ROXBURY, NJ - The “soft opening” last Saturday of the new Five Below store in The Shops at Ledgewood Commons was the first in a flurry of Grand Openings expected to take place at the new mall in the coming weeks.
“They are the tip of the spear, post Walmart,” said Jared Minatelli, director of asset management for Advance Realty Investors, referring to the October opening of the mall’s new Walmart Supercenter. “The next one (to open) is likely Starbucks, somewhere around the first week of March.”
During that month, Ledgewood Commons shoppers can also expect to see life at Panda Express, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ulta Beauty and Burlington, Minatelli said.
It will be a busy month even for entities that have been operating at the site since it was the beleaguered Ledgewood Mall: Marshall’s and Ashley Furniture. Both plan to move in March to new spaces at the revamped shopping center, Minatelli said, noting that they are currently “fixturing and stocking” those new sites.
Other businesses that remained open during the site’s transformation are Men’s Wearhouse, Wendy's, Red Lobster and Lemon Tree Salon (formerly Cutting Crew) Expected newcomers include DSW, Old Navy and America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, the latter to be housed in one of three new buildings to be erected with work starting in March, said Minatelli.
The developers appear to have found a tenant to replace 24-Hour Fitness, which planned to open a new gym at the mall but pulled out for financial reasons.
“We’re in the process now of negotiating a lease with a large user,” Minatelli said. While he would not name the potential new tenant, an image on the developers’ website shows an At Home home decor store slotted for the spot once earmarked for 24-Hour Fitness. "Nothing is final at this time, said At Home spokesperson Carey Marin.
Minatelli said he and his colleagues are thankful for the reaction to their efforts from Roxbury residents and officials. “We are … excited for the next couple of months here as tenants open up,” he said, reflecting on the years of planning, meetings and challenges that took place since a partnership including his company bought the property in 2015.
“A lot of this was a pipe dream,” he said, referring to the uncertainty over finding tenants. “A lot of it was this vision that we collectively had.”
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