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Old 03-04-2014, 06:11 AM
 
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Right off the bat, I figured it's time to start a new thread regarding Phase 1 of the East Gate Square in Mount Laurel. I drove by the area the other day and noticed this area of the plaza is aging and full of empty spaces. Had a few ideas to rectify this portion of the shopping center:

1. Keep the Home Depot store in place, but enhance the facade to a more updated design similar to Cherry Hill.

2. Tear down the rest of the buildings (including Shoprite); and rebuild a newer Shoprite store similar to the massive Cinnaminson location with a liquor department.

3. Realign the new Shoprite buidling to face Nixon Drive; in order to make space for another anchor, maybe Kohl's or a 2nd LA Fitness location.

I think this is doable, and a new proposal can still bring back the smaller tenants that were attached to the Shoprite store. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:21 AM
 
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The facade of Home Depot might be easier to change, but I don't think closing the ShopRite, having it be out of business for a period and then giving it a Nixon facing location is realistic. Too involved and I don't think the Ravitz family would be up for it. Also, there is Cutter's Mill and a some other businesses (Moe's Southwest Grill, and the businesses facing Nixon) that would be impacted.

Anyways between East Gate Square, Moorestown Mall and Centerton Square, most of the national chains have a presence somewhere around Mt.Laurel and Moorestown. Which chains can East Gate Sq. really attract?

In Phase I, the main area with vacancies is next to Ross. I'm not sure what tenants would go there really. Maybe they could lure in lower tier chains that go with the Ross including Pay/Half, and maybe Big Lots and K&G Fashion Superstore that are in the decaying Cherry Hill plaza that had Pathmark. But I don't think those tenants would move to East Gate Sq. as it's somewhat a different demographic and further away from Camden.

Phase II is closer to Nixon Dr. Buffalo Wild Wings will replace Friendly's. I think the Loehmann's site is desirable and I could see Famous Footwear possibly doing better in East Gate Square again at that location, rather than in Phase I next to ShopRite where the pet food store (Cutter's Mill) is now located.

As far as LA Fitness, it has a location already in Mt.Laurel. It didn't want to convert the Bally's Maple Shade site over even though it had bought out Bally's sites elsewhere. If it's looking for a new site, I'd think it'd target Marlton and likely the old Superfresh building.

Kohl's would be nice around Moorestown/Mt.Laurel but I don't think the vacant spaces near Ross are really a fit for the chain. Maybe it'd consider the Acme building across Wegmans, or even better somehow buy out Kmart's lease across Moorestown Mall if Kmart is willing to sell. Kmart has sold it's locations in the past - 18 stores to Home Depot once.

Last edited by avg12; 03-04-2014 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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East Gate isn't as unattractive as you may have stated. It holds majority of the national tenants and is still a major power center with a high volume of traffic and shoppers. In regards to what tenants in can bring in, just look at what it already has. Most of the stores here have only 1 location in Burlington County alone (ie. Best Buy, Old Navy, Pier 1, Michael's, Barnes & Noble, etc). The major advantage East Gate has is it's own exit on 295, and being in close proximity to 73 and the Turnpike.

I think if you bring in lower tier chains, then the value of Phase 1 depreciates and the risk for more vacancies increases. Pay/Half and Big Lots aren't the best tenants to fill spaces in this portion of the center and maybe not East Gate as a whole. I find the trade area suitable to bring in another LA Fitness considering the other one is always filled to capacity. The franchise gyms usually do great business in Mount Laurel especially.

Famous Footwear and K&G is a decent idea, but it's better in Phase 1 instead of filling in the 25,000sF the Loehmann's site had. Plus Famous shoe stores are more geared towards a footprint around 10,000sF at the max. Maybe Ross can relocate into this Loehmann's space.

I think Shoprite would generate more revenue and business if they at least expanded this store if not rebuilt one. It can also remove some traffic from the Wegmans in Centerton Square with a liquor department and gourmet options. The newer stores in Cinnaminson and the proposed one in Burlington is following the same approach of having bigger stores due to area competition. The leftover tenants such as Ross, AC Moore, Pier 1, and Moe's can either relocate within the plaza or stay in Phase 1 depending on expansion plans.

