The $1.3 billion project is slated to combined a major retail component with a variety of entertainment and recreational uses, office buildings and a hotel.

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority owns the Meadowlands Xanadu site, and awarded the project to Mills and Mack-Cali after a competitive bidding process. Hartz, which was part of that process, continues to challenge Meadowlands Xanadu on legal grounds, as are several environmental groups and local communities.

If and when Meadowlands Xanadu does open for business, Hartz’s Harmon Cove properties will have one key advantage, which company officials are already touting. Its properties are in Hudson County, where seven-day-a-week shopping is permitting, as it is in the rest of New Jersey. Xanadu is just across the border in Bergen County, were antiquated blue laws are still in place. Unless those laws are changed, the retail portion of Xanadu will be shuttered on Sundays.

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