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WHITE PLAINS-Area brokers and developers say that a number of firms in the WTC area have contacted them looking for available office space in Westchester and Fairfield counties.

“I’ve been on the phone non-stop since yesterday,” says William Cuddy, senior managing director of Insignia/ESG’s Westchester-Connecticut office. He adds that in the past several days he has received “a number of calls” from World Trade Center area firms looking for space in Westchester and Fairfield counties.

“They are looking everywhere and for every size [of available space],” he tells globest.com “We are dealing with people who are looking to find out how to operate. Our role as brokers is to try and help.”

While he would not divulge the identity of firms that have contacted Insignia/ESG, Cuddy notes that the inquiries from the New York City firms were for both short- and long-term transactions and for small to large space requirements.

Cuddy says that he and other Insignia brokers at his firm have tried to cope with the calls in light of the World Trade Center catastrophe by supplying as much information as possible “so they can move forward.” He adds that while everyone’s focus should remain on hoping that others can be rescued from the World Trade Center site, brokers can help those workers and companies that have survived the terrorist attack. “There will come a time when these businesses will have to go back to work. And for many, their places of business no longer exist,” he laments. “I almost feel we are a crisis hotline for business,” he notes.

David Friedman, Northeast regional vice president for Louis Dreyfus Property Group, tells globest.com, “There has definitely been a number of calls [since the World Trade Center disaster] from New York City firms and they are looking for existing space.”

Friedman notes that his firm’s office properties in Westchester and Fairfield counties are just about fully leased. He told the company broker representatives that contacted his firm in the past few days about a number of sublease opportunities at its office buildings at 10 and 20 Westport Road in Wilton, CT.

He adds that according to his contacts in the brokerage community, “there has been a flurry of activity” from New York City firms seeking available space in Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey, particularly Jersey City.

Several speakers at the Westchester County Board of Realtors Commercial Investment Division meeting held on Thursday also confirm that New York City companies at or near the World Trade Center site are now looking for space in Westchester and Connecticut.

Andrew Greenspan, a partner in GHP Office Realty in White Plains, told the gathering, “Yesterday there were frantic, frequent calls from people looking for space.” GHP Office Realty owns approximately one million sf of space in the tri-state area, specifically in New Jersey, Rockland, Westchester and Fairfield counties. “We got calls from financial institutions, not necessarily in the World Trade Center but in and around there, for large and medium blocks of space,” Greenspan says.

Patrick Colwell, senior managing director for the Investment Services Group for Grubb & Ellis, told the attendees at the Board of Realtors session in White Plains that market conditions in the suburbs have changed in the past few days. “Actually we’ve heard that there are a substantial number of new tenants in the marketplace that are scouring, New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut for space because we lost about 14 million sf of space in Manhattan,” he said.

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