The Leading Commercial Real Estate Firms in Westchester County

Photo courtesy of Reckson

These commercial real estate firms are go-tos for everything from buyer and tenant representation to relocations and renegotiations.

Rakow

Founded: 1998

President/ CEO: David Richman

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 12

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Services: Commercial real estate brokering and advisory services representing tenants, buyers, and owners

Properties: Radisson Plz, New Rochelle; 427 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville; 4 and 10 New King St, White Plains

CEO David Richman prides himself on his firm’s ability to provide not only the highest level of service in Westchester but beyond as well.

“We are exceptionally detailed and thorough and we go beyond the sale to complete project management,” Richman says. “We truly deliver the highest level of service in the industry, and we can advise on commercial real estate projects literally located anywhere.”

Rakow is invested in the 914 community as well, with strong ties to nonprofit groups Feeding Westchester and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The firm has also been awarded the CoStar Power Broker Award, Rotary Ethics Award, and 914INC’s Best in Business honors.

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RM Friedland

Founded: 1970

President/ CEO: Sarah Jones-Maturo

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 25

Services: Commercial brokering, consulting with specialists in industrial, office, retail, and multifamily real estate

Properties: City Square, White Plains; Waterfront, Port Chester; 14 & 16 Skyline Dr, Hawthorne; One South Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson

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RM Friedland’s One South Broadway in Hastings-on-Hudson
RM Friedland’s One South Broadway in Hastings-on-Hudson. Courtesy of RM Friedland.

“The expertise and specialization in our firm really make us strong. We have true office brokers; we have true industrial brokers; we have true retail brokers; and we have an investment specialist who can cover multifamily housing and land deals,” says CEO Sarah Jones-Maturo of RM Friedland. “Even if one agent has a relationship with a client, that agent will partner with the specialist to make sure everything is covered.”

Along with specializations, the firm is keenly focused on creating a truly diverse organization in an industry not traditionally known for its diversity.

“Historically, commercial real estate has had a pretty homogeneous population. [RM Friedland] has a tremendous diversity of gender, race, religion, and age. Everyone is very respectful, and they enjoy collaborating,” Jones-Maturo says.

Over the years, the firm has grown, adding new divisions and sub-specialities — and that was by design. “We have looked at growth strategically, with the goal of being able to serve all parts of commercial real estate,” notes Jones-Maturo. “It has been done with a combination of the company’s very strong roots and by recruiting and adding some very talented team members over time.”

GHP

Founded: 1999

President/ CEO: Andrew Greenspan & James J. Houlihan

Properties: 660 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown; 555 Taxter Rd, Elmsford; 300 Westchester Ave, Harrison

GHP is different than other real estate firms in the county in that it is vertically integrated — meaning it owns, leases, and manages its own properties. This unique positioning creates a one-stop shop for GHP’s tenant base, and a connection to properties that makes the firm accessible for clients at all stages of the leasing experience.

The approach also allows GHP the ultimate flexibility when it comes to engineering deals and deal structures. One focus has been office buildings with state-of-the-art amenities, like health clubs and cafés, allowing employers to attract staff with a truly exceptional work environment.

A great example of this strategy played out at GHP’s 4 West Red Oak Lane office location in White Plains. In 2022, the building welcomed three law firms and a banking institution with leases totaling 15,000 square feet. The Class A office building offers a fully equipped gym, upgraded lobby, and a renovated café.

Ginsburg Development Companies (GDC)

Founded: 1966

President/ CEO: Martin Ginsburg

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 11

Properties: 50 Main St, City Square, White Plains; 984 Bway, Yonkers; Mount Vernon South, E Sandford Blvd, Mount Vernon; 1019 Central Ave, Scarsdale

Ginsburg Development Companies’ 50 Main Street, City Square in White Plains
Ginsburg Development Companies’ 50 Main Street, City Square in White Plains. Courtesy of GDC.

50 Main at City Square takes up an entire city block in White Plains and is also home to Ginsburg Development Companies. The 360,000-square-foot property is considered by many to be the county’s premier office building. The top three floors consist of 60,000 square feet of prime office space, known as 11 Martine, which has its own entrance and elevator bank, and has a more relaxed vibe than the “glam” feel present in the rest of the complex. GDC acts as its own general contractor when it comes to building and renovating, allowing the company to control both cost and workmanship. The firm’s other properties include a medical office building at 945 North Broadway, conveniently located across from St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, and retail centers on Central Avenue in Scarsdale and along the Hutchinson River Parkway in Mount Vernon.

