Chipotle, Panera, Mamoun’s Falafel, and Starbucks Planned Near Kean University

Vermella Union Retail Union
Vermella Union retail. Rendering via Ripco Real Estate.

An upcoming major development complex near a local university that we have been following for several years is set to include several major dining chains.

The Vermella Union project, which is currently being constructed at the former Merck, Schering-Plough, and Schering pharmaceutical site across from Kean University in Union Township, is apparently expected to contain locations of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, Starbucks Coffee, and Mamoun’s Falafel. A listing from Ripco Real Estate shows that Panera will occupy its own 4,276-square-foot building just off of Morris Avenue while the 2,509-square-foot Chipotle restaurant will be located at the end of a row of businesses.

After spotting the listing, Jersey Digs reached out at the end of February to representatives of Chipotle and Starbucks, both of whom stated that they were unable to confirm plans for a location in Union. A Panera spokesperson did not respond to our request for comment. However, just two weeks after we started asking questions, project developer Russo Development reportedly issued a statement, confirming that Panera and Chipotle have signed leases.

The statement did not discuss the plans for the 1,800-square-foot Mamoun’s Falafel location nor was there a mention of the 2,228-square-foot Starbucks outpost, but both businesses are described as being “in lease” in Ripco’s listing. There are also plans for an unnamed Italian restaurant in the complex, according to the listing.

When completed, in addition to all of the stores and restaurants, the Vermella Union development is expected to include over 1,200 residential units.

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