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This Week's Westchester County Business Buzz (1/27)

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Groundbreaking Alert: Hampton Inn Yonkers

On January 13, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano together with the Yonkers City Council, the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency and Alfred Weissman Real Estate, LLC., broke ground on a 150-room Hilton Hampton Inn at 555 Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers.

“The hotel business in Yonkers is growing rapidly, a strong indication that the city is establishing itself as a leading destination for business and travel,” said Spano. “Business developers are confident in the future of Yonkers, and they’re saying so by investing in us.”

The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA) approved assistance to facilitate the project in May 2014, adding it to the city’s growing roster of nationally-branded hotel chains. Opening for the hotel is planned for late summer this year. When finished, the 188,000-square-foot hotel will offer a state-of-the-art hospitality experience including a pool, fitness center, and comfortable lobby environment. The hotel will provide an estimated 50 permanent positions, as well as nearly 200 temporary construction jobs.

County’s Two Largest Hunger Service Agencies To Merge

The Food Bank for Westchester and the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless will hold a special ceremony to sign an agreement merging the two organizations into Westchester’s largest provider of services addressing hunger. Under the agreement, the White-Plains-based Coalition will be incorporated into the Food Bank, which distributes more than 7.2 million pounds of food each year to an estimated 200,000 Westchester residents. The event will take place Friday January 30 and will include Ellen Lynch, executive director of the Food Bank for Westchester, Jeanne Blum, executive director of the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless, and other dignitaries. The move combines the two largest Westchester-based hunger service agencies.

TOD Gets Green Light in White Plains

Last week, Westchester’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) announced its approval of amendments allowing a $250 million transit-oriented development (TOD) of housing, retail, and parking planned for a site just south of the Metro-North train station in downtown White Plains to proceed. The complex to be built at 55 Bank Street is estimated to create up to 533 new construction and permanent jobs.

“This project offers convenient, affordable housing for the county’s workforce near a transit hub that will get them to their place of work or wherever they want to go,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “This kind of private investment is moving Westchester forward.”

The project at 55 Bank Street will be comprised of two 16-story apartment buildings which will be constructed on a site currently occupied by a commuter parking lot. Development firm LCOR acquired the site from the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency. The 760,000-square-foot complex will include 449 market rental apartments, 112 affordable rental units, 6,300 square-feet of retail space and a 570-space parking garage. Construction is expected to begin in March.

Montefiore-White Plains Hospital Partnership Finalized

Earlier this month, the New York State Health Commissioner approved the partnership agreement between Montefiore Health System and White Plains Hospital, making it the latest in a long string of county hospital affiliations. White Plains Hospital is now a member of Montefiore Health System, serving as the tertiary hub of Montefiore’s growing Westchester network. The alliance will result in more advanced and coordinated care in the region, according to Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Health System. Safyer and Jon B. Schandler, CEO of White Plains Hospital, issued the following statement celebrating the final agreement: “Our institutions are partnering to bridge the divide between academic medical centers and community hospitals—giving Westchester the best of both worlds. White Plains Hospital will continue to expand its level of highly-specialized treatment, with all the resources and advantages of Montefiore’s innovative care delivery system and academic partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.”

Solar Power Discount Program Hits Four Westchester Communities

Starting this month and until June, homeowners and businesses in four Westchester community coalitions will have the opportunity to participate in a solar power discount program that makes installing solar electric systems simpler and more affordable. Solarize Westchester has selected the following four coalitions to participate in a Solarize campaign:

• Solarize Bedford-Mount Kisco (the Town of Bedford and the Village of Mount Kisco)

• Solarize Cortlandt-Croton (the Town of Cortlandt and the Village of Croton)

• Solarize Ossining-Briarcliff (the Town of Ossining and the Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor)

• Solarize Larchmont-Mamaroneck (the Town of Mamaroneck and the Villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck)

The Solarize program encourages increased adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems by offering lower installation costs due to economies of scale. Group discounts offered by a competitively selected, qualified solar contractor are coupled with extensive community outreach and education to create awareness and build interest. Home and business owners who sign up for solar installations by the campaign end date (June 1, 2015 for some of the communities, slightly later for others) will be able to take advantage of group rates significantly below market prices. Solarize Westchester anticipates at least 50 new signed contracts for solar power installations in each community coalition by June.

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