During the recent recession, many owners and investors of retail real estate scrambled to fill vacancies, and short-term leases dominated the shopping center landscape. Fast forward five years: retail net absorption and rental rates are trending upward and those same owners have reclaimed their seat at the table for lease negotiations and renewals. To better meet the increased demand for retail agency leasing expertise and negotiations, JLL today announced the expansion of its retail business with the addition of Holly Rome as the Director of National Retail Leasing.
Rome will be responsible for a team of 12 leasing agents, and oversee the lease negotiations and renewals within JLL’s third-party managed, 69-million-square-foot property portfolio. She will partner with JLL’s Director of Property Management Janine Christian, Director of Specialty Leasing Tracey Hatley and Director of Development Leasing Steve Yenser to maximize clients’ asset values and occupancy by leveraging relationships with national, regional and local retailers to achieve the ideal tenant mix for each centers’ demographics.
“Holly’s diverse background as an in-house and third-party landlord leasing representative, coupled with her recent stint as a tenant broker for Foot Locker, gives her a unique perspective and edge when pairing retailers with the right space at a shopping center,” said Greg Maloney, CEO of JLL Retail. “With Holly at the helm of JLL’s Retail Leasing platform our clients can expect a fresh, strategic approach to merchandising their centers for maximum returns.”
Rome re-joins JLL, bringing more than 15 years of experience to the firm, including seven prior years with JLL. She was most recently the Vice President of Leasing for Foot Locker, Inc., and prior to that served as the Vice President of Leasing for the Mall of America for seven years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and an MBA from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management. Holly is also an active member in the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Minnesota Shopping Center Association.
“I started my leasing career at JLL, and after nearly eight years I am thrilled to come back to grow and develop the firm’s third-party retail leasing business across the U.S. with new team members and old friends. The retail sector is in high-growth mode, and I’m committed to driving higher sales, increasing property values and reducing tenant turnover for JLL’s clients with a targeted and tailored approach,” added Rome.
According to JLL research nearly one billion square feet of retail space was absorbed in 2014, representing a six-year high. Delivery of new retail supply is still very limited, pushing rental rates upward. In 2014, national retail rents averaged $15.55 per square-foot, up from $15.23 per square-foot in 2013.