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Mahwah-Ramsey Has 'Low' Store Vacancy Rate, Survey Finds

Route 17 in the two towns was named a ‘Strong Retail Corridor' in Northern NJ

The Mahwah-Ramsey stretch of Route 17 is one of the strongest retail corridors in Northern and Central NJ, according to an analysis of the state’s retail real estate market released by the Goldstein Group Monday.

Twice a year, the real estate brokerage firm surveys 22 retail corridors in Northern and Central New Jersey, which amounts to over 98 million square feet of retail space.

According to a release from the survey, the Mahwah-Ramsey stretch of Route 17 has a relatively low vacancy rate, just above 5%. The survey named the stretch one of the “strongest retail markets with the lowest availability rates” in the region.

Overall, the group found a stagnant 7.8% vacancy rate in the retail corridors examined at the end of 2012, about the same as in the mid-year statistic.

“The Northern and Central New Jersey retail real estate market continues to improve but it is still a ‘tenants’ market,” Goldstein Group President Chuck Lanyard said in the release. “Opportunistic retailers are leasing at attractive rental rates and securing locations by taking advantage of market conditions.”

According to the survey, there are 120 properties along Route 17 in Mahwah and Ramsey. Of the about 2,830,938 sq. feet of available retail space, 161,470 is vacant.

Other corridors given the “strong retail market” designation included

  • Route 3 - Clifton (2.3%)
  • Route 17 – Rochelle Park-Rutherford (2.3%)
  • Route 1 – Woodbridge-Edison (3.8%)
  • Route 22 – Union-Springfield (4.5%)
  • Route 37 – Toms River (4.7%)
  • Route 1 – North Brunswick-Lawrence Township (5%)
  • Route 35 – Hazlet-Middletown (6%)
  • Route 46 – Montville-Rockaway (6.4%)
  • Route 9 – Sayreville-Howell (7.5%)

The corridors with the highest vacancy rates surveyed included:

  • Route 18 – East Brunswick (18%)
  • Route 10 – Livingston-East Hanover (12.6%)
  • Route 17 – Paramus (11.4%)
  • Route 35 – Shrewsbury-Ocean (10.5%)
  • Route 46 – Totowa/Fairfield (9%)

Some of the major areas of growth, according to the survey, occurred in the restaurant, convenience store, frozen yogurt establishment, healthcare and wellness markets.

The report cited several retailers that expanded significantly in NJ in 2012, including Home Goods, Trader Joe’s, Dollar General, Big Lots, Family Dollar, Panera Bread, Planet Fitness, 7-Eleven, Sherwin Williams, Smashburger, Great Clips, Chipotle, Five Guys and others.

Route 17 shopping centers in Ramsey saw the recent additions of a Smashburger, Chipotle and Five Guys.

Though the report said major growth is happening in smaller retail leases (from 1-5,000 square feet), it cited several big box retailers taking advantage of relatively low lease rates, like Costco, ShopRite, Whole Foods and Wegmans, which are all expanding their presence in the survey area.

See more data here.

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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