Rand Commercial

Founded: 1984

President/ CEO: Paul Adler

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 13

Services: Repositioning and redeveloping properties, assisting clients with sales and leasing, relocation, financing, and title insurance.

Properties: 354 North High St, Mount Vernon; 50 Palisades Ave, Yonkers; 146 Lafayette Ave, White Plains; 20 Cottage Pl, New Rochelle; 272 North Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco

Rand Commercial’s 86 Main Street in Yonkers
Rand Commercial’s 86 Main Street in Yonkers. Courtesy of Rand Commercial.

Rand prides itself on having a team with a wide variety of skills and expertise. Company leaders believe that this array of professionals can help provide clients with creative solutions to their real estate challenges. They also see increased value in properties that are changing — whether that’s through adjusting the property’s purpose, tenancy, or just renovating its look.

The company works with clients in managing different property types with diverse portfolios. And the team specializes in finding efficiency within the complexities of commercial real estate and helps clients handle regulatory and community-relations issues in renovating and adopting environmentally compromised properties.

Reckson

Founded: 1968

Senior Vice President: John Barnes

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 3

Services: Leasing, property management, and architecture

Properties: 200, 500 & 600 Summit Lake Dr, Hawthorne; 360 Hamilton Ave, White Plains

Reckson is owned by the Cappelli Organization and is a leading owner and manager of properties in Westchester. With 13 properties totaling more than 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, Reckson and its management team includes architectural designers, enabling the firm to customize and build to its clients’ visions.

The firm emphasizes tenant amenities, and its office buildings feature fitness facilities, concierge services, and auditoriums for corporate events. The company also offers leasing, property management, architecture, and construction — making it a truly full-service commercial real estate firm.

Reckson is also committed to environmental initiatives and to finding ways to reduce its carbon footprint. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council, winning the group’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award for its strategy and for its 360 Hamilton Avenue building in White Plains. Heineken USA, one of the tenants in the building, also captured the Council’s attention and won the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) award for its green renovation.

Reckson’s 360 Hamilton Avenue in White Plains. Photo courtesy of Reckson.
Reckson’s 360 Hamilton Avenue in White Plains. Photo courtesy of Reckson.

Diamond Properties

Founded: 1993

President/ CEO: Jim Diamond & Bill Diamond

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 3

Services: Leasing, property management, construction

Properties: The Park, Mount Kisco; Safe Haven Self Storage, Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford; 100 South Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco; 100 Brook Hill Dr, West Nyack

Diamond Properties has built a comprehensive and sustainable energy program in its headquarters in Mount Kisco, installing more than 22,000 solar panels across 25 acres of rooftop space. The system offsets 90% of the electricity consumption at the site as well as 70 percent of its electricity at the 100 South Bedford Road office building. The firm is planning on expanding its solar projects.

Diamond Properties, Velocity Pleasantville Lobby
Diamond Properties, Velocity Pleasantville Lobby. Photo courtesy of Diamond Properties.

Diamond also owns and operates Velocity, its division of shared workspace properties. The sites offer flexible and scalable office space that promote adaptability, cost savings, and efficiency to help meet the needs of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even larger organizations in the post-COVID era. There are currently Velocity spaces in White Plains, Pleasantville, Mount Kisco, and Hawthorne.

Silverman Realty Group (SRG2)

Founded: 1969

President/ CEO: Bonnie Silverman

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 5

Services: Property management and leasing services

Properties: 495 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale; 487 Main St, Mount Kisco; 30 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains

SRG2 describes its business style as unique and personable. To that end, the company works with customers on every phase of the process from site selection, rental process, and design through the civic approval and permit process. As property owners, the firm maintains responsibility for the management, maintenance, and upkeep of all their properties.

SRG2’s specialty is turning around under-performing properties. The firm is currently in the market to acquire more properties in the office, retail, and industrial markets and is particularly interested in office properties larger than 20,000 square feet and medical buildings larger than 10,000 square feet. SRG2 specialists also seek out industrial properties more than 25,000 square feet and are always on the lookout for strip-mall shopping centers and freestanding retail space.

