WHITE PLAINS-While there are reports of some possible major corporate givebacks of space in Westchester County, Reckson Associates Realty Corp. appears poised to be striking a new lease deal with Verizon Business, formerly MCI Inc., for a majority of the firm’s space at Reckson Executive Park in Rye Brook. David L. Sims, senior vice president and managing director for the REIT’s Westchester/Connecticut portfolio, says that a deal is in the works with the telecommunications firm on a new lease for 120,000 sf of space. Currently, the firm occupies 180,000 sf of space at 1 and 2 International Dr.

“The [former] MCI deal is a work in progress and should be done shortly,” Sims says. Sims and John Barnes, senior vice president, director of Reckson’s Westchester/Connecticut portfolio, were guest speakers at the Westchester County Board of Realtors Commercial Investment Division meeting yesterday. Both men say that the tenant interest in the 60,000 sf of former MCI space that will become available will be one of the factors that will determine whether Reckson will move forward with planned new construction at Reckson Executive Park. Verizon Communications completed the merger with MCI in January of this year.

Reckson has announced plans to possibly build 7 International Dr., a 315,000-sf office building at the complex. Sims says that Reckson management could go to the firm’s executive committee as early as this fall to get the go-ahead for the venture. Earlier this year, Reckson received an inducement for approximately $4.9 million in sales and use tax incentives from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency in connection with the 7 International Dr. project that it estimated would cost $86 million to build.

The building would be phase three of its 79-acre, six-building Reckson Executive Park, which currently totals 540,000 sf of existing office space. Sims and Barnes detailed a host of site improvements planned at Reckson Executive Park this year as well.Reckson will kickoff what Barnes terms “the largest repositioning Westchester County has ever seen,” next month. The firm plans to stage an event on June 13 to detail its multi-year, multimillion repositioning of the former 1.6-million-sf EastRidge office portfolio, which Reckson acquired in December last year for $255 million. Sims says the repositioning program to transform the portfolio into class A properties will begin on Westchester Ave. at the White Plains Office Park and then move to 2500 and 2700 Westchester Ave. properties. The Reckson executives note that a final cost estimate on the EastRidge portfolio repositioning has yet to be determined.

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