WHITE PLAINS, NY—The revitalization of Downtown White Plains may have officially begun on July 10 when the city’s Common Council gave final approvals to Tishman-Speyer Properties’ Town Centre development. The project, considered by many city and business officials to be the linchpin to the revival of the city’s troubled Downtown retail district, entails 400,000 sf of retail/entertainment space. The development is being built on the site of a former Macy’s department store on Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street and will feature a 21-screen Sony/Loew’s movie theater and a 120,000-sf Target department store.

The development should have a ripple effect on the local real estate market. While small retailers in the city’s CBD have experienced hard times in recent years, White Plains’ office availability rates have dropped considerably in the past 12 months. Thanks to an influx of new high-tech companies, as well as internal corporate expansions, the city’s office availability rate now stands at a little more than 16 %, almost half of the 30% posted just 18 months ago. Most observers believe the Town Centre development, combined with robust office leasing activity, will place upward pressure on office rental rates in downtown White Plains, which now stand in the mid to high $20 per sf.

At that July 10 meeting, the White Plains Common Council also granted final approval for a project near the White Plains railroad station that will see the development of 500 market-rate rental housing units in two high-rise buildings, a 160-room hotel and retail space. That project is being developed by a partnership that includes LCOR, the Jack Parker Corp. and RMC Development of Elmsford. In addition, the council also approved a proposal to build a Stop & Shop supermarket on the outskirts of the Downtown district.

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