Only through multi-generational, single-family ownership can Lerner Properties truly take a long-term view of its investments. Here are three case studies that briefly highlight our ability to develop, own and operate properties that provide long-term "homes" to the thriving retail businesses we proudly call our tenants.
Gateway Plaza, Riverhead, NY - Ground-up development case study
This undeveloped 20.7 acre site was acquired without approvals early in 2003. Stephen Lerner personally led the charge of our development team and after nine years of litigation from a variety of sources including competing developers, Lerner Properties ultimately prevailed with approvals in hand. The site now consists of a 167,309 sf Walmart and an adjacent 27,000 sf retail building. This highly visible property is served by two separate signalized intersections, one of which is shared with the highly successful Tanger Outlets at Riverhead, and serves as a "Gateway" to the Route 58 commercial corridor. Gateway Plaza is already a success story and due to its advantageous access, visibility and parking, it's sure to remain so for generations.
Flemington Circle Shopping Center, Flemington, NJ – revitalization of a "dead" mall
This property, originally built in 1965 as a partially enclosed mall, was encumbered by a delinquent mortgage when Stephen Lerner was contacted by the owners in 2002 to determine a course of action. The long-time ownership group of the property collectively didn't have the ability to redevelop the site, nor did they have a clear direction agreeable to all partners. Realizing that the property was functionally obsolete at the time and that the property's ownership structure was "broken", Mr. Lerner crafted a plan to buy a controlling interest (structured in a tax friendly manner to the seller) in the property and subsequently "de-mall" and expand the building to capitalize on the site's phenomenal access and visibility from the famed Flemington traffic circle. Years after the de-malling an adjacent retail building was acquired and incorporated into the shopping center, further adding to the roster of national and regional retailers at the property. As is the case with all properties owned by Lerner Properties, the Flemington Circle Shopping Center is proactively maintained and upgraded, having recently undergone an exterior façade renovation and entrance enhancements/improvements along its Reaville Avenue signalized entrance.
Denville Square, Denville, NJ – redevelopment of a neighborhood shopping center
Occupying a prime corner anchoring downtown Denville and a long-term fixture of the community, the former shopping center housed a neighborhood supermarket, a locally owned pharmacy, and other mom-and-pop businesses when Stephen Lerner first became aware of it. Acquiring the property in an off-market transaction, he quickly negotiated a purchase agreement while simultaneously entering into a letter of intent with the nation's leading drug store chain for a new, prototypical store. Unfortunately, Walgreens preferred freestanding stores offering drive-thru convenience for its customers. Realizing the existing building configuration didn't lend itself to this, Stephen put on his developers hat and devised a scheme to enable the development of a Walgreens by cutting a drive-lane through what used to be a supermarket, allowing patrons to enter the site from one of its front entrances and exit (if they decided to use the drive-thru) through the rear property entrance. Leasing off of the to-be-built Walgreens, Mr. Lerner was then able to attract Starbucks to the property. Leveraging the new construction of Walgreens and the opening of Starbucks, and a total redevelopment of all site elements, other national and regional tenants saw the opportunity to enter a strong market with significant barriers to entry. Denville Square now thrives and again forms an integral cornerstone of the community.