Hopewell Township looks for buyer for Pennytown Shopping Village tract

Hopewell Township has hired a real estate broker to find a buyer for the township-owned Pennytown property, which is a former small-scale shopping center on 25 acres bounded by Route 31, Route 654 and Route 612.

Commercial Property Network Inc., West Windsor Township, was awarded the listing for the Pennytown Shopping Village property by the Township Committee earlier this month.

The real estate agency, which specializes in commercial real estate, will earn a commission of up to 5 percent if the property is sold by a Commercial Property Network agent, or up to 6 percent if another broker brings a buyer to the table.

The listing price for the Pennytown Shopping Village was not available.

Hopewell Township officials bought the property in 2008 with the intent to develop it for affordable housing, but later scrapped the plans. The township will provide opportunities for affordable housing, which will be built on other sites in the township by developers.

The township paid $6.65 million for the Pennytown Shopping Village property, which included 11,200 square feet of office space, two single-family homes, a 5,992-square-foot restaurant, a 44-room motel and 20,657 square feet of retail use.

Hopewell Township subsequently demolished the buildings, with the exception of the historic house on the property.

After dropping the plan to redevelop the property for affordable housing, committee members last year approved sending out a request for proposals from developers to redevelop the site.

Although the request for proposals stated that the township would like the property to be developed consistent with the Pennytown Redevelopment Plan that was approved by the committee in 2016, township officials indicated they would be open to alternative designs and concepts for the property.

The Pennytown Redevelopment Plan allowed for a mix of commercial and residential uses, including single-family houses. The historic house on the property, which was not razed, would be retained for residential use. An adaptive re-use would have been permitted.