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WHITE PLAINS-The Gateway office building will be getting a new look thanks to a significant capital improvement effort at the 530,000-sf, 19-story office building in downtown White Plains.

The building, which has boasted a 95% occupancy rate for the past few years, has been a mecca for the legal and finance sectors. The capital improvement program comes at a time, however, when the building owner is seeking to fill its first significant vacancy (63,000 sf) in a number of years.

The Alaska Permanent Fund, the state-run pension fund for Alaska residents that owns the property, plans a major renovation of the building’s lobby, cafeteria, elevator cabs and common areas. The granite flooring in the lobby is being completely restored and touch screen directories and displays will be installed on the lobby walls, according to officials with Insignia/ESG, the exclusive leasing and managing agent for the Gateway property. The reception desk is also being redone with glass panels and brushed aluminum laminate cladding. New halogen accent lighting will be installed to highlight the lobby’s solid wood paneling. The building’s security is being upgraded with a new card access system and recording security cameras. Perkins Eastman Architects has been retained to direct the renovation program. No cost figures on the renovation effort were released.

“Class A buildings remain class A buildings by continually re-investing in themselves. Gateway has always been a cut above the rest of the market and these improvements are designed to maintain its position ahead of the competition,” said Insignia Senior Managing Director William V. Cuddy Jr.

Insignia is currently marketing approximately 63,000 sf of space at the building that has become available due to the bankruptcy filings by former tenants Metromedia Fiber Network and Frontier Insurance. Metromedia Fiber had occupied 30,0000 sf and Frontier Insurance had leased approximately 17,000 sf. In addition, the law firm Lyon & Lyon LLP also vacated approximately 13,000 sf at the building.

Of the total space available in the building, 17,629 sf is on the fifth floor and 30,200 sf on the fourth floor, creating a contiguous unit of 47,829 sf. Also available is 15,000 sf of contiguous space on the 14th floor that was formerly occupied by Lyon & Lyon.

“This space is ideal for a law firm looking for immediate occupancy. It’s a turnkey situation for any company that needs space right now,” Cuddy says.

He adds that he expects leasing activity at the building to be brisk, noting the building’s popularity with law firms who want to be close to the U.S. Federal Courthouse and Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains and to the White Plains Metro North station.

While the leasing program has just begun, Cuddy says that Insignia/ESG hopes to announce a major lease renewal at the property in the near future. He would not divulge the name of the tenant that is set to renew its office space commitment at the property.

The tenant roster at Gateway (One North Lexington Ave.) includes: Alliance Capital, Mitsubishi Chemical America Inc., USB Paine Webber and the Bank of New York. In addition, the following law firms lease space at the building: Bleakley, Platt & Schmidt; DelBello, Donnellan Weingarten & Tartaglia; Lowey, Dannenberg, Bemporad & Selinger; Cerussi & Spring, and Collier, Halpern, Newberg, Nolletti & Bock.

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