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Westchester County Business Buzz, May 28, 2015

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New Offices, New Branding for The Business Council

Change is afoot at the Business Council of Westchester. The organization recently celebrated a grand opening (with some 250 business movers and shakers in attendance) of its offices at its new address—800 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook—where it is leasing approximately 4,400 square feet of office space. The building includes access to an executive dining room, conference center, boardroom, terrace, and indoor parking. The Business Council also unveiled its new logo, branding, and strategic initiatives aimed at helping members and growing the county’s economy.

“At The Business Council of Westchester, we are committed to helping our members build their businesses and connect with likeminded leaders—all with an eye for growing the regional economy,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “Our new look and new location, coupled with enhanced programming and impressive speakers does just that. We’re incredibly pleased to be moving ahead on so many exciting fronts.”

WESTMED Office Building Opens on Platinum Mile

Westchester’s famed “Platinum Mile”—the corridor that runs along I-287 and Westchester Avenue—got its first new office building in more than 25 years when WESTMED’s new location opened there earlier this month. The firm’s new 85,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art medical office building at Purchase Professional Park was developed by Simone Development and Fareri Associates, owner and manager of the Purchase Professional Park. It marks WESTMED’s fifth full-service office in Westchester.

Construction on the $22 million Harrison project took 14 months, and included the remodeling of three nearby buildings at 3000, 3010 and 3020 Westchester Avenue. The renovations there included refurbishing the facades and lobbies, replacing elevators, updates to the landscaping, and new furniture and lighting. Combined with the 3030 building, all four buildings represent 220,000 square feet of usable office and medical space.

Friedland Realty Advisors On A Roll

Friedland Realty Advisors, formerly NAI Friedland—a 45-year-old full-service commercial real estate firm—recently closed five deals throughout Westchester and the Bronx. The combined deals represent more than 38,000 square feet of space between its retail and industrial divisions, totaling $5.2 million. In Westchester, from Friedland’s industrial division, Andy Grossman sold the space at 97 N. Water Street in Ossining to WestRock Development for $1.3 million and exclusively represents the building. After the sale, Grossman, along with former Friedland Realty broker Steve Couture, leased 17,575 square feet of the space to Clearcast Technologies for $610,608. Grossman and Couture represented both the landlord and tenant in the deal. The building at 97 N. Water Street is now fully rented. Tony Lembeck and Elias Evertt represented both the landlord and tenant with the leasing of 145 Saw Mill Road in Yonkers. The landlord, Lubin Flowers, LLC, leased the 3,450-square-foot property to Smart Move Moving and Storage. Lembeck and Evertt negotiated the short-term lease for $113,500. The company also closed three deals in the Bronx, accounting for more than 15,000 square feet of space. “We are proud to say that Friedland Realty continues to see increasing success as we become more entrenched in the New York metro area. These five transactions are a testament to the booming real estate markets in Westchester and the Bronx,” said Bob Friedland, president and CEO of Friedland Realty Advisors.

An artist’s rendering of The Lofts on Saw Mill River

Another Luxury Rental Complex Under Construction

The luxury rental complex trend carries on in Westchester. The most recent project to break ground is The Lofts on Saw Mill River, a $34.9 million development in the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson. The project’s developer, Ginsburg Development Companies (GDC), broke ground earlier this month at the 7.45-acre site on Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A). The Lofts will feature 66 loft-style rental apartments in three buildings. Two three-story buildings will each include 27 units and one two-story building will include 12 affordable workforce housing units. (The 12 affordable units will count towards the affordable units mandated by the County’s affordable housing settlement with the federal government.) Monthly rentals for the market rate apartments will range from $2,900 for a large one-bedroom unit (950 SF) to $5,000 for the largest three-bedroom unit (1,656 SF).

From left, Hastings-on-Hudson Village Mayor PeterSwiderski, GDC Founder and Principal MartinGinsburg,and Westchester County Executive Robert P.Astorino

The affordable units will range from $874 for a studio to $1,484 for a three-bedroom unit. Of the 12 affordable units, three will be available for households earning up to 50 percent area median income (AMI) and nine for households up to 60 percent AMI. First residential occupancy is expected in summer 2016. As part of the project, GDC will create for the public a 10-space parking lot and pedestrian bridge to the South County Trailway, which runs by the property. The site is a former industrial parking lot that GDC has owned since 2005.

From left:Stephen Hunt, IDA chairman; NoraMadonick, Arch Street Communicationspresident; Linda-Ann Schmidt, Arch Street Communications executiveassistant/officemanager; William M. Mooney III, Westchester County Office of Economic Development director; and Kevin J.Plunkett, Westchester deputy county executive and IDA vice chairman

Arch Street Communications Relocates to Westchester

Arch Street Communications (ASC), a boutique communications firm that has been in business for more than 20 years, has chosen to relocate operations to Westchester hire additional staff. The firm cited “accessibility, a talented workforce, and value” as its reasons for selecting Westchester for its relocation from Pawling, New York. The move will be made possible thanks to sales tax benefits offered through Westchester’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and approved at a meeting of the IDA board recently.The county tax benefits will help offset ASC’s expenses to upgrade the 2,000-square-foot space in its new home at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. The facility will include an open-space art department, small group meeting areas, and state-of-the-art telecom, videoconferencing, and graphics equipment. Construction is to begin immediately and the company is expected to move in by July. ASC will bring its current staff of eight employees and plans to hire an addition three to five people within the first year.

Next Step Living Opens Westchester Office

Next Step Living, a New England-based provider of home energy solutions, has opened an office in Purchase to serve residents of Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties. “Many home services companies offer homeowners a single solution, such as heating or insulation. Next Step Living believes in a whole-home approach. We’re proud to provide homeowners with a complete view of their home from top to bottom, and to offer them a comprehensive plan to reduce home energy costs and increase sustainability,” said Geoff Chapin, founder and CEO of Next Step Living. The company aims to help residents reduce their carbon footprint with improvements in air conditioning, insulation, windows, thermostats, and other energy-usage areas. Since opening its doors in 2008, Next Step Living has helped homeowners achieve more than $25 million in energy savings, the estimated impact of which is an annual carbon emissions reduction of more than 94,000 metric tons—the equivalent of removing almost 20,000 fossil fuel-burning cars from the road, notes the firm.