Woodbridge Center mall sold to new management

Woodbridge Center mall sold to new management

A view of an entrance to Woodbridge Center nearby an Applebee's. ZFJ/Kirby Kim

WOODBRIDGE, N.J., April 4 (ZFJ) — Woodbridge Center has been sold to new management, announced Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac in his State of the Township address on Feb. 23.

“Woodbridge Center, like major malls across America, has struggled because of the internet and the ease of buying directly online,” he said. “It has done an admirable job of diversifying outside of basic retail by attracting new tenants, but it has just not been enough.”

McCormac said that while many parties were interested in purchasing the mall, the township made it “crystal clear” that it would not allow any housing or warehouse areas on the property.

The buyer of one of the largest shopping malls in New Jersey remains undisclosed.

Kroll Bond Rating Agency said on March 28 that the mall was sold by Brookfield Properties for $70.4 million, resulting in a loss of $155.7 million for the mall’s investors. It also reported $108.3 million in cumulative principal losses to date on the mall.

“We are quite thrilled to learn that the purchaser has every intention of keeping Woodbridge Center as a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination, though with changes,” McCormac said.

The mayor added that the Lord & Taylor store, owned separately from the mall, is “closing in” on a sale.

Woodbridge Center currently has Macy’s, JCPenney, Boscov’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods on premises. Macy’s announced in late February that it would close 150 stores nationwide but hasn’t specified which locations yet. JCPenny was rescued from bankruptcy by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management and has been recovering since.

The Lord & Taylor at Woodbridge Center closed December 2019, while the Sears closed April 2020.