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WHITE PLAINS-Amalgamated Life Insurance Cos. will be moving its corporate headquarters here next month. Amalgamated Life’s president and CEO David Walsh says that the insurer will be relocating from offices at 730 Broadway to approximately 132,000 sf at the former Kraft General Foods building at 333 Westchester Ave. in White Plains.

Amalgamated will be leasing space formerly occupied by Ameriquest Mortgage, which vacated the space two years ago. The troubled subprime insurer had leased more than 200,000 sf at the more than 500,000-sf complex owned by Cohen Brothers Realty Corp. of New York City.

Amalgamated’s parent company, Alico Services Corp., appeared before the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency on Thursday and was granted preliminary approval on $480,000 in sales tax exemptions in connection with its commitment at the White Plains property. Charles Cohen, president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty, who terms the deal “a major boost not only for our corporate center, but for White Plains and Westchester County as well,” says the lease deal with Amalgamated runs 15 years. Herb Goldberg on behalf of Edward Warren & Co., represented Amalgamated in the deal, Goldberg is now with City Connections Realty Inc. of New York City.

Walsh tells Globest.com that the firm had considered sites in Manhattan as well as in Newark before signing the deal at 333 Westchester. The company’s lease at 730 Broadway, which is owned by New York University, expires in 2009.

“We looked everywhere,” Walsh told IDA members. “We basically put a compass in the middle of our current location and looked everywhere within about 30 miles.” He added the White Plains property bested all others because of the assistance of the IDA, the location, the quality of the property and available workforce.

Founded in 1943 by Sidney Hillman, then president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to provide life insurance, health and disability coverage as well as retirement annuities, the company is shifting approximately 410 workers to White Plains. A major shareholder of Amalgamated Life is Unite Here, which consists of the former Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees unions.

Commenting on the deal, Westchester County Executive Andy Spano says, “We are delighted that Amalgamated Life is choosing to do business in Westchester. They were offered substantial incentives to relocate to New Jersey and we did everything we could to get them to come here instead.”

Salvatore Carrera, director of the county’s Office of Economic Development, adds that the county was in discussions with Amalgamated for about six months.

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