White Plains Station Is Getting a $94 Million Renovation

Plus, New Rochelle’s city hall is on the move; Compass acquires Platinum Drive Realty; and other business news.

Metro-North Railroad Kicks Off $94 million Renovation of White Plains Station 

Metro-North Railroad is set to begin work on a $94 million renovation of the White Plains station on March 19. According to Metro-North, the funds will help make the station “safer, brighter, cleaner and easier to navigate.” The Metropolitan Transportation Authority noted that construction may slightly alter Hudson and Harlem line schedules. The project, which is slated to take three years, will include new signs, improved platforms, benches with USB chargers, new station dashboards, and stronger WiFi and cellular connectivity. Plans call for improving the station’s entrances, upgrading restrooms and adding energy efficient LED lighting among other upgrades. The station will also receive new wall panels, ceiling tiles, and fixtures.


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White Plains Hospital Celebrates 125TH Anniversary with Donation Drives

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of White Plains Hospital, and to ring in the achievement the Hospital’s employees are leading a yearlong program to benefit children, seniors, and low-income families throughout the Westchester region. Throughout 2018, hospital physicians, nurses, leadership, and non-clinical staff will collect and donate items to various local charities. The donation drives kicked off in January with the hospital’s Marketing, Foundation, and Human Resources departments contributing children’s cold weather accessories to the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester. In February, the Hospital’s Critical Care Division donated 125 pedometers to the White Plains Senior Center. This month, the EVS, Food Service, and Radiology & Pathology departments will team up to collect new pajamas and books for children to be donated to Pajama Program, a nationwide charity providing new pajamas and books to children in need. “This donation drive extends our commitment to care that goes beyond the clinical, and lets our employees engage with the community in a way that’s very personal and meaningful,” explains Dawn French, White Plains Hospital’s Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations.


Co-Communications Relocates Headquarters to White Plains

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 The formerly Mount Kisco-based marketing and public relations agency Co-Communications, Inc., has relocated its headquarters to 4 West Red Oak Lane in White Plains.  The company, which also operates two satellite offices located in midtown Manhattan and Connecticut, is currently in its 20th year of business. The new office is approximately 3,000 square feet and is designed as an open, collaborative space. “We measure our success through our clients’ success and look forward to continuing to channel our energy into effective marketing programs for our current and new clients,” says Stacey Cohen, president and CEO of Co-Communications. “We have worked extremely hard to preserve the quality we are known for as we grow. Our new location enables us to meet the expanding needs of our clients while providing us with much-needed space to expand our team of Co-Stars, as we like to say.”


Compass Acquires Scarsdale’s Platinum Drive Realty

The venture-backed startup Compass recently announced it will be acquiring the Scarsdale-based brokerage firm Platinum Drive Realty, which sold $238.7 million worth of real estate in 2017. Valued at $2.2 billion after a $450 million 2017 investment from Softbank, Compass said in a statement that the acquisition is part of a larger plan to open 70 offices nationwide this year. Founded by Zach and Heather Harrison, Platinum Drive Realty has been on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America list for the last four years.


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Westchester Building Trades Protest Unsafe Construction Practices by AMEC

Westchester Building Trades protested the contractor AMEC on March 6 by leafleting Red Starr Investments in Harrison and Elmsford’s Robert Martin Company, two developers with projects AMEC is bidding on. The group accused AMEC of unsafe and illegal contracting practices. “I hope that by todays actions Red Star Developments and Robert Martin Company will use responsible contractors who don’t cut corners and do not sacrifice safety over productivity,” says Anthony Ascencao, business manager of Laborers Local 60. The protest is part of a larger ongoing campaign by Westchester Building Trades to address unfair or unsafe labor practices throughout the county.


Yonkers Tennis Center Becomes First Yonkers Company to Earn Official Green Business Certification

The family-owned Yonkers Tennis Center celebrated their official Westchester Green Business Partnership certification with a February 15 ceremony. The center’s green initiatives included the installation of LED lighting on their courts, recycling practices including the installation of a water filling station, selling reusable water bottles, and using “earth-friendly” cleaning products throughout the club, among other efforts. “The Green Business Partnership congratulates Joe Curto and the staff at Yonkers Tennis Center on achieving green business certification,” said Dani Glaser, program director Green Business Partnership. “The YTC did a fantastic job addressing all aspects of environmental sustainability at the tennis center and developed a roadmap for continuous improvement in the future. Well done!”


Mercy College Receives $150,000 Gift to Advance Student Success

On March 1, Mercy College announced it had received a $150,000 gift that will significantly enhance students’ education in the clinical sciences as well as their career and professional development. A former trustee of the College and his wife donated the sum for the acquisition of new medical visualization technology as well as technology to improve the College’s Career and Professional Development Services. “This is a tremendous show of support for our ongoing commitment to teaching excellence and experiential learning opportunities for all our students,” says college president Timothy Hall. “This gift puts Mercy students on the leading edge of technology applied to both their learning and their job prospects once they leave us.” 


