WHITE PLAINS-Developer Louis Cappelli went before a work session of the White Plains Common Council on Thursday evening with a project called Station Square that would entail the construction of 1.5 million sf of new office space in three tower buildings near the White Plains train station. If Cappelli has his way, the three tower buildings would be connected via people movers and walkways to a radically improved White Plains Metro North station that would have approximately 30,000 sf of new retail space. The building heights (including mechanicals) would be 475 feet, 425 feet and 375 feet. The project, Cappelli says, would link the revitalized Downtown section of the city with the area in and around the train station.

Cappelli, president of Cappelli Enterprises, stated that the project demand will be driven by the low vacancy rates and high office rents of near or above $100 per sf in Manhattan. Cappelli says that he plans to charge $50 per sf triple net for office space at the property and believes that he will be able to attract large New York City-based tenants to the property. “We see this project appealing to major financial services companies coming out of Manhattan,” he said. “And we will have the ability to build large trading floors as well.”

In addition to the office buildings, Cappelli proposes to replace an existing 900-car parking garage with a 1,500-car facility. He told council members that there would also be another 1,500 parking spaces underneath the three office towers. He also revealed that he is in discussions with the Alaska Pension Fund on a parcel of land nearby that could accommodate another 500,000 sf of development. He stated that, if the sale goes through, he envisions a possible five-star hotel at the site. Cappelli is currently constructing a $600-million mixed-use development in Downtown White Plains that includes a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

“Station Square will connect the successful redevelopment in the Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street area with the city’s transportation hub to create a first-class gateway to White Plains,” he said. “This is smart growth in its truest sense.”

Cappelli has hired Skidmore Owings and Merrill to design the project, which he says will incorporate LEED green building technologies. He also plans to build a new fire station for the City of White Plains at a yet-to-be-determined site. He also noted that he plans to work on obtaining funding for the Grove Street Extension project, a proposal that has been incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan since the early 1960s and aims at improving traffic along Main Street and Hamilton Avenue. Cappelli and some council members admitted that, without the Grove Street Extension project, the scope of Station Square might have to be scaled back.

He concluded his remarks by asking the city for exclusivity for the property that is owned by the City of White Plains so that a master development agreement between his firm and the city could be reached within the next 60 days.

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