Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Downtown White Plains, NY

Robert Zaragoza and his wife, Deborah, live on the 35th floor of the tallest building between Manhattan and Albany. “I can see the Long Island Sound from my window,” says Zaragoza, a retired businessman who rolled over the sale of his Long Island house into a 2,000-square-foot apartment in The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester. Two 42-story blue-glass towers (he lives in Tower 1) flanking a 10-story hotel, they’re a Blade Runner-esque element on the White Plains skyline. They are the White Plains skyline.

Kevin O’Shea, associate broker at Coldwell Banker on the ever-busier Mamaroneck Avenue, remembers when “there was nothing going on here. The urban planners actually did some of the things they planned. Now it’s a vibrant city. The livability has gone up. We’re bringing in a new element we didn’t have before, the really high-end apartment dweller. I tell people, it’s probably the only place in the world where you have a Ritz-Carlton and a Walmart a block apart.”

The Zaragozas wanted a place between their son in Manhattan and their daughter in Boston. In 2007, while the towers were still under construction, they closed on two apartments which the developer, Louis Cappelli,  combined and finished to their specifications. “It’s very traditional,” says Zaragoza. “If it had an exterior it would look like a Colonial with columns.”

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The Residences have a gym and pool, a spa, two restaurants, concierge service, and parking for Zaragoza’s three cars. When the Zaragozas do leave the building, “Everything is nearby,” he says. “There are bars, restaurants, shopping. Macy’s is across the street. I tell my friends, ‘I’m running across the street to Macy’s!’ They can’t believe it.”

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