WHITE PLAINS-For the first time, Westchester County commercial office listings will be available online at MrOfficeSpace.com. The site will be linked to Westchester County government’s site, Westchestergov.com, reported Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano at a press conference yesterday (Tuesday, Dec. 5).

County officials had been holding discussions for more than six months with a number of online real estate information-related companies before a link partner. Users can access the site through the Economic Development section of the county’s home page and connect with “Office Space Currently Available.” The site offers users the ability to search through 25 million sf of available commercial space.

MrOfficeSpace.com, founded by Yale Robbins Inc., was launched in September with New York City listings. Available space in Westchester County is now available at the site and Fairfield County, CT office listings were also added to the site in the past few weeks, according to Yale Robbins, president of MrOfficeSpace.com. He adds that listings for Northern New Jersey will be available at the site within the next 90 days.

“Allying with this free Internet-based listing service will help encourage real estate activity throughout the county,” said Spano. “MrOfficeSpace.com’s technology ensures that the information is always up-to-date and makes it even easier to show what Westchester has to offer. Tools like this will give another boost to our already healthy economy.”

Vacancy rates have steadily dropped countywide since 1998, making the area even more attractive to businesses, said Director of Economic Development Salvatore J. Carrera. Office availability rates for the White Plains business district fell from a high of 30% a few years ago to 15% (for the third quarter of 2000), while overall countywide office availability figures for the same period declined from 16% to 11%. The county is expecting the rate to fall into single digits next year, Carrera and Spano agreed.

Carrera said he had shopped around for the best site with which to ally. He had been fielding a lot of calls from businesses, brokers and managing agents wanting office space availability information and wanted to find an easier way to show clients–especially those out of state–what was available in Westchester.

“I spent so much time giving them this information. It would have been so much easier to suggest they go to a web site and see what’s happening,” he relates.

Carrera reports that a Westchester-based company that had been looking to expand its operations from 25,000 sf to 60,000 sf, called in frustration recently to inform county government it was most likely going to relocate to Connecticut. He relates that he informed the unnamed company executive to log onto the MrOfficeSpace.com site and search for available properties in Westchester.

“He visited the site and was flabbergasted by the amount of availabilities here in Westchester,” Carrera says. The county now believes the firm will stay here.

The Internet-based listing service allows a user to search 95% of Westchester’s commercial real estate market in moments, Robbins notes. Users can search by several criteria, including size, rent and location, and find out what space is available in which buildings. The site includes photographs, links to local maps, and the names and numbers of rental agents. E-mail alerts can also be requested when new properties come available. The information is updated every 15 days to 30 days.

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