Admiral Real Estate

Founded: 1997

President/ CEO: Jonathan Gordon

Number of Agents/ Brokers: 5

Services: Tenant representation, agency leasing, and investment sales

Properties: 1 Elm St, Tuckahoe; 800 Bedford Road, Bedford: 401 Davenport Ave, New Rochelle; 90 Triangle Ctr, Yorktown Heights

Admiral takes a data-driven approach to real estate and, rather than relying on just sales techniques, uses demographic analytics to serve the needs of its tenants and customers.

“Everyone in our company has an advanced degree. My partner and I have master’s degrees in science and in real estate from NYU. We actually met there,” CEO Jonathan Gordon says. “We take an empirical approach to mining demographic data. It is a lot of work, but it actually makes it easier to meet our clients’ needs.”

Admiral managers study things like drive time, income by residential location, and accessibility while also measuring psychological barriers to a location, such as traffic patterns, poor lighting, or crime rate.

“Once we figure out what the trade area is and where we’re pulling from, we then have a way of analyzing how much disposable income there is in that area, what the economic demographics are, and where the demand gap is,” Gordon says. “We show retailers what they can afford to rent or buy, based on the data. It is why we have such success with the national chains. They trust our data.”

But it doesn’t mean the team ever ignores the instincts they have honed over decades in the business. “We develop a keen instinct based on our time examining the data,” Gordon notes.

RPW

Founded: 1980

President/ CEO: Robert P. Weisz

Services: Building management

Properties: 80 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook; 10 Bank St, White Plains; 440-450 Mamaroneck Ave, Harrison; 100 Manhattanville Rd, Pleasantville

RPW’s 1133 Westchester Avenue in White Plains
RPW’s 1133 Westchester Avenue in White Plains. Photo courtesy of RPW Group.

RPW is a family-owned business that has been serving Westchester for over 40 years. The firm specializes in taking underperforming properties and, through renovation and repurposing, maximizing their values. RPW managers use a vertical integration model in which they are owners, agents, and construction managers, enabling them to provide comprehensive service for their customers and tenants. They are then able to walk clients through the design and construction phases of leasing and buying because they can control every phase of the project.

Westchester’s Changing Real Estate Landscape

Craig Ruoff is the executive vice president for Colliers Westchester County a commercial real estate expert with over 30 years of local and national experience representing both tenants and landlords. We spoke with him about Westchester’s changing landscape and what to anticipate going forward.

Craig Ruoff
Photo courtesy Westchester Magazine

What is changing about commercial real estate in Westchester?

There’s a lack of office space; there hasn’t been offices built in a very long time. I get a lot of questions about why office space isn’t cheaper in Westchester, and it’s because the market is getting smaller and smaller. Corporate Park Drive is gone now; 3 Westchester Park Drive is gone now. Every couple of years, another property goes away. What it’s done has kept some equilibrium because the demand has dropped, so the rents have remained the same at the more stable properties. What we’re seeing now is that the lending piece is starting to take effect. Everyone knew this was coming and that loans were going to be due, but the interest rates and what’s happening with the refinancing market is hitting hard. And the question from there is, What happens when we don’t have enough office space?

What are you excited for in the county?

What Martin Ginsburg did with 50 Main Street in Downtown White Plains is unbelievable. It baffles me that for decades, that was just the roof of a garage. What he did there was a game-changer. I also like seeing the Downtown and transit-oriented revitalization.

What are investors and buyers looking for now?

We’ve seen an uptick in being approached to buy medical properties. That’s something that started a number of years ago, and little by little, we’ve seen buyers also start to seek out buildings that can be converted from office buildings into medical buildings. The issue we’re seeing a lot of now is some buildings being too old to do that to. The retrofitting isn’t as easy as it used to be. People are also after buildings that offer the greatest number of amenities.

What do you see for the future of commercial real estate in the county?

I’m thinking there’s going to be some mixed-used development along the I-287 corridor. It’s not currently zoned for retail, and there’s been some pushback from residents, so you must weigh the impact on residents’ quality of life and what that means. But you also don’t want a desolate, empty park next to you. It’s on its way a bit. You’ve got Wegmans, and you’ve got some new residential, but none of these are really walking, shopping communities. Like the concept Ridge Hill is working on, which seems to be taking off now. As for what might be the biggest change going forward, watching the train lines is going to be important. —Cristiana Caruso

Related: The Face of Commercial Real Estate Tenant Representation

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