White Plains Hospital Becomes First in the Country To Adopt System-Wide Platform to Enhance Patient Safety, Experience, and Care

This month, White Plains Hospital announced it is adopting an innovative High Reliability platform to advance quality and consistency throughout the Hospital and all of its facilities. White Plains Hospital is the first hospital in the United States to adopt a program of this type throughout every department and all clinical areas, including outpatient facilities. The new platform streamlines existing data collection, allows for capturing patient satisfaction information before patients leave the campus, and creates a closed-loop follow-up system for automatically addressing any issues. “Our vision for the Hospital’s future has always been to provide the best to our community, and this new initiative builds on our already high quality outcomes,” says Susan O’Boyle, RN, MSN, CPHQ, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at White Plains Hospital. “In today’s healthcare marketplace, patients have a choice. Excellence is what we promise; excellence is what we deliver.” WPH operates fifteen outpatient facilities throughout Westchester, a new 70,000 sq. foot Center for Cancer Care, and the busiest emergency department in Westchester.


BCW Holds Corporate Responsibility Panel 

Earlier this month, the Business Council of Westchester hosted the Tompkins Mahopac Bank Power Breakfast, which featured a panel titled “Corporate Social Responsibility – Social Partnerships that Make Good Business Sense: Part II.” The panel was moderated by Jennifer Flowers, founder and CEO of Accreditation Guru, Inc., The business council brought the CSR topic back by popular demand: in 2017, Jennifer moderated the panel “Corporate Social Responsibility Done Right,” which broke attendance records for a Power Breakfast. Both programs featured a distinguished panel of local business leaders and drew more than 100 attendees. The panel addressed factors in determining an appropriate social responsibility program, a lively discussion about the promotion of CSR efforts, and the effects that social responsibility programs have on company culture, identity, and employee retention.


McDonald’s Celebrates International Women’s Day by Honoring Woman Franchisees

In celebration of International Women’s Day, McDonald’s New York Metro Region recognized eight woman owner/operators for their contributions to their communities and to McDonald’s. The recognition is part of a national brand initiative to celebrate the women of McDonald’s, both past and present. On March 8, 100 woman-owned restaurants nationwide flipped McDonald’s iconic logo from “M” to a “W” on crew uniforms and restaurant packaging. One of these restaurants is located in Westchester. Cortesia Norman is the owner/operator of the McDonald’s restaurant on 470 South Fulton Avenue in Mount Vernon. Norman, who has been with McDonald’s for more than 23 years, operates four restaurants with her husband throughout the region. She has also served as vice president for the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association. 


Boyce Thompson Center Welcome a Host of New Retail Tenants

The Boyce Thompson Center, an 85,000 square-foot mixed-use hub in Yonkers, is welcoming Starbucks Coffee, ISO, and Executive Wine and Spirits to its roster. Currently, the mixed-use center is more than 90% leased. Starbucks has already opened its doors on the south wing of the plaza level while ISO, a Japanese restaurant, and Executive Wine & Spirits are scheduled to start business in the near future. Fortina, The Taco Project, PLUSHBLOW Salon, Ultimate Spectacle, and St. John’s Riverside Hospital are among the other tenants currently operating out of the Boyce Thompson Center.  Additionally, WESTMED Medical Group has leased a 20,000-square-foot addition recently added to the south end of the main building. ColumbiaDoctors, Family Wellness Pharmacy. Westchester Gastroenterology, Riverside Dental Health, and Juvanni Med Spa are among the other medical occupants.


New Rochelle Mayor Announces New Residential Developments

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson recently announced that New Rochelle may soon welcome three new residential towers. Wilder-Balter Partners of Elmsford, which is slated to present its plan to the city’s planning board this month, is eyeing a development at 14 LeCount Place with approximately 500 units in two 27-story towers. Meanwhile, BRP Development of New York City and Covenant Church are hoping to break ground on a 16-story project with 243 apartments at 500 Main Street. Additionally, Fisher Development is proposing the construction of 400 apartments across the street from the New Rochelle train station. These projects follow on the heels of the previously announced RXR Realty tower at 607 Main Street, which will add as many as 700 apartments in two 28-story towers.


New Rochelle to Move City Hall to MacQuesten Development Building by 2021

This month, Mayor Noam Bramson announced that New Rochelle’s City Hall will move from its current location at 515 North Avenue to the ground floor of MacQuesten Development’s mixed-use tower at 45 Harrison Street by 2021. Bramson made the remarks during his annual State of the City address. The New Rochelle school district will take over the City Hall building and use it for classrooms and administrative offices. MacQuesten’s $110 million project is expected to break ground this summer and will include, nearly 10,000 square feet of retail space, 238 apartments, and a four-story parking garage.

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