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LAKEWOOD, NJ-The Lightstone Group, based here, has completed the refinancing of two shopping centers in Northern and Central New Jersey, GlobeSt.com has learned. The funding, totaling $23.8 million, is secured by the Browntown Shopping Center in Old Bridge and Millburn Mall in Vauxhall.

Angela Mirizzi-Olsen, SVP and CIO for Lightstone, closed the deal for the company. Ray Potter SVP for Countryside Commercial Real Estate Finance, New York, represented the lender, who is not being identified.

“We’re taking advantage of competitive market conditions and refinancing properties from our original portfolio,” Mirizzi-Olsen tells GlobeSt.com. “This was also our first transaction with Countrywide Real Estate Finance.”

The two shopping centers were part of a three-center portfolio Lightstone picked up in mid-2003, paying Saul Cantor Inc. $20 million for the trio. The acquisition also brought Jeffrey Dash over as Lightstone’s director of retail leasing; Dash had leased and managed the properties for the previous owner.

Browntown Shopping Center is a 92,000-sf strip mall in Old Bridge, Middlesex County. Its tenant roster includes Drug Fair, NY Sports Club, Diva’s Beauty Supply and a recently opened Wendy’s restaurant, among others. Millburn Mall, meanwhile, is a 67,000-sf strip center constructed in 1963. Its major tenants include Drug Fair, Union Center National Bank and Tabatchnik’s Smoke House, and beside its retail space the property includes 10,500 sf of office space.

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