Mario Brunelli promoted in family’s retail real estate brokerage firm

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OLD BRIDGE – R.J. Brunelli & Co., LLC announced that Mario Brunelli has been appointed vice president of Investment Sales and Development Site Acquisitions, as well as a principal in the retail real estate brokerage.

Brunelli, 32, most recently served as an investment sales specialist/sales associate at the Old Bridge-based firm.

As a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey and Florida, he sold more than $100 million of commercial properties in those states during the last five years alone, according to information provided by Jaffe Communications. Those deals, which included a number of 1031 Exchanges, ranged from neighborhood shopping centers to single tenant net leased properties occupied by such tenants as Auto Zone, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens.

His 1031 Exchange activity was highlighted by his role in developing a strategic plan for SMA Associates, a New Jersey entity that used the tax-free proceeds from its share of the 2017 sale of The Grove at Shrewsbury lifestyle center to immediately invest double that amount in a diverse portfolio of retail properties in Florida and Georgia, according to the statement. The acquired sites included a shopping center anchored by Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, as well as four single-tenant buildings occupied by Dollar General and Family Dollar.

In his capacity as a tenant representative for the firm, Brunelli handled the Florida expansion of a medical products company, arranging 14 leases for retail sites as well as the purchase of a warehouse, according to the statement.

He began working full-time at the firm founded by his father, Richard, after graduating from Florida International University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Prior to that, beginning at age 18, he spent summers at R.J. Brunelli performing market analysis research, studying occupancies at properties on retail corridors throughout New Jersey, according to the statement.

Brunelli earned his New Jersey real estate license at age 18 and his Florida license at 22.

With this promotion, Brunelli joins his father, sister Danielle (president) and CEO Ron DeLuca as principals of the firm, which was founded in 1975. Danielle Brunelli and DeLuca became principals along with Richard Brunelli in 2010 when the firm became an LLC, according to the statement. In 2015, Richard Brunelli was elevated to chairman, Danielle Brunelli was named president, and DeLuca was appointed CEO.

“It gives me great pleasure to know that with Danielle and now Mario in ownership positions, the next-generation is firmly in place to continue and expand the relationships RJBCO has enjoyed in the retailing, restaurant, personal services, management/development and real estate investment communities,” Richard Brunelli said in the statement. “Mario has worked very hard to earn this promotion. He genuinely loves what he does, has a thirst for knowledge and takes great pleasure in sharing that knowledge to advance clients towards achieving their investment goals. In executing acquisitions, he brings the know-how to analyze the financials and implement strategies to maximize cash flow for his clients.”

DeLuca added, “I have worked closely with Mario since his earliest days as a summer employee during his college years. Since joining the company full time, I have seen Mario grow into a successful professional, quickly absorbing guidance from our leadership team, and dedicating himself to personal achievement. In 2019, in addition to his continued focus on fulfilling our clients’ needs in the investment sales sector, Mario distinguished himself in the brokerage side of our business,  fulfilling a difficult client assignment to close deals on up to 14 new retail locations across Florida in less than 10 months. I look forward with confidence to Mario’s contribution toward the growth of our business, and his addition to our executive team.”

R.J. Brunelli & Co. serves as exclusive broker for 31 existing retail properties with a combined gross leasable area exceeding 2 million square feet, and five properties for sale. The properties are located throughout New Jersey. The firm also serves as exclusive or preferred tenant representative for approximately 20 retail, restaurant and service chains. These include representation in various New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania counties for such companies as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Sally Beauty Supply, Jersey Strong, Urban Bricks Pizza, Modern Acupuncture, European Wax Center, Asian Food Markets, and Legend Park—the latter, a national account.