• BREAKING: During Panel Discussion, RPW Announces Desire to Build Housing for Young Professionals on Its 1133 Westchester Avenue Campus

  • APRIL 18, 2013 | COUNTY GOV'T, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INT'L BUSINESS, REAL ESTATE, YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

  • Weisz Lauds Westchester County Association for Driving the Concept of Work. Live. Play.

  • Robert Weisz, president of RPW Group, announced today that he would seek
    approvals to build 300 residential housing units, affordable for young professionals, on his company's 1133 Westchester Avenue 80-acre campus. "The biggest problem...


    Weisz
    ...we have is housing suitable for young people," he said. "People want to live where they work and play. As we work to fill several million square feet of office space, we also need housing that people can afford."

    He credited the Westchester County Association for spurring the concept of Work. Live. Play. which is a key component of the WCA's economic development initiative The BLUEPRINT for Westchester.

    "We applaud the WCA for driving this concept and the City of White Plains for allowing mixed use development along the I-287 corridor," Weisz said.

    He and Marissa Brett, WCA's executive director of Economic Development, were panelists at "When? How? If? Will the Westchester County Commercial Real Estate Market and Economic Development Ever Regain Their Luster?," a luncheon and panel discussion organized by the
    Westchester County Business Journal. They were also joined by Kevin Plunkett, Deputy County Executive; George Constantin, Heritage Realty Services; Tom Roach, Mayor of White Plains; and Steven Banker, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. The session was moderated by Al DelBello, a principal of DelBello, Donnellan, Weingarten, Wise & Wiederkehr LLP.
    (L-R) Banker, Brett, Constantine, Plunkett and Roach.

    Even though the title of the event implied gloom and doom, the facts proved to the contrary. The panelists brought exciting news that six million square feet of available inventory had been substantially reduced (It's less than 5 million), and that global investors were eyeing Westchester, the demand for medical space was intensifying, dozens of entrepreneurial ventures were sprouting, and there was significant growth in the small and mid-size business sectors.

    "Although some of the multi-national corporations have relocated, other kinds of businesses are filling the space," said Plunkett. "And there's a good reason for that. Westchester has it all: proximity to New York City, good infrastructure, the best schools and recreational facilities, and great transportation options." Panelists made the point that if municipalities are willing to modify zoning requirements for mixed use in order to fill office buildings, the county will become that much more marketable.

    "It's a matter of repositioning," said Brett. "The number of qualified workers in this county is phenomenal." She added that the Westchester County Association created the Work. Live. Play. vision through its partnership with Project for Public Spaces. "We applaud White Plains for allowing mixed use development in the 287 corridor, and the Town of Harrison for considering the same," she said. "Once we start creating a healthy environment for business and places for our young professionals to live and play, you'll see tremendous demand."

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