Cushman & Wakefield New Jersey Retail Team Expansion Continues
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Feb. 1, 2013 - Commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. last spring augmented its New Jersey retail team with the addition of Director Nancy Erickson, who for eight years specialized in national tenant representation with the company's Manhattan headquarters office, and Associate Gabriela Iannotta, formerly on the franchisee development team with one of Erickson's national tenants, School of Rock. Less than one year later, they have expanded their practice to represent more than one dozen New Jersey retail properties totaling more than 225,000 square feet and even more regional and national tenants - including Hess, Cabela's, Crunch Fitness, ASAP Urgent Care, Kool Smiles, Resolution Dental, Goggles Eyecare 4 Kids, several specialty startups and others.
They also recently have added two new members to their growing team. Last fall, Jennifer Sofia joined as associate director, after serving as an asset manager on the real estate team at Toys R Us. Most recently, in January, Rachel Pittard, a member of Cushman & Wakefield's New Jersey industrial team since 2009, transitioned to retail brokerage as a senior associate. Erickson noted that each of the group members' diverse backgrounds provide a competitive advantage.
"Individually, we have experience in national tenant and landlord representation, big box, franchise expansion, land development, mixed-use industrial, boutique and start-up assignments for retailers," she noted. "Together, we present a well-rounded skills set and possess comprehensive knowledge of the entire retail process and supply chain."
According to Erickson, the group's current rate of business expansion likely will result in the addition of two more salespeople this year. "The New Jersey retail market has excellent untapped potential," Erickson noted. "National retailers are looking to expand in what feels like an untapped state, and local retailers are seeking opportunities to expand statewide. Cushman & Wakefield has such an outstanding platform of local expertise and global reach within the office, industrial and investment sales sectors. The same applies to retail, and we really are beginning to make some great inroads with both landlords and tenants here."
For example, Erickson and her team recently were retained to exclusively represent a substantial franchisee of Crunch Essential fitness health clubs for their local and national growth.
Erickson noted that the dining sector remains active, with high demands among yogurt, pizza and café concepts. "We currently are handling assignments for four different concept café operators," she said. "Two are start-ups looking for multiple locations in New Jersey. Two are based out of state and are looking to open locations here."
Erickson also commented on the growing trend of alternative uses in retail space. "About half of the leases we have closed in recent months involve non-traditional tenants," she said. "Urgent care clinics, dental and eye care tenants, and even vets want shopping center locations. And our landlords are welcoming them. Our team currently is representing multiple centers for which the owners have asked us to pursue healthcare-type space users."
According to Erickson, 2013 is expected to bring a continuation of current trends in the New Jersey retail sector. "We likely will see only a few large tenants active in the market, but some of them are large tenants entering the state for the first time," she said. "On the other hand, retailers and non-traditional tenants with smaller requirements of 1,500 to 4,000 square feet are eagerly seeking space, and landlords are becoming more open to filling vacancies with multiple replacement tenants. As such, while fundamentals may remain relatively flat, leasing activity will continue at a steady pace."