Provident Closes Development Loan for Shopping Center in Clark, NJ

The Provident Bank has uncovered a sound financing opportunity in Clark, N.J.
Clark Commons Clark N.J. - 2 cropped

The Provident Bank knows a good financing opportunity when it sees it, and the community bank has found one in Clark Commons, a 245,000-square-foot retail development in Clark, N.J. Provident recently provided a $55 million loan to Krame Development Co. Inc. for the project’s construction.

Provident, acting as administrative agent in a consortium with M&T Bank, found at least 95 really good reasons to furnish Kwame with construction financing.

“The project was 95 percent pre-leased when Provident was underwriting the loan for approval,” Gregory Lamb, a vice president with Provident, told Commercial Property Executive. As of the closing of the transaction, Clark Commons is 100 percent pre-leased.

Clark Commons will take shape at Raritan Road and Walnut Avenue in Union County, offering 27 retail spaces within seven buildings on the 28-acre site that was once home to the U.S. Gypsum paper plant. Among the businesses that have already staked a claim to space at the shopping destination are Whole Foods and Home Goods, both of which will occupy anchor spots.

Retail is thriving in New Jersey. In the third quarter of 2014, the average total vacancy was 6.7 percent in the Garden State and 5.4 percent in Union County, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm NAI James E. Hanson. But it doesn’t get any better than the 0 percent at Clark Commons.

However, it wasn’t just the full tenant roster that gave Provident that warm and fuzzy feeling lenders like to get when they’re extending a loan. “The bank was provided additional comfort with Krame’s prior experience with similar projects in Hillsborough and Somerville, N.J., along with experienced general contractor, March Associates,” Krame added.

Construction of Clark Commons, designed by The Dietz Partnership Architects, is scheduled to reach completion in late spring of this year. A grand opening will follow in August.