We’re thrilled about our latest and most important accomplishment—we successfully moved in, and we’re up and operating in our new home! Under the coordination of Murphy Brothers Contracting, final details to ready the building for our move over the weekend of December 3 and 4 included:
• completion of all restrooms with the installation of accessories and hardware
• California Closets completed the installation of all office furniture on all three floors
• completion of all remaining painting on all three floors
• Murphy Brothers Contracting completed the staining of the main stairway
• Murphy Brothers Contracting installed appliances in the break room areas on the first and second floors
• JP McHale Pest Management installed exterior rodent monitoring stations around the building perimeter
• Campanella Fence Company installed fencing along the rear of the property and the parking area
• completion of the final test of all systems, including the alarm, fire alarm, elevator, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems
• Polytemp tested all thermostats
• completion of window washing throughout and a final cleaning of all three floors
• Connecticut Thermofoam prepared the basement level for painting
• completion of all painting on the basement level
• Carpet Trends completed installing carpeting on the basement level
• Jilco installed cabinets on the basement level
• the creation of a storage room, including repurposed shelving, on the basement level
• following a successful inspection by the building inspector and fire marshal, Westchester Magazine received its certificate of occupancy
Next on our agenda
We may have moved in, but there’s still more work on the horizon. Next on our agenda: completing the basement level, including the installation of the countertops and backsplash in the chef demonstration kitchen, installation of appliances by Leiberts Royal Green, and completing the painting. Design Lighting by Marks also will install the exterior building and landscape lighting and the building will undergo an overall tune-up of all mechanicals and electrical systems.
Focus on… our move
Q & A with Noah Duarte, New York Regional Manager, Gentle Giant Moving Company
Q. Since you were responsible for Westchester Magazine’s actual move into the new building, how did you prepare to make sure it went smoothly?
Westchester Magazine did an amazing job getting ready for the move. Everyone was proactive in the process. Since we anticipated moving about four to six full truckloads, we supplied nearly 700 boxes, which we delivered in stages starting a month in advance, so that each person could pack their own belongings. By packing non-essential items in advance, they were able to plan ahead and not just throw things into boxes at the last minute. In moving 45 or so employees, it was important for us to have one point person at Westchester Magazine, who, in turn was the point person for the staff. That made it efficient for working out any hurdles we might encounter—and ensure they were low hurdles—as well as keep everyone on point and informed.
Q. What hurdles did you face?
We conducted the move over a weekend, so the Westchester Magazine staff could stop working in their Elmsford office the Friday before and then have a smooth transition to being fully functioning in the new building on Monday morning. Our biggest challenge was making sure each person’s belongings ended up where they were supposed to after the move. Having everything labeled correctly with a coding system helped make it clear where each item should go and reduce the need to handle items multiple times.
Q. What did the logistics involve for the actual move? Did it go smoothly?
The pre-planning and pre-packing in a manageable and structured way helped ensure that a move of this size went smoothly. We want everyone’s belongings to end up where they should be. But, there’s always a danger that someone will mislabel something, which can then cause the item to be delivered to the wrong location in the new office. We set up a relay going from one side of the county to the other, like an efficient conveyor belt system with two crews—one crew at the off load at the former Elmsford office and one crew at the new space in Rye—communicating with each other, but operating as unique teams. Largely due to the pre-planning, we were even able to complete the move a day ahead of schedule.
Q. Do you have a unique approach to ensuring a smooth move for your business clients?
Our goal is to move our clients safely and quickly. That’s our expertise. In fact, all of our employees are athletes by design and we have a unique team mentality. We look at each move as a sporting event—we move with great speed like locusts in a field. And we try to make sure our moves are as stress-free as they can be. That’s only possible because of the unique people we hire. Everyone who works for Gentle Giant is highly trained and compassionate. We take on the stress of moving so our clients can relax and focus on continuing to be productive.
Focus on… financing
Q & A with James J. Landy, President and CEO, Hudson Valley Bank
Q. What was your role in making Westchester Magazine’s new home possible?
We were proud to provide financing to take the project from concept to reality. Initially, we provided a land acquisition loan and followed that with construction financing to enable them to retrofit the building. We are glad we were able to partner with Westchester Magazine to help them make this move and take their business to the next level. We have had a long relationship with the Martinelli family. In fact, when the bank was founded in 1972, the Martinellis were among of our first customers.
Q. Are there advantages to working with an independent local bank?
We have been around for nearly 40 years. We were founded by a group of businessmen who were committed to local banking for the local community, a philosophy we maintain to this day. At the core of our mission is helping businesses grow and succeed and they, in turn, help us grow. Hudson Valley Bank is the largest independent community bank headquartered in Westchester. We have 35 branches and we are well capitalized. Along with more than $2.9 billion in assets, we have extended $2 billion in loans in the communities we serve, from Connecticut to Brooklyn. We are financially strong and we are here to stay.
Q. What helps keep you in such a strong position even in the current economic environment?
We focus on developing relationships with our customers and providing exceptional personal service. We make sure our customers have direct access to decision makers, which normally isn’t possible with large institutions. When our customers call, they don’t reach an 800 number or call center that’s answered across the country or across the globe. And, we are not one size fits all, we are flexible. We tailor our products to our customers’ specific needs. We are part of the community and we lend in our own backyard. We know our market and we know our customers.
Q. What do you find most rewarding in providing financing to local businesses?
It is so gratifying to see local projects succeed. Knowing that you helped make a project succeed is a terrific feeling. That legacy will always be there. In the end, it’s all about helping people and helping our communities.