With new assignment, Winick’s fledgling New Jersey office representing 1 million SF of retail space

From left: Tyler Bennett and the Bellcrest Plaza
From left: Tyler Bennett and the Bellcrest Plaza

Three months after the launch of its first office in the Garden State, retail-dedicated brokerage Winick Realty’s New Jersey division has received an assignment to lease nearly 500,000 square feet of retail space in Ocean County, N.J., the listing broker told The Real Deal. The new assignment brings representation at the firm’s New Jersey outpost, which currently has three brokers, to a total of about 1 million square feet of space.

The assignments include 106,000 square feet at Bellcrest Plaza in Toms River, N.J., which the firm plans to reposition, Winick founding partner Tyler Bennett said. The mall is offering spaces from 1,000 square feet to a 40,000-square-foot space for an anchor tenant. The new Bellcrest will seek more nationally- and regionally-focused tenants in addition to “mom and pop” users, Bennett said.

The other assignments include a 307,000-square-foot shopping center in Manchester, N.J., and 50,000 square feet of retail at St. Catherine Plaza, a ground-up development in Toms River.

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All three projects are owned by H. Hovnanian Industries, a New Jersey-based developer which bears no formal relation to national homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, Bennett said.

Winick’s expansion to the New Jersey market in November — its first beyond the five boroughs — is part of the brokerage’s larger effort to represent national tenants in multiple markets, Bennett said. Winick now exclusively represents national brands such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Wendy’s and Safeguard Self-Storage in both the New Jersey and New York City metropolitan markets, a representative for the company confirmed.

With this approach, “we are able to expand [and] become more of a regional player,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the New Jersey office is growing faster than he expected, and expects to add three additional brokers in the next three months.