The residents of Monmouth County, N.J., will get a new place to shop on Nov. 8, when Santa Monica, Calif.-based mall owner Macerich Co. will unveil a lifestyle addition to its 1.6-million-square-foot Freehold Raceway Mall. The 100,000-square-foot Main Street-style project will bring 15 new specialty retailers and two restaurants to the property.
Macerich hopes the mini-lifestyle center will serve as a substitute downtown for Freehold residents, according to Frank Lucia, senior property manager for Freehold Raceway.
At the same time, Macerich is working on the renovation of the mall's interior, which will include new floor tiles, fresh paint, a play area and a new center court with a water fountain, coffee kiosks and soft seating. The renovation will finish in spring 2008.
Completed in 1990, the two-level enclosed mall already draws from a trade area of 1.3 million people, according to ICSC, with an average annual household income of $91,050. Retail rents at regional malls in the area currently average $50 per square foot, according to Toms River, N.J.-based brokerage firm NAI Atlantic Coast Realty. “The demographics here are very attractive and the Macerich philosophy is to reposition assets in high-growth, high-barrier markets,” Lucia says.