CHERRY HILL, NJ-Crate & Barrel is set to open its first store in South Jersey this week, a 35,000-sf, two-story outlet on a freestanding site at Cherry Hill Mall here. The specialty retailer signed the deal with mall owner Preit earlier this year in a transaction arranged by Metro Commercial’s Steven Gartner.

Designed by Teng & Assoc. in conjunction with Crate & Barrel’s in-house architects, the store features a variety of finishes, including metal panels, cultured stone, cedar planking and architectural concrete. Construction was done by Skanska USA Building Inc., through its Philadelphia office.

“Crate & Barrel only opens five or six stores a year throughout the US, so this project is special,” says Edward Szwarc, Skanska’s Philadelphia-area general manager. “This project is also part of our office’s increasingly diverse project scope.”

The Crate & Barrel opening is part of a redevelopment of the 1.3 million-sf Cherry Hill Mall by the Philadelphia-based Preit. Located at Route 38, the mall was originally completed in 1961 and has been expanded and renovated several times since. Besides Crate & Barrel, the latest redevelopment will add a 140,000-sf Nordstrom, the Container Store and several other specialty retailers in time for a planned grand re-opening in mid-2009.

The new Crate & Barrel will be the fifth in New Jersey for the chain, joining existing units at Bridgewater Commons in Bridgewater, the Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, and freestanding units in Paramus and Cranbury.

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