Retail by MONA, the leasing and advisory firm guiding tenants and landlords through an evolving retail landscape, announced the top-producing food and beverage brokerage team led by Alexandra Turboff has joined the firm. Ms. Turboff, who was previously a partner at Branded Concept Development (BCD) – recently acquired by RIPCO — joins Retail by MONA as Executive Vice President. Former associate partners at BCD, Jason Lloyd and Marisa Simkin, will join the firm as Senior Associates.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this high-profile team, with its extensive and diverse experience in the food and beverage space, to the MONA family,” said Brandon Singer, CEO of Retail by MONA. “Their collective expertise is incredible and will add a new dimension to our team as we navigate the challenges and opportunities of the ever-evolving retail landscape.”
Ms. Turboff is nationally recognized for her career in the F&B sector, with experience in all aspects of the business, from real estate strategy and site acquisition through to construction management and operations. She began her career at BCD in 2003 working with franchisees such as Quiznos. Over the years she worked with many well-known brands including Mexicue, Boqueria, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Tacombi, Ippudo, Joe’s Pizza, Daily Provisions, Burger & Lobster, Joe Coffee, The Meatball Shop, Toby’s Estate, Shelsky’s, La Pecora Bianca, Wagamama, and Veggie Grill. Notable deals over the years have included Tacombi at Empire State Building, Naya at Moynihan Station and recently Luke’s Lobster and Bourke Street Bakery at Grand Central Terminal. She was elevated to partner at BCD in 2021.
“I’ll always be grateful for the mentorship during my tenure at BCD and the exposure to this sector, but the time was right for me to have my own professional renaissance,” said Turboff. “It’s important to me to have a real voice at the table in terms of helping to grow the business, and Brandon [Singer] has been not only welcoming of my input, but appreciative of the perspective and experience I bring. As I considered the opportunities available to me, the MONA culture, along with the strength of its portfolio and clients, really stood out.”
From learning the tenant-rep side of the business to navigating the nuances of the sector — including New York City code requirements and legal implications specific to food and beverage operations.
Ms. Turboff also has deep experience working with architects, expeditors and attorneys. Her knowledge of the build-out process and the potential construction and permitting challenges restaurateurs face when opening new locations is invaluable in any retail environment. Most recently, she brought Stand Up Burgers to 1004 2nd Ave., struck a deal on behalf of Corner Table Restaurants (operator of The Smith) for a new smaller-format concept on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and has negotiated several ISLA and Hole in the Wall locations on behalf of Parched Hospitality Group in NYC, Miami, Atlanta and Dallas.
“There is a dearth of good second-generation restaurant spaces in NYC,” continued Turboff. “There are many new, and old, players vying for the same spaces and the cost of opening a restaurant is exceedingly high which, when combined with ever-slimmer margins, makes it increasingly risky for restaurateurs.”
“Tenants need a specialist who knows the right questions to ask throughout the site selection process in order to maximize value,” said Singer. “Alex, Jason and Marisa will bring all of that and more to MONA and our landlord and tenant clients.”
Team member Jason Lloyd brings significant firsthand knowledge of the food and beverage industry, having spent nearly two decades as an operator, investor, consultant and chef. Prior to joining BCD Jason co-founded Cow & Clover, a 110-seat restaurant, bar, and event space located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As Managing Partner, he grew the business into one of Brooklyn’s most popular brunch spots and, in 2018, orchestrated a successful exit, partnering with the Fornino Restaurant Group. He joined BCD as Manager of Real Estate in 2018 and became Associate Partner in 2021. Recently, Jason has worked on deals on behalf of Veselka, Everytable and Andrew Tarlow.
Marisa Simkin spent her early career in hospitality – including positions at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Plan Check Kitchen & Bar in Los Angeles. She joined BCD as a Project Manager in 2019 and moved to the real estate team in 2020 where she collected and analyzed market information and participated in lease negotiations on behalf of clients including Stand Up Burgers, HAGS, Bourke Street Bakery, Yellow Rose and Chinah.