EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ-It’s one of the last developable retail sites along the Route 18 corridor in this Middlesex County township, and it’s now in the hands of a new owner who intends to redevelop it. Pagano Real Estate Inc., a privately held company based in Glen Rock, NJ, has acquired the 18.5-acre site at 609 Route 18 and its existing but vacant 58,000-sf shopping strip for a number just shy of $14.7 million.

The seller was the local Brancheforti family, and the deal was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield’s Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, East Rutherford.

The existing vacant complex is known as Grand Plaza Shopping Center, and from the debris of its demolition will rise the 180,000-sf Summerhill Square, its name a reflection of Summerhill Road, along which the property has substantial frontage. First opened in 1955, Grand Plaza was known as Meyer’s Shopping Center until the early 1980s.

“Robert Pagano, president of new owner Pagano Real Estate, has redesigned the entire site and will complete some road improvements as part of the project,” says David Bernhaut, who co-brokered the sale transaction with C&W colleagues Andrew Merin, Gary Gabriel and Jose Cruz. “The end result of this project will be a terrific asset for the community.”

According to Pagano, his company is targeting a variety of national and regional retailers to populate the redeveloped Summerhill Square.

“Route 18 through East Brunswick has become one of New Jersey’s busiest commercial and retail corridors,” Bernhaut says. “It has a weekday traffic count of 58,000 vehicles. Recent leasing velocity and newly completed projects demonstrate high demand from national retailers.”

He continues, “But future development is limited because of the built-up nature of the area and the limited inventory of unimproved land. As such, the site offers outstanding potential.”

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