Westbury, NY The New York Real Estate Journal (NYREJ) sat down with this month’s executive of the month, Dominic Coluccio, for a question and answer session. Coluccio is chief leasing & development officer at Lesso Mall Development (Long Island), Inc.
Rebranding and repurposing 750,000 s/f of mixed-use space—in a highly competitive market and during a pandemic—requires an endless abundance of determination, creativity and vision. As chief leasing & development officer of Lesso Mall Development (Long Island), Inc, dba Samanea New York, a premier retail, entertainment and dining destination in Westbury, Long Island, Coluccio is overseeing the $30 million transformation of the former Fortunoff Mall at the Source with bold new twists on the traditional mall model. Heading up the project, he also directs all real estate aspects including lease negotiations, marketing, development, and tenant and broker relations.
Managing the relationship with the property’s exclusive broker, Colliers International Jericho Office, and his team at Lesso Mall Development, Coluccio was able to triple the property’s occupancy in less than two years, despite the drastic changes in shopping behaviors and ravages the COVID-19 pandemic wracked onto the commercial retail landscape. He has brought in brand-name tenants, exciting new offerings such as an indoor adventure park, and continues to repurpose the site to create an exciting lifestyle destination.
Prior to joining Lesso Mall Development, Coluccio established the retail leasing arm for a top tier brokerage firm and consistently ranked as “Number One” and “Top 10” in commercial leasing, producing over $65 million in leases and sales.
Coluccio was also the recipient of the 2021 Long Island Business News Rising Star in Commercial Real Estate Award.
NYREJ: How did you know real estate was the career in which you would excel?
Coluccio: Success in real estate requires a strong focus on customer service, which is my core background. I learned the value of customer service working in my family’s wholesale and retail food business, D. Coluccio & Sons, Inc., and have carried those lessons throughout all stops in my career. The real estate business requires a determined professional to wear multiple hats and be creative, adaptable and resilient. There is never a repetitive day, and I thrive on overcoming challenges and solving problems. There is an exciting adrenaline rush in each transaction, and I enjoy the negotiations and creating a positive impact for the landlord and tenant.
NYREJ: Can you tell us about the newly renovated property?
Coluccio: Samanea New York has undergone a $30 million renovation, transforming the façade and interior of the property into a vibrant lifestyle destination center for retail, entertainment, food and beverage tenants. This required two new entrances to the property. We recently signed on Empire Adventure Park on the second floor, which will feature trampolines, ninja obstacle courses, a ropes course, climbing walls, augmented reality games and more. I am working with the Samanea team and the property’s exclusive leasing brokers Herb Agin, Matthew Kucker and Jordan Baruch at Colliers International Jericho office to reposition this iconic site along one of Long Island’s most traveled retail corridors.
NYREJ: What are you excited about right now?
Coluccio: We have moved at a breakneck pace in the physical renovations to the property, and we have so far signed on almost 300,000 s/f of space. It’s always an exciting time to work with new tenants during their own buildout and watch the response as they open to the public. We are busy talking to new prospective tenants and adding to a well-rounded mix of name brand retail, dining and entertainment options for customers to enjoy. And I firmly believe the vast improvements made to this site will provide great economic benefits and opportunities to the Westbury community.
NYREJ: What are your current goals as you continue to attract tenants?
Coluccio: There is always room for improvement. Our team continues to strengthen our position in the marketplace, and of course, also with our current tenants, brokers, vendors, and local officials, whom have been pivotal to helping us strengthen the brand and revitalize this iconic site. The goal is to continue adding unique and vibrant tenants. We also look forward to getting involved in the Long Island community, including supporting various organizations that make an impact.