EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ —On Monday, August 13, 2018, the Township of East Brunswick formally posted notice of their search for redevelopers to improve and repurpose the blighted 18 Center Shopping Center, the outdated Loehmann's Plaza, and the surrounding areas. These areas represent some of the best untapped commercial and mixed-use potential in Central New Jersey. Less than a mile from the Turnpike Exit, the Redevelopment Area on Route 18 South sees close to 100,000 cars per day.
The Requests for Proposals seeks to repurpose outdated commercial structures into a modern, transit orientated, mixed-use village, where residential and commercial uses will blend seamlessly into a new downtown community spanning 30+ acres parallel to Route 18. As part of the proposals, the Township plans to pursue the creation of a third commuter parking structure as well as an additional bus terminal to support the high demand for non-rail transportation options into New York City.
Over the last eighteen months, the Township has moved rapidly to demonstrate its commitment to improving the Route 18 corridor. Led by Mayor Brad Cohen and Councilman James Wendell, the Township launched a Redevelopment Agency with five public members who are professionals within the development world and financial sectors. The Agency is led by Councilman James Wendell, a developer by trade, who is assisted by James Kennedy, a former Mayor of Rahway who pioneered transit- oriented redevelopment projects though out Central New Jersey.
“This is an exciting time for the Township of East Brunswick and the East Brunswick Redevelopment Agency. If not for the bold steps taken by Mayor Cohen to form the Redevelopment Agency and use the tools allowable under the State guidelines for Redevelopment, we would never have been able to reach this point. We are on the cusp of turning these vacant and blighted properties into valuable revenue-producing assets that will benefit all stakeholders, from the existing retail community along the Route 18 corridor, to the East Brunswick commuter as well as all residents of East Brunswick. I am very eager to see the proposals on October 18,” said the agency’s chairman James Wendell.
Last summer, at the urging of Mayor Cohen, the Town Council and Planning Board designated these areas including the blighted 18 Center Shopping Center and outdated Loehmann's Plaza as an ‘Area In Need of Redevelopment’ and retained the potential right of eminent domain. After months of research and studies, the Redevelopment Agency unveiled a Redevelopment Plan for these areas. The recently noticed "Requests for Proposals" (RFP) is a search for interested parties, developers, and other groups who want to be part of East Brunswick’s future. The RFPs are being issued separately with Redevelopment Area 2A including Loehmann's Plaza and its surrounding area, while Area 3A includes the 18 Central Shopping Center, the former Gap and Wiz buildings with their surrounding areas. Interested parties may submit their ideas and vision for one area or both areas. They may also join with other respondents with their proposals.
All responses need to be submitted to the East Brunswick Redevelopment Agency's Executive Director Frank Colon no later than 10:00 am on Thursday, October 18, 2018. For those who are interested in submitting a proposal, there will be an optional information session on at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, where a presentation will be provided and questions answered by the Agency’s professionals.
Interested parties who have have any questions or who would like to learn more or are interested in picking up an RFP packet, please reach out to Frank Colon at 732-390-6845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attached here is a view of the Redevelopment Plan for Route 18 South from the exit 9 on the New Jersey Turnpike to Ferris Street on Route 18 South.