Last edited by bruthajus1; 03-04-2014 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruthajus1 View Post
East Gate isn't as unattractive as you may have stated. It holds majority of the national tenants and is still a major power center with a high volume of traffic and shoppers. In regards to what tenants in can bring in, just look at what it already has. Most of the stores here have only 1 location in Burlington County alone (ie. Best Buy, Old Navy, Pier 1, Michael's, Barnes & Noble, etc). The major advantage East Gate has is it's own exit on 295, and being in close proximity to 73 and the Turnpike.

I think if you bring in lower tier chains, then the value of Phase 1 depreciates and the risk for more vacancies increases. Pay/Half and Big Lots aren't the best tenants to fill spaces in this portion of the center and maybe not East Gate as a whole. I find the trade area suitable to bring in another LA Fitness considering the other one is always filled to capacity. The franchise gyms usually do great business in Mount Laurel especially.

Famous Footwear and K&G is a decent idea, but it's better in Phase 1 instead of filling in the 25,000sF the Loehmann's site had. Plus Famous shoe stores are more geared towards a footprint around 10,000sF at the max. Maybe Ross can relocate into this Loehmann's space.

I think Shoprite would generate more revenue and business if they at least expanded this store if not rebuilt one. It can also remove some traffic from the Wegmans in Centerton Square with a liquor department and gourmet options. The newer stores in Cinnaminson and the proposed one in Burlington is following the same approach of having bigger stores due to area competition. The leftover tenants such as Ross, AC Moore, Pier 1, and Moe's can either relocate within the plaza or stay in Phase 1 depending on expansion plans.
I think Centerton Square opening really hurt a lot of prospects for East Gate Square's potential to attract new stores.

Originally, it was poor design that East Gate Square wasn't made walkable friendly at all, lacking sidewalks also. I think one should be able to walk from Moorestown Mall to East Gate Square, all centers of it, more easily.

As far as unattractive, it's not really as a whole, but the Phase I/Ross side (not the Old Navy side) is the weakest side and not attracting new tenants. Modell's also didn't succeed there more recently despite a lot of promotion.

The ShopRite in East Gate Sq. is rather basic. And the ShopRite presence is already around in two other sites in Mt.Laurel and one in Marlton, so it's not destinational like a Wegmans store. As far as liquor licenses, it can be complicated to get one by township limits. Even so, I'm not sure if that would be enough to improve East Gate traffic.

Re: LA Fitness, it didn't take the Maple Shade or Voorhees sites of Bally's, because the Mt.Laurel and Somerdale LA Fitness sites were already close enough. I think another gym (by another company) is planned on 73 with the new Wal-Mart SuperCenter, but that project is being delayed by a lawsuit.

I suppose it's possible that Ross could move to Loehmann's site, the plaza owner can have some space to work with to demolish that area and create a new area somewhat different. Maybe Kohl's could be an anchor but IMO, Kohl's would do better at Kmart's site if it can get it somehow, since a 38 facing site is superior to a Nixon Dr. facing site.

Maybe a restaurant row of different restaurants (fast casual to full service) might work along with spaces for other smaller businesses. I'd like to see more fast casual places in So. NJ in general including Jason's Deli, and Noodles & Company. Maybe some ethnic restaurants could fit in such plan.

Last edited by avg12; 03-04-2014 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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I agree Centerton Square took some thunder away from East Gate Square as far as tenancy. I think that's even more reason for East Gate to redevelop at least a portion of the area to gain more interest. Phase 1, being the original and first development of East Gate should enhance the area and be the main "draw." The stronger the tenant put there, the better the chance it has of staying.

I think the missing piece of East Gate is a larger department store. It's one of the few plazas that doesn't even have that premier big box tenant. Kohl's would be better on Centerton Road, but I question the 60,000sF footprint and parking at that former Acme location. I believe Kohl's prefers at least 70,000sF minimum in a building.

