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WHITE PLAINS-Robert Weisz, president and CEO of locally based RPW Group Inc., went before the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency on Sept. 4 seeking nearly $3.8 million in sales and mortgage tax exemptions in connection with his firm’s plan to build a new commercial office building at 1135 Westchester Ave.

The plan calls for the construction of a 280,000-sf office building at his firm’s 70-acre property that currently includes 1133 Westchester Ave., a more than 600,000-sf office building RPW Group purchased from IBM a few years ago and repositioned as a multi-tenant building in a project estimated at $115 million. That building is currently 80% leased.

Weisz tells GlobeSt.com that the new office-building project will cost approximately $75 million to build. Also at the property–which is adjacent to Maple Moor Golf Course and at the crossroads of I-287 and the Hutchinson River Parkway–RPW Group has to only secure building permits to begin construction on a 160-room hotel at 1131 Westchester Ave. That project has been estimated at between $30 million and $40 million.

The new office-building project received preliminary inducement from the Westchester County IDA. If the plan’s incentive package is finalized, Weisz says his firm will immediately begin the approval process for the project with the City of White Plains. He adds that he hopes to begin construction on the office building in 2009 and complete it by the end of 2010 or early 2011. Construction of the hotel and office building could go on simultaneously. In the past, Weisz has stated that he hoped to begin construction on the new hotel by the spring of 2009. At present, Weisz is in discussions with a number of hotel operators but has yet to select a flag for the property.

Commenting on the new office-building project, he says, “we are going to be offering it to Fortune 500 companies. We do not have a tenant currently, but we will be looking to attract companies to the property.” While he would not identify any potential tenants, his firm is in discussions with a number of companies about the project. Glenn Walsh of Cushman & Wakefield will be the exclusive leasing agent for the new office building at 1135 Westchester Ave.

“For the past 20 years there has been no new construction of class A multi-tenanted office buildings in Westchester County,” Weisz states. “There are no existing properties in the county that have the ability to offer tenants floor plates of 100,000 or more sf, which are necessary to attract Fortune 500 and other large national and international companies to Westchester County.”

According to paperwork filed with the IDA, the building would be LEED-certified and will be designed with large floor plates, a cafeteria, executive dining room, fitness center, sundry shop and a day care center. The plan also calls for the building to be connected to the existing 1133 Westchester Ave. building.

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