Developer plans to turn East Brunswick Kmart into smaller retail uses


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EAST BRUNSWICK Striving to redevelop part of the Route 18 corridor, TFE Properties LLC has purchased the former Kmart store in East Brunswick.

“Best known by our reputation for quality and hands-on management, we develop strategically located commercial and residential properties from the ground up, in addition to purchasing existing properties where we see opportunities to create value,” said co-President Carey Tajfel, who runs the East Windsor-based real estate and land development company with his brother Doran.

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The company closed on the purchase on Dec. 21.

“One of our specialties is adding value to existing properties through renovations and market repositioning. We see a great opportunity in this East Brunswick property, and we think it will be an interesting challenge to break up a former single-use large box unit into the optimal mix of retail and other uses,” Tajfel said.

According to Tajfel, the company is also attracted to the township’s location. He said the site is located on a main hub of the Route 18 corridor, near ALDI supermarket, Stop and Shop, a daycare center and several retail strip malls.

“We have noted that exciting things are happening on Route 18 in East Brunswick, including the repositioning of some of the older shopping centers and a commitment by the new administration to bolstering retail and multi-family development on the corridor,” Tajfel said.

The total lot size where the former Kmart store is located is 18.44 acres. The Kmart store and its parking lot is 15.96 acres, the White Castle restaurant is 1.2 acres, and the Investors Bank facility is 1.28 acres, according to Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Franklin Colon.

The planned redevelopment of the property will include retail in front and potentially a mix of retail and other uses in the back, according to Tajfel.

“We have a proven track record in commercial and residential real estate and land development dating back to 1979. Our primary areas of focus include retail centers, single net tenants, hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes, storage facilities and land development,” Tajfel said.

Other East Brunswick developments the company has done include the Chase Bank on Cranbury Road in the main office corridor; Cranbury Commons office building on Cranbury Road whose tenants include Pediatric Orthopedic Associates and Total Renal Care (DaVita); a multi-pad retail site at 260 Route 18 featuring tenants such as Dunkin Donuts, AAA and the Army Recruitment Office, according to Tajfel.

“We are finalizing concepts for the building to then present to the township. The process could take a few months, but we are actively in discussions with retail tenants for a good portion of the building,” he said.

Contact Vashti Harris at

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