RXR Realty Looks Towards a Bright Future in Westchester

Photo by Daniel Martinez

We chatted with the Manhattan-based real estate giant about its jump to Westchester and what the future holds in the county.

It seems like every street one can turn down in Westchester County is speckled with construction of all kinds. It’s hard to miss some of the new high rises that have seemly climbed to the heavens overnight in the county. Several of those buildings belong to Manhattan developer and real estate titan, RXR Realty.  We spoke with Joseph Graziose, Senior Vice President of Residential Development, for a little more insight on how the company is bringing its city-style innovation up north.

Westchester Magazine: What are RXR’s current plans in Westchester?

RXR: RXR Realty’s work in Westchester is a natural expansion of our work in the multi-family, residential sector. In Yonkers, we own and operate Sawyer Place, a mixed-use residential building offering 438 units with 22 designated affordable. In the heart of New Rochelle’s historic Arts District, we own and operate 360 Huguenot, a 28-story apartment building featuring 280 units with 28 designated as affordable, and a 10,000 square-foot arts and culture space that we are contributing at no cost to the City of New Rochelle to manage. The building touts stunning 360-degree views of the Long Island Sound, Westchester County and the Manhattan skyline.

WM: New Rochelle’s skyline has become peppered with your buildings. Why did you choose the Queen City of the Sound to plant your roots in Westchester?

RXR: In New Rochelle, we were designated as the Master Developer for the city’s downtown. We’ve long believed that New Rochelle could be among the most innovative, thriving urban centers, which is why we welcomed the opportunity to reimagine its downtown and invest in rebuilding the city’s core, create a needed supply of housing for the region’s growing population, and help revitalize the local economy. The pandemic has only underscored our efforts.

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Photo by Daniel Martinez

New Rochelle was one of the early epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. As part of our investment in this community, we launched a $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund, a grant program dedicated to the recovery of New Rochelle’s nonprofits and small businesses. Through this fund, we provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to several local community organizations, such as Rebound New Rochelle, the Child Care Council of Westchester, and the Boys & Girls Club of New Rochelle to address food insecurity, the growing digital divide, childcare needs of essential workers, support for minority and women-owned local business and more.

Additionally, we ensured the ongoing construction and progress of One Clinton Park, a 28-story mixed-use tower with 352 state-of-the-art amenitized apartments, with more than 13,000 square feet of retail space, which is one of two new residential towers planned for the burgeoning downtown. One Clinton Park topped out in February 2021 and created 250 on-site construction jobs, employing a diversity of contractors, including MWBE firms and Westchester businesses, including companies local to New Rochelle.

WM: How do you see the future of the residential real estate market in Westchester?

RXR: With direct access to one of the largest commuter rail networks in the country in Metro-North, its beautiful parks and open spaces, and its diverse populace, Westchester County is well positioned to capitalize on the success of New York City. With a growing number of walkable downtowns throughout the county, Westchester should benefit from those renters seeking more affordable options than what’s available in New York City.

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Photo by Evan Joseph

WM: Do you have a current project in progress that you’re most excited about?

RXR: In New Rochelle, we’re looking forward to the opening of One Clinton Park early next year and the eventual groundbreaking of Two Clinton Park. These two buildings will bring 742 units of mixed-income housing and 20,000 square feet of local retail to the downtown area.

WM: Is there a business philosophy you live by?

RXR: At RXR, our operational philosophy is, “Doing Good and Doing Well means Doing Better.” We believe that we are more successful as a company when the communities where we operate are also successful. As we move forward with development in Westchester County, we will continue to leverage our projects to benefit the broader community through workforce development, local hiring, MWBE support, entrepreneurship, arts and youth programming and more.

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