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CINNAMINSON, NJ-The official groundbreaking is today and it signals the start of construction of the Shoppes at Cinnaminson, a 330,000-sf open-air shopping center. The project, being done by the New York City-based New Plan, also signals the end of the saga of Cinnaminson Mall, a vintage-70s enclosed mall.

New Plan’s project is the redevelopment of the old mall, which had been largely vacant for a number of years. When it’s completed by the middle of next year, the new shopping center will be anchored by a Shop-Rite supermarket operated by Eickhoff’s Supermarkets. Other tenant commitments to date, according to New Plan officials, include Ross Dress for Less, Starbucks, Bank of America, Wachovia, Famous Footwear and T-Mobile.

“Local officials have been very proactive and have demonstrated great vision in making this project a reality,” says Michael Carroll, EVP of real estate operations for New Plan. “And thanks to the New Jersey DOT, this project will also benefit from major road improvements. We are dedicated to making this a first-class shopping destination.”

The project involves the complete demolition of the existing buildings, and some site remediation in the form of asbestos removal. The Shoppes at Cinnaminson will be 330,000 sf of new ground-up construction, say New Plan officials.

New Plan formally took possession of the property in September 2006, paying $10.7 million for it. That deal ended several years of legal battles between the previous owner, the Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Yardley Associates, and local officials, a process that ultimately led to condemnation of the property.

Originally built in 1970, Cinnaminson Mall became marginalized within a decade, according to observers, resulting from newer competition and the completion of I-295, which allowed traffic to bypass the site entirely. The site is located at the intersection of Route 130 and Cinnaminson Ave. Increasing vacancies followed, and the mall subsequently had a stint as a flea market.

New Plan became involved in the property after its formal condemnation in August 2005, completing its acquisition and its redevelopment deal with the city just more than a year later. That deal includes a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that runs for 25 years, with a yearly payment of $491,500 for the first 10 years. After that, the payments rise incrementally to $941,000 a year for the final years.

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