Commercial real estate in Westchester County (and Fairfield County in Connecticut) has demonstrated strong steady growth of late. It is expected to continue, which will in turn stimulate the local economy, say real estate leaders who met Tuesday morning for a panel discussion in Stamford, Conn.
The growth is particularly seen in new leases and major building renovations. One aspect is the trend to remake a current building, such as happened when the former St. Agnes Hospital was transformed into a luxury residence for senior citizens in White Plains and office space is being adapted for an expansion of New York Medical College in Hawthorne.
“There is a fair amount of activity,” said John Barnes, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Suburban Division of Reckson a division of SL Green Realty Corp. He said tenants are seeking to renew leases and lock in rates, and new business are looking favorably on suburban office space as compared with higher-priced space in New York City.
In addition to Barnes, panelists were Jeremy Leventhal, Managing Partner, Faros Properties; Brett Wilderman, Principal, Forstone Capital; Alex Argento, Senior Vice President and Director of Operations, Vidaris, Inc.; Jeff Newman, Executive Vice President, Malkin Properties; and Jose Cruz, Senior Managing Director, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. Steve Kirn, Partner NE Construction, McGladrey, was the moderator.
When office space gets rented it means more jobs in the area and it causes a chain reaction of real estate growth.
“As the office market makes its way back you will see job growth prompted by the influx and expansion of business tenants,” he said, adding that his firm is working on multi-family housing projects in White Plains and New Rochelle because workers need appropriate places to live.
The 2nd annual Future of Westchester & Fairfield Counties networking breakfast was organized by Bisnow Media, an online publisher and events producer, drew at least 200 attendees to hear about the local real estate market. Sponsors were Vidaris, Inc., McGladrey, and HFF and the marketing partner was Co-Communications, Inc.