Home News Major Renovations Will Be Made to the Route 22 Retail Center in Watchung

Major Renovations Will Be Made to the Route 22 Retail Center in Watchung

Major Renovations Will Be Made to the Route 22 Retail Center in Watchung

The Blue Star Shopping Center, one of the first major shopping centers in Central Jersey, is undergoing a renaissance.

The redevelopment of the 420,000-square-foot complex on Route 22 is being led by a new and expanded ShopRite, one of the primary anchors along with Kohl’s and Marshalls.

Levin Management Corporation, the property’s managing and leasing agent, is taking major steps to redevelop, renovate and “re-tenant” the shopping center.

ShopRite will remain open in its existing space at Blue Star while the new 72,000-square-foot location is built. ShopRite has been a tenant of the center since 1980. The present ShopRite is 43,365 square feet.

The ShopRite, operated by Village Supermarkets, is expected to begin work on its larger store this summer.

Following the relocation, Levin Management will reconfigure the vacated store to accommodate multiple tenants.

Other renovations at the center include façade and common area updates, an extensive landscaping redesign and the addition of outdoor seating. New lighting, parking lot refurbishments and the incorporation of infrastructure to support EV charging stations are also in the plan.

“Blue Star Shopping Center has long served as a preeminent Somerset County shopping destination,” Maxim Gagneron, Levin Management’s vice president of construction and development, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to unveil the details of its bright future, centered on the addition of this state-of-the-art ShopRite. It is always gratifying to work with long-term tenants to accommodate their evolving needs. The end result will be a source of pride for property ownership, every Blue Star tenant and the entire community.”

The shopping center draws more than 2.6 million visits annually, according to real time traffic data from Placer.ai.

Other tenants in the center include Dollar Tree, The Children’s Place, Roma Salon, and Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. Dining options include TGI Friday’s, Five Guys, Wendy’s and Arby’s.

Retail availabilities at Blue Star Shopping Center range from 1,200 square feet up to 50,000 square feet, including an 8,500-square-foot pad site.

For seven decades, Levin Management, based on Route 22 in North Plainfield, has a leasing and management portfolio that includes 125 properties totaling almost 16 million square feet in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

In Central Jersey, Levin also owns the Somerset Shopping Center on the Somerville Circle, Rutgers Plaza in Franklin and St. George’s Crossing in Woodbridge.

Blue Star is one of the oldest shopping centers in Central Jersey. Construction on the $7 million center on 47 acres along a half mile of Route 22, which was also known as the Blue Star Memorial Highway, began in January 1958.

Other major tenants at the time, besides E.J. Korvetter, were Acme, Grand Union, Sun Ray Drugs, Father and Son Shoes and Thom McAn.