Shopping center whiz Joanna Rotonde has joined Regency Centers.

Danbury, CT.-Regency Centers, an owner, operator and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers around the country, on Wednesday announced it has appointed Joanna Rotonde to lead its acquisitions and dispositions in the Northeast. She is charged with identifying, evaluating and structuring profitable opportunities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. 

“Not having someone on the ground in the New York area was really a problem in terms of buying properties because the barriers to entry are high,” Rotonde tells GlobeSt.com. “The Northeast is a bit of an old boys club, you need someone pounding the pavement in order to get critical mass.”

Regency has made inroads into the region previously, she notes, with 18 properties in the region. However, says Rotonde, “Regency has 347 properties around the country, so 18 isn’t a lot, and the Northeast is important demographically.”

Most recently, Rotonde served as assistant vice president for Urstadt Biddle Properties, Inc. where she identified and closed $125 million in acquisitions of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers in the suburban metro New York area.

Rotonde’s background, coupled with Regency’s strategic objectives, makes this move a perfect fit both for the candidate and the firm, says Barry Argalas SVP, head of transactions.

“Joanna brings established relationships and market knowledge that will make an immediate impact for Regency,” he says. “Following our entry into the New York market last year with the acquisition of Lake Grove Commons,” in Lake Grove, Long Island, “we are actively pursuing top-tier grocery-anchored centers in some of the country’s top retail markets, including Boston, Philadelphia and metro New York.”

Rotonde is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land Institute, Retail Network and a committee member for ICSC Next Generation. Regency Centers currently manages a portfolio of 18 shopping centers, totaling 2.3 million square feet, in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.