Ginsburg Unveils Plans for City Square in Downtown White Plains

John Jordan | November 2018

WHITE PLAINS—Ginsburg Development Companies LLC recently unveiled its transformative plan for the Westchester Financial Center in Downtown White Plains to the White Plains City Council.

The City Square project calls for the renovation of the existing office complex and the conversion of a portion of the office space into multifamily housing and retail and community space.

The project was initially announced in the spring of this year as a joint venture between Ginsburg Development of Valhalla and Elmsford-based Robert Martin Co. A spokesman for GDC tells Real Estate In-Depth that Robert Martin Co. is no longer involved in the project and that GDC has bought out its interest in the venture.

City Square will involve the renovation of Class A office space at 50 Main St., new restaurants and retail space along Main Street and Martine Avenue, and the reinventing of the 1 Martine Ave. office building into 188 units of rental apartments. The property is bounded by Main Street, South Lexington Avenue, Martine Avenue and Bank Street. GDC presented the plans to the Common Council at a meeting on Nov. 26.

Ginsburg purchased the 571,000-square-foot property, comprised of the 50 Main Street and 1-11 Martine office buildings, along with the more than 1,000-car garage, in April of this year for $83 million earlier this year in a joint venture with Robert Martin Co.

GDC had earlier purchased The Metro, a 122-unit residential building at 37 South Lexington Ave., which completes the block which will be called City Square upon completion.

A spokesman for the developer tells Real Estate In-Depth that the construction cost for the project has been estimated at approximately $55 million.

The Westchester Financial Center was built in the mid-1980s by Robert Martin Co. as a three-building complex. The property was acquired in 1997 by the Cali Realty Corp. as part of its acquisition of the Robert Martin Co. Cali was later acquired by Mack Co. and subsequently operates as Mack-Cali Realty.

The transformation of Westchester Financial Center into City Square will be the first development project under the city’s new Transit District Development Zone, designed to make the neighborhood near the train station more pedestrian friendly with new retail and restaurant offerings. The station is currently undergoing a $92-million renovation by Metro-North Railroad.

“We are excited to be at the forefront in initiating this gateway project to the downtown. City Square will become a real mixed-use location in Westchester County for people to live, work, play and dine—all just steps from the new train station,” said GDC principal Martin Ginsburg.

GDC unveiled renderings of the redevelopment to City Council members that shows a dramatic new entrance for the 50 Main St. office building featuring a dramatic sculpture and new retail and restaurant buildings fronting Main Street, South Lexington Avenue and Martine Avenue. GDC is proposing a total of 19,540 square feet of new retail/restaurant space at the complex that is situated directly across from the White Plains Metro North station.

Upgrades to 50 Main St. will include an entire new amenity floor featuring a completely renovated cafeteria with outdoor dining, a fitness center, various meeting rooms, yoga/motion rooms, conference/assembly rooms, art gallery, exhibit area and a golf simulator.

The proposed 1 Martine residential conversion will contain 188 rental apartments offering studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Amenities in the building will include a Club Lounge with setback roof terrace, a fitness center and 24/7 Concierge Service.

An amenity that the entire complex will be able to enjoy is a new “City Square Park,” an almost one-acre landscaped roof deck that will sit on top of the property’s 1,033-space parking garage and will be accessible from all buildings. This Central Park will feature a dramatic fountain with plentiful seating, a putting green, a BBQ Pavilion and a 2,000-step, 4-level walking path with landscaping and sculpture features.

“City Square Park is a unique feature that will become a favored spot for all of those who live and/or work at this special place,” Ginsburg noted.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth