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SECAUCUS, NJ-Toys ‘R’ Us and TJ Maxx are the newest chains to sign on at Hartz Mountain Industries’ Mill Creek Mall here, taking a combined 98,000 sf. Toys’ space is actually going to be a combined Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us superstore with a total of 70,000 sf. TJ Maxx, meanwhile, has signed on for 28,000 sf.

Both new tenants will be located adjacent to the existing Kohl’s department store in a portion of the mall that’s being redeveloped. Mill Creek Mall opened in 1986 as a community shopping center and is currently undergoing that redevelopment as part of larger overhaul of the retail component of Hartz’s Harmon Meadow mixed-use development.

Mill Creek is one of four shopping complexes totaling about one million sf within the 175-acre Harmon Meadow, the others being the Plaza at Harmon Meadow, Harmon Cove Outlet Center and Outlets at the Cove. Terms of the two latest leases were not released, and both stores are slated to open in the fall.

“These large-format retailers have long been attracted to Harmon Meadow for its location, the synergy of the existing tenant mix in the development, and its demographics,” says Emanuel Stern, president and COO of the locally based Hartz. Besides Kohl’s, the retail package at Harmon Meadow includes Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Marshalls, HomeGoods, PetSmart, AC Moore and Linens ‘n Things, all added within the past few years.

The push to upgrade and redevelop Harmon Meadows’ retail offering is a response, in part, to Colony Capital’s $2-billion, under-construction Meadowlands Xanadu in nearby East Rutherford. In the past couple of years, existing eateries Houlihan’s and Olive Garden have been renovated, and such chains as Chili’s and Red Lobster, to name a few, have opened. Other tenants that have been added include Verizon Wireless, Casual Male, Art Gallery and Game Stop.

Harmon Meadow now contains a total of 3.5 million sf of commercial space including the one-million-sf retail portion. Also part of the package are seven hotels and the Meadowlands Exposition Center.

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