Westchester County Business Buzz (3/3)

The latest Westchester County business buzz from this week.

Women’s Fashion Manufacturer Moving to Yonkers

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Yonkers is rolling out the red carpet for Leggiadro International, a women’s fashion manufacturer and retailer, which has purchased 65 Main Street in downtown Yonkers for use as a factory, cutting room, warehouse, design office, and outlet store. The company, which operates boutiques in New York City, Palm Beach, Dallas, Nantucket, Santa Barbara, and eight other locations, will bring 20 workers to Yonkers’ downtown. The company is purchasing the building for $1.65 million and expects to invest another $1.4 million in construction, furnishings, and fit-out spending. The building currently houses a hardware store, but is otherwise empty. The hardware store will seek to relocate.

“These are skilled, high-paying jobs that are relocating from New York City to Yonkers,” noted Mayor Mike Spano, who chairs the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency. “This is a clear signal that we are appealing to an ever wider variety of businesses.”

The company’s average salary is $70,000. The YIDA will provide a mortgage tax exemption of $20,700 and a sales tax exemption on construction materials estimated at $48,575. The company will also receive a limited property tax abatement. 

Flexjet Lands in Westchester

Flexjet, a fractional ownership company currently based in Teterboro, NJ, has announced plans to relocate its fractional jet charter operations to Westchester County Airport in White Plains. The move is thanks to a series of incentives provided by Westchester’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA), and will bring an initial 38 high-wage permanent jobs to Westchester, and create an additional 55 permanent jobs over the next five years. In addition, 20 construction jobs will be created during the four-month-long renovation of Flexjet’s new home at hangar “F.”

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The financing and tax-exemptions made available through the IDA help defray the cost of the move from Teterboro and support the $5 million renovation project. The construction project is expected to begin in May and transform the hangar into a state-of-the-art facility and convert the current office space into a modern, technologically advanced passenger lounge. “Westchester is an ideal location for Flexjet as we expand our programs and continue to deliver an exceptional, world-class customer experience,” says Kenneth Ricci, chairman of Flexjet.

New Certificate Program for Nonprofit Leaders

The Manhattanville School of Business has introduced its Nonprofit Management Certificate, a program designed for nonprofit leaders, board members, volunteers, employees, and those interested in the nonprofit sector (which, by the way, is the biggest industry in Westchester, even though it doesn’t pay profits). The management certificate will provide key strategies for building high-performing, transparent organizations instructed by leading practitioners. The Nonprofit Management Certificate will be delivered in a hybrid format using face-to-face and video conference sessions. Participants enroll in one module per month, on a rotational basis, and can complete as many modules as they choose. Instructors are available for personal guidance after each module has been completed. Those who complete all five modules receive the certificate and are eligible to receive advanced standing in the M.S. in Business Leadership degree at Manhattanville. The topics of focus include financial management, staff management, fundraising and development, external relations, and marketing.

Friedland Realty Advisors Expanding

Friedland Realty Advisors, a leading commercial brokerage firm, decided to keep their corporate headquarters in Westchester, thanks in part to incentives approved recently from Westchester’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA). The company, having outgrown its current location in Yonkers, has chosen to relocate to a larger space at 440 Mamaroneck Avenue in Harrison. The 45-year old firm chose staying in Westchester over moving to New York City, Stamford, or New Jersey, because, “Location, location, location,” according to Ayall Schanzer, Friedland Realty Advisors’ president and CEO.

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“Westchester positions us to be a dominant regional player with close proximity to our target customers and desirable inventory,” Schanzer says.

The IDA incentives will finance the renovation of their new space as well as purchases that will upgrade the firm’s technological capabilities. The firm anticipates hiring four executive-level employees and contracting with seven real estate brokers over the next year, adding to its existing seven full-time employees and 26 brokers.

Photo courtesy of the City of Yonkers

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