PetSmart, Panera Bread Stores Coming To Township Next Summer


An architect’s rendering of the 25,000-square-foot second phase of a retail development at Old New Brunswick Road and Elizabeth Avenue.


The summer of 2015 could see the opening of new PetSmart and Panera Bread stores on Elizabeth Avenue.

The stores would be part of the 43,000-square-foot strip shopping center across Old New Brunswick Road from ShopRite, both developed by Mahwah-based Crossroads Companies.

The center is being built in two phases. The first phase was a 17,192-square-foot building, while the second – being built perpendicular to the first – consists of 25,741 square feet.

Crossroads president Stephen Hittman said he was “thrilled” by the stores agreeing to lease space in the development.

“PetSmart and Panera compliment the western part of Franklin Township which is continuing evolvement as the place where development is going to take place because it’s where the land is available and where the township’s Master Plan calls for development to take place,” he said.

PetSmart will open a 6,000-square-foot “micro store,” Hittman said. “It’s a new prototype concept for communities like Franklin Township, versus their larger, 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot store.”

The Panera Bread location will be a 3,500-square-foot store, also a “prototype store,” Hittman said, “smaller than their typical store.”

With the signing of those two stores, plus a new Luxe Nails store and “a few other leases that are pending that we can announce over the next few weeks,” the as-yet unnamed site will be more than 50 percent pre-leased, Hittman said.

Hittman said both sites were designed to compliment each other.

“The access between both shopping centers is designed for ease of shopping,” he said.

The new stores, Hittman said, are examples of “companies evolving in their particular retail space, rebranding their products, coming up with smaller, friendlier stores that cater to their demographics and communities.”

Hittman said he expects to start turning over spaces to tenants in March, 2015, “and in late spring, early summer, the balance of the stores will be open.”



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