Skip to main content

Orrico: ‘Developing today’s retail is a community thing’


National Realty & Development Corp. has been in business for some 50 years, and privately held for all that time. It is one of the Northeast’s premier retail owners and developers, with a portfolio of 78 centers. But a ground-up development in Middletown, New Jersey, has served to crystallize what brick-and-mortar retail is all about for longtime president John Orrico.

In The Shoppes at Middletown, “we are developing a very community-oriented center,” Orrico told Chain Store Age. “The nationals still have their boxes, and they know what works within them. We have to figure out what the community needs are. What’s already there as part of the overall environment? What’s missing? We owe the local community more than the same old shopping center.”

Some of what Orrico and NRDC are giving the people of Middletown is brand new retail experiences. He knew that Wegman’s had been scouting this area of New Jersey for some time. He knew the operators of Wegmans, approached them about joining the project, and a 130,000-sq.-ft. Wegman’s with an open café will anchor the center.

The center will also feature CMX, the VIP Cinema Experience. This cinema-cum restaurant and night club is a concept from the Mexican company Cinemex, which opened its first location just last year at Swire’s Brickell City development in Miami.

The center will be modern in every way, Orrico promised, with landscaped gathering areas, wide sidewalks, and car charging stations.

“We worked closely with the town planning board in Middletown,” Orrico said, “and what I told them was that, when you have friends come to town, this is the place I want you to bring them to.”
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds