Marta Person Villa
By Joshua Burd
JLL is making a push to expand its retail brokerage services in New Jersey, prompting the firm to hire an industry veteran with deep roots in the Garden State.
The firm announced Monday that it has hired retail real estate expert Marta Person Villa as a senior vice president in New Jersey. She brings more than 25 years of experience in New Jersey retail and specializes in landlord representation, occupier site selection and investment property acquisition and disposition.
Prior to joining JLL, Villa served as a vice president with the retail services group of a major New Jersey brokerage, the firm said in a news release. While there, she represented the interests of major tenants and oversaw a diverse agency leasing portfolio that included freestanding retail buildings, car dealerships, shopping centers and urban mixed-use projects.
She has also served as a consultant to owners and associations on revitalization and development assignments in more than 25 cities across the country, JLL said. And she has held posts as the administrator for the borough of Red Bank and as the director of downtown alliances for Newark, Red Bank, Cranford and Bloomfield.
“JLL continues to expand its services to better serve clients involved in all aspects of retail throughout New Jersey,” Robert Kossar, executive managing director and market director for JLL’s New Jersey operations, said in a prepared statement. “The market’s retail sector is undergoing a transformation prompted by the growth of e-commerce and shifts in consumer buying and shopping preferences.
“JLL is positioning itself to remain at the forefront of this shifting landscape in order to fully support our retail clients.”
The hiring follows other acquisitions by JLL since the start of the year, targeting firms that specialize in retail services. The firm said that, in January, it acquired Big Red Rooster, which offers brand experience and design services for retailers, consumer brands and corporates.
That was followed by the purchase of Huntley, Mullaney, Spargo & Sullivan Inc. to leverage its expertise in retail lease and debt restructuring to contain costs and increase profits for its clients, the news release said. JLL also said its project and development services group is active in retail construction services in New Jersey, as its property management platform.
Villa’s past experience also includes selling retail assets that include development sites, freestanding buildings and multitenant properties, both occupied and vacant. Earlier in her career, Villa served as a broker/owner of Square Foot LLC, founded in 1998, which provided commercial leasing and consulting services to owners, owners’ associations, cities and tenants throughout New Jersey.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and is a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey, the news release said. She is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and served as private sector co-chair of the ICSC Alliance in New Jersey NJ from 2010 to 2013.