NORTHEAST SNAPSHOT, FEBRUARY 2005
Westchester County Office Market
During the nations recent economic downturn, New Yorks
Westchester County found its office market dealing with high
vacancy rates and limited activity. However, in 2004 there
was significant recovery in the market and conditions have
The Westchester market has a vacancy rate that is
just under 14 percent, says Sal Carrera, director of
the Westchester County Office of Economic Development. That
is almost the lowest rate in the past 4 or 5 years. The market
had been in the upper teens for many years, but it is doing
very well now.
Businesses throughout New York and in bordering towns in Connecticut
are finding the reasonable rates that exist within Westchester
County to be attractive alternatives to those in more established
markets such as New York City or Greenwich, Conn. The
typical rental rates in Westchester County are in the mid-
to high $20s, Carrera says.
There are many quality properties in Westchester, and the
Office of Economic Development can assist businesses seeking
to enter, or relocate within, the county. Increases in leasing
velocity and less negative absorption are responsible for
the improved statistics over the past year. And there is no
reason that the office markets fortunes will not continue
to increase in 2005. Although, according to Carrera, there
is very little office development occurring in this crowded
market the county houses 32 million square feet of
existing office space one major mixed-use development
is making an impact.
The city of White Plains is constructing more than 2,000
apartments units and has just completed a new downtown retail
center called the City Center, with 500,000 square feet of
entertainment and retail, explains Carrera. This new
development activity is spurring interest from businesses
and, coupled with the citys already improving office
market, White Plains is poised to experience increased activity
in coming months. The White Plains central business district
is an up-and-coming area for office activity, notes Carrera.
The CBDs vacancy rate in 1998 was 30 percent.
It is now down to 14 percent.
Three major corporations maintain offices in the county. IBM
has a large presence in various cities; Pepsi and MasterCard
occupy offices in Purchase, Harrison and Somers.
Other companies are actively seeking and finding properties
throughout Westchester. Two new companies have moved into
Westchester and established offices, and a number of businesses
have relocated within the county from existing spaces. Nokia
recently purchased a 105,000-square-foot building in Harrison,
and Triarc Companies, the franchisor and owner of more than
200 Arbys restaurants, moved its headquarters from New
York City to Rye Brook. Dannon Company has moved its Westchester
operations from Tarrytown to a 55,500-square-foot facility
in Greenburgh, and Lillian Vernon Corporation has relocated
to 52,712 square feet in White Plains.
Major brokers in the area include Reckson Associates, Mack-Cali
Realty Corporation and the RPW Group, a new player in the
market that has just purchased the 600,000-square-foot former
Philip Morris headquarters in Rye Brook, which it is going
to try to subdivide and fill with smaller tenants.
Carrera forecasts a successful coming year for the countys
office market, most notably because of competitive rates,
improving economics and the regions strong population.
I think that the market will continue to perform strongly,
he says. Three out of five workers in the county live
in the county, as well. There is a strong link between people
that live here and people that work here.
©2005 France Publications, Inc. Duplication
or reproduction of this article not permitted without authorization
from France Publications, Inc. For information on reprints
of this article contact Barbara
Sherer at (630) 554-6054.