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MONTGOMERY TWP., NJ-Construction officially starts this week for Montgomery Promenade, a 325,000-sf lifestyle shopping center in this Somerset County community. Developer Madison Marquette has slated the official groundbreaking for later this week for a project that was announced a year ago, as reported by GlobeSt.com. The project will be the centerpiece of a larger town center that will include a residential component, all on approximately 50 acres.

“Montgomery Promenade’s expansive common areas, green spaces and pedestrian-oriented environment will be the setting for new dining, grocery and retail options,” says Jay Lask, managing director of investments for the Washington, DC-based Madison Marquette. “Residents will have the convenience of these new retail options without having to travel to Route 1.”

“Retailers have been particularly interested in Montgomery Promenade because of the ability to reach this underserved market,” says Andrea Setian, Madison Marquette’s director of leasing.

The project will be anchored by a Stop & Shop grocery, specifically a 65,000-sf version of the chain’s Super Stop & Shop concept store. The supermarket chain’s participation in the project was announced a year ago simultaneous to the larger project’s official unveiling. Since then, Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, J Jill and Ann Taylor Loft have all committed to Montgomery Promenade, as have PNC Bank and Panera Bread. Announcements are also said to be in the works for a bookstore and a home furnishings outlet.

As part of the project’s construction, Madison Marquette will also build a ring road around the adjacent intersection of Route 206 and Route 518. The new road, which is aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the region, has been part of Montgomery Twp.’s master plan for several years and became a component of the final development agreement and approval.

The developer will also be building bike pathways and related features as part of the site plan. A fall 2008 opening is slated for the project.

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