MID ATLANTIC REAL ESTATE JOURNAL, June 12, 2009
Exeter Commons, Berks County’s most exciting new retail destination, is progressing ahead of schedule, with some of the nation’s top retailers opening their doors in late summer 2009. Located at the intersection of Business Route 422, Bypass Route 422 and 47th street, Exeter Commons will bring 490,000 square feet of first-class retail offerings to the region. Two of the shopping center’s anchor stores, Target and Giant Foods, are scheduled to open in late July, with the grand opening of Lowe’s to follow in August 2009.
The $75 million power retail center is being developed by Exeter JV Associates, LP, a partnership of The Goldenberg Group and Ironwood Property Group.
“Exeter Commons has been a high-development priority for Exeter Township for more than 10 years,” said Kevin Trapper, Senior Vice President of The Goldenberg Group. “A number of national developers were thwarted by seemingly insurmountable technical and traffic obstacles. All of us at The Goldenberg Group and Ironwood are proud of our ability to overcome those challenges. We’re moving in major tenants now, and we look forward to completing this vibrant retail center in 2009.”
The largest shopping center in Exeter Township, Exeter Commons will offer a dynamic mix of tenants, including three national retailers. Target is currently under construction on a 132,000 square foot store, to open in late July along with a mega 81,000 square foot Giant Foods store.
August marks the planned opening of a 171,000 square foot Lowe’s home improvement store, and a 1,600 square foot SONIC Drive-In. Exeter Commons will also feature Wells Fargo/Wachovia, Red Robin, Chick-Fil-A and Affinity Bank, among others..
“In this challenging economic environment, retailers are seeking only the best locations. Exeter Commons is a strategic site that promises to be one of the premier shopping centers in Berks County,” said Ironwood principal Jeremy Fogel. “We’re excited about bringing these great retailers to the area, and offering them the opportunity to continue to expand their customer base and make their selection, value and customer service as convenient to customers as possible.”
The Goldenberg Group, based in Blue Bell, PA, and Ironwood Property Group, out of Conshohocken, formed a unique partnership in Spring 2008 to redevelop 50 acres of land along Route 422, in Exeter’s commercial corridor. They built a cooperative coalition of tenants and stakeholders, working tirelessly with the Berks County Conservation District, Exeter Township, PennDOT, the community and members of the public sector to enhance the county’s retail offerings. Together, they came up with a plan to implement and finance traffic and roadway improvements in excess of $15 million.
“The joint venture worked effectively with the Township, County and State officials to gain consensus on the project, obtain permits and approvals, and secure significant public funding to allow the project to come to fruition,” said Mark Scott, Chairman of the Berks County Commissioners. State Senator Michael O’Pake, whose support was critical to securing state assistance, echoed Scott’s comments, lauding the developers’ spirit of cooperation.
One of the fastest-growing counties in Pennsylvania, Berks County is located in the heart of the Delaware Valley, which boasts some of the leading industrial and trade complexes in the nation. When complete, Exeter Commons will be a strong asset to the area, and potentially a powerful catalyst for additional redevelopment.