S. Hekemian Builds Big in Upscale NJ Neighborhood

The North Jersey-based high-quality developer has broken ground on a controversial project close to home.

As of this morning, the S. Hekemian Group has broken ground for The Shoppes at DePiero Farm, a $125 million, 225,000-square-foot lifestyle retail center on a 28-acre site in Montvale, N.J., a project that’s been involved in a lawsuit since February. The mall will be anchored by a 140,000-square-foot Wegmans Food Market.

Other tenants committed to The Shoppes at DePiero Farm include The Habit Burger Grill, Chipotle, Ulta Beauty, European Wax Center, Starbucks, 1808 Fine Men’s Barber, Urban Place Farm to Table, FedEx/Kinko’s, and Not Your Average Joes, a Hekemian spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive.

“This market is particularly known for its extremely high demographics, with some of the highest household income levels in the state,” senior managing director Peter Hekemian said in a prepared statement.

When completed, The Shoppes at DePiero Farm reportedly will feature architecture and landscape and hardscape designs inspired by the farming and equestrian heritage of the site and the surrounding region. The center will feature cutting-edge green design, including a vegetative roof on the junior anchor building to provide insulation, reduce storm-water runoff and form a wildlife habitat. Other eco-features will include low-impact development methods, six electric vehicle charging stations, walking and biking paths, and exterior lighting designed to comply with Dark Sky practices (reducing light pollution).

“This project will provide residents and corporate professionals with a highly designed place to gather, shop and dine,” Hekemian said in the statement. “It is a suburban development designed as a walkable town center, which is exactly what today’s young professionals want – an urban feel. This project is designed to create a sense of place. With its new open-air style, we’ve come full circle in our effort to create a ‘downtown,’ a place to congregate.”

“Preliminary setup work has started this week. The work in earnest starts next week and the week following,” Hekemian told CPE. “The next step is to hand off the building pad to Wegmans in the spring. The first phase of the project will open 15 months thereafter.”

Silbert Realty & Management will be the property’s exclusive leasing agents.