OCEAN TWP., NJ-Investcorp has signed a lease with Burlington Coat Factory as an anchor tenant at its 856,000-sf Seaview Square Shopping Center here. For the retailer, it’s a matter of size–the chain is doubling its space in a move down Route 35 from its existing location just to the north at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown. But it’s also shrinking its previous space commitment to co-anchor Seaview Square.

As part of its deal with Burlington Coat Factory, New York City-based Investcorp has purchased the retailer’s contract to lease a 125,000-sf building at Seaview Square from discounter Value City, after Burlington decided that the 80,000-sf space it’s now taking was “more appropriate for our needs,” says a spokesman. Further terms of the signing were not released.

“We’ve received quite a bit of interest in Seaview Square from both regional and national retailers, specifically the Value City space,” says Jeremy Isaacs of leasing group RIPCO Real Estate Corp. of New York “The Value City space, we believe, is a great opportunity for a retailer to join the national tenants here.”

Seaview Square itself is part of the ongoing story. Previous owner Starwood Heller had launched a repositioning of the one-time enclosed mall, which had fallen on hard times owing to competition from the 1.5-million-sf Monmouth Mall. Investcorp acquired the center in late 2005 and continued that repositioning, which has converted the mall into an open power center.

Seaview Square, located at the intersection of routes 35 and 66 in Monmouth County, now consists of 788,225 sf of existing space in six separate buildings, and more than 68,000 sf of new space that has been approved for construction on four vacant land parcels. Existing anchors include Costco and Target, both of which occupy new stores, and other national tenants on-site include PetSmart, Washington Mutual, Starbucks and Applebee’s. Sears independently owns and operates a store at Seaview Square as well.

Burlington Coat Factory will occupy about half of a building that once housed a Lowe’s home improvement store. Lowe’s moved out several years ago in the wake of structural defects to the building, said to have been caused by settling, that have subsequently been repaired. Burlington’s build-out is just under way, with a grand opening slated for February 2009.

“Adding a respected retailer like Burlington Coat factory as an anchor is very exciting,” says Michael O’Brien, a principal in Investcorp’s real estate group. “We feel that this asset is continuing to exhibit strong growth prospects, attractive near- and medium-term cash flow and capital appreciation.”

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