Long-stalled BJ’s in New Jersey To Get $50M For Resurrection



The inside of a BJ's Wholesale Club
The inside of a BJ’s Wholesale Club

A new BJ’s Wholesale Club store in Howell, N.J., will receive $50 million in funding from Fox Chase Bank brokered by Eastern Union, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

The project, underway at Route 9 and Lanes Mill Road, will anchor a nearly 300,000 square foot retail center. Eastern’s Eli Breiner just sewed up the deal yesterday, finalizing the details while in Las Vegas at ICSC RECon

The loan comes in multiple phases, a representative for Eastern explained, with the $16 million first phase funding the construction of the building, which should open in November of this year. The first phase has closed, but the subsequent funding is only planned.

The borrower is New York City-based private equity firm Sun Equity Partners, which bought the stalled project out of foreclosure last year. The project had been on and off for about five years, according to published reports.

“Banks are aggressively lending on ground up construction, for the first time since 2007″ Mr. Breiner, a senior managing director at Eastern Union, told Mortgage Observer. “The hurdle for retail developers is stringent pre-leasing requirements. Banks are very cash flow driven and do not want to underwrite the value of land improvements.”

Sun Equity Partners purchased the land for ten dollars last year, assuming about $9.5 million in debt, the Eastern representative said.

Neither the bank nor Sun Equity representatives were immediately available for comment.