As for the liquor license, I thought East Gate Square was awarded 2 and the other 4 licenses were allocated to Moorestown Mall. I am aware of Buffalo Wild Wings coming, but I'm unsure if there is one more liquor license available for East Gate. Either way, Shoprite has to adhere to the competition and enhance their image beyond the traditional grocery store concept. Cinnaminson is thriving well from the newer store and is even steering traffic away from the not so old Delran store too.

The proposed fitness center in the Route 73 Walmart development is under litigation for whatever reason. I noticed in previous articles it was a "Leisure Fitness", at around 100,000sF. It's even bigger than the proposed Walmart that's in the pipeline.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:10 AM
 
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Its basically a strip mall... its ment to be torn down every twenty years and rebuilt. Except for the tax base and have chains for locals in the area, it has no value as a place.... come back to me when you want ideas to help out mt laurel's downtown... not its strip malls.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stuckinsj View Post
Its basically a strip mall... its ment to be torn down every twenty years and rebuilt. Except for the tax base and have chains for locals in the area, it has no value as a place.... come back to me when you want ideas to help out mt laurel's downtown... not its strip malls.
That was the poor hindsight for not having it be planned to be connected to Moorestown Mall by sidewalk. I know it's straddles two townships that likely won't coordinate together, so a master plan of that likely wasn't there.

It just went on the big box craze, which was easier.

It didn't anticipate long term that Centerton Square, super Walmarts, or other shopping centers might be built.

Anyways, I don't think the premier tenants in Phase II like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy or Dick's will leave.

Last edited by avg12; 03-05-2014 at 10:36 AM..
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:07 PM
 
198 posts, read 462,273 times
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Originally Posted by avg12 View Post
The facade of Home Depot might be easier to change, but I don't think closing the ShopRite, having it be out of business for a period and then giving it a Nixon facing location is realistic. Too involved and I don't think the Ravitz family would be up for it. Also, there is Cutter's Mill and a some other businesses (Moe's Southwest Grill, and the businesses facing Nixon) that would be impacted.

Anyways between East Gate Square, Moorestown Mall and Centerton Square, most of the national chains have a presence somewhere around Mt.Laurel and Moorestown. Which chains can East Gate Sq. really attract?

In Phase I, the main area with vacancies is next to Ross. I'm not sure what tenants would go there really. Maybe they could lure in lower tier chains that go with the Ross including Pay/Half, and maybe Big Lots and K&G Fashion Superstore that are in the decaying Cherry Hill plaza that had Pathmark. But I don't think those tenants would move to East Gate Sq. as it's somewhat a different demographic and further away from Camden.

Phase II is closer to Nixon Dr. Buffalo Wild Wings will replace Friendly's. I think the Loehmann's site is desirable and I could see Famous Footwear possibly doing better in East Gate Square again at that location, rather than in Phase I next to ShopRite where the pet food store (Cutter's Mill) is now located.

As far as LA Fitness, it has a location already in Mt.Laurel. It didn't want to convert the Bally's Maple Shade site over even though it had bought out Bally's sites elsewhere. If it's looking for a new site, I'd think it'd target Marlton and likely the old Superfresh building.

Kohl's would be nice around Moorestown/Mt.Laurel but I don't think the vacant spaces near Ross are really a fit for the chain. Maybe it'd consider the Acme building across Wegmans, or even better somehow buy out Kmart's lease across Moorestown Mall if Kmart is willing to sell. Kmart has sold it's locations in the past - 18 stores to Home Depot once.
Buffalo Wild Wings is replacing Friendly's? Is that actually happening or is that just a suggestion? That's bad news for the PJ's up the road if true.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NJBOSCH View Post
Buffalo Wild Wings is replacing Friendly's? Is that actually happening or is that just a suggestion? That's bad news for the PJ's up the road if true.
CH101 found this:

Zoning Board OKs Buffalo Wild Wings Plans - Business - Moorestown, NJ Patch
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:09 AM
 
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Interesting. You will have Buffalo Wild Wings, PJ's, and Miller's Ale House all within a very close proximity. I wonder if there's enough demand to support all 3.
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