Hillsborough/Edison, N.J. – Drawing a close comparison to multi-family, neighborhood retail center investment is in demand throughout Central Jersey’s thriving shop/dine/ride/live corridors, according to the brokerage professionals at Gebroe-Hammer Associates. The Livingston-based firm recently closed a series of community shopping center transactions, approximately 132,000 square feet of which sold for a combined $18.6 million in Somerset and Middlesex counties.

“At a time when industry analytics point to a slowed – and even stalled – retail transaction pace in certain New Jersey submarkets, many of Gebroe-Hammer’s long-time and new clients are seeking to expand their portfolios to include neighborhood shopping centers, with a focus on Central New Jersey where there is a high concentration of office, institutional and apartment-home properties that foster a walkable, easy-commute lifestyle,” said Ken Uranowitz, the firm’s president.

“These savvy investors recognize that the dominant multi-family tenant population – millennials – is a feeder for local, bedroom community-based retail investment properties,” he added. “Just like their Baby Boomer predecessors, this demographic is redefining the landscape of the neighborhoods in which they live, giving rise to retail-based lifestyle services within a short stroll of where they live and commute.”

In particular, the millennial tenant/consumer base is solidifying diverse lifestyle and food and restaurant occupancies at neighborhood shopping centers. “This is a foodie generation and they like to have options in the same place where they get their groceries,  mani/pedis and clothes cleaned,” explained Uranowitz.

Among Gebroe-Hammer’s recent Central Jersey neighborhood retail center sales is the $12.75 million trade of Hillsborough Centre, a 90,905 square-foot shopping center located at 649 Route 206 North in Hillsborough, and the 40,000-square-foot, two-building Nixon Plaza at 2048 Route 27 in Edison. The brokerage team of Senior Vice Presidents Stephen Tragash and Nicholas Nicolaou exclusively represented the seller and procured the buyer in the Hillsborough sale while the team of Executive Vice Presidents Greg Pine and David Jarvis did the same on behalf a separate seller and buyer in the Nixon Plaza trade.

Both open-air properties, which are well located near mass transit and major highway connections, boast a roster of lifestyle and dining tenants. In addition to local business operators, Nixon Plaza has a Domino’s and Hillsborough Centre features national tenants that include GNC, The UPS Store, Stop & Shop, Wells Fargo and Starbucks.

Gebroe-Hammer has been marketing mixed-use and free-standing retail and office properties throughout its 42-year history. The firm also is the acknowledged brokerage leader specializing in suburban and high-rise, mid-rise and garden-apartment properties throughout the New Jersey, Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York State region. The company provides innovative services to a wide range of private owners, REITS, private equity firms and other institutional investors. Widely recognized for its consistent sales performance, Gebroe-Hammer is a 13-time CoStar Power Broker.