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TARRYTOWN, NY-Reckson Associates Realty Corp., after having successfully repositioned one of the largest and historically most troubled properties in Westchester, is now setting its sights on building new office space in Rye Brook.

Salvatore Campofranco, senior vice president and managing director of the Westchester Division of the Melville, NY-based REIT, says that strong leasing activity this year has propelled its Reckson Metro Center development at 360 Hamilton Ave. in downtown White Plains to approximately 88% leased.

The company pumped in $15 million in construction costs to upgrade and reposition the former IBM building that sat vacant for more than a decade. Campofranco boasted that in less than a year, more than 300,000 sf of leasing activity has taken place at the high-rise property that totals 380,000 sf.

“In the first six months of this year, we accounted for 45% of the leasing activity in Downtown White Plains,” he notes.

Tenants at 360 Hamilton Ave., include: Heineken USA, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Redi Corp., Metromedia Fiber Network Services, Merrill Lynch, Gelco Information Network, NorthEast Optic Network, Inc. and CMGI Solutions Inc.

Campofranco says that by year’s end the property will be fully occupied. The company is now studying the costs related to the construction of its Reckson Executive Park project in Rye Brook. Reckson hopes to have its analysis completed soon so that it can determine whether to move forward with the four-story 310,000-sf project near the Connecticut border.

He reported that Reckson is carefully watching the economy for any hints of a significant downturn. Campofranco explained that the Rye Brook venture would fulfill a need for new commercial office space in the Westchester-Fairfield region. With the exception of proposed new development in Downtown Stamford there is very little new product on the horizon in the major markets of Westchester County.

“If the economy stays the same, I think it would be a go,” Campofranco predicts. If economic conditions remain favorable, Reckson could break ground on the venture in the spring of next year.

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