HGAR Moves Into New Headquarters

John Jordan | April 2016

Information area
Front entrance
Front entrance

WHITE PLAINS—The long awaited move of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors from its offices at the soon to be demolished Westchester Pavilion mall to offices down the street at the Source at White Plains complex was completed earlier this month.

Boxes were packed and movers and staff completed the office move on Friday, April 1st. HGAR opened for business the following Monday at its new state-of-the-art facility at the Source at White Plains. The association is housed on the third floor of the 250,000-square-foot complex at One Maple Ave. HGAR joins a tenant roster that includes: Whole Foods, Morton’s Steakhouse, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Raymour & Flanigan, Destination Maternity, and The Cheesecake Factory.

Reception area
Reception area

HGAR occupies comparable space as it had in its offices at the Westchester Pavilion. The association now occupies 15,614 square feet under a long-term sublease with Urstadt Biddle Properties, the owner of the Westchester Pavilion. Richard Haggerty, CEO of HGAR, said the space at the One Maple Ave. property is much more efficient than the space at the 60 South Broadway. For example, gone is the long hallway leading into the offices.

“The layout is much more conducive to maximizing our ability to utilize our space,” he said. HGAR has the option in the future to convert the sublease into a direct lease arrangement with the property owner.

Classroom
Classroom

“The move went extremely smoothly, we were open for business first thing on Monday morning (April 4th) with phones and computers operating,” Haggerty said. “We have already had a series of committee meetings, along with our first Board of Directors meeting this past Wednesday and so far the reaction to the new space has been extremely positive.”

Haggerty praised staff and vendors that assisted in the headquarters relocation and offered special recognition to Willing Biddle, president and CEO of Urstadt Biddle Properties, for complying with the terms of the relocation agreement and paying for the build-out of the new headquarters space and all of the furnishings.

Staff offices
Staff offices

He also singled out the work of architect Julia Linh and her team at MKDA LLC, and the building contractor Eric Kelly of William A. Kelly & Company for their fine work in designing and building out the new headquarters space. Haggerty also complimented Gary Connolly, director of multiple listing service & information services for HGAR, for ensuring the relocation process went smoothly.

Haggerty related that the new headquarters offers expansive conference space as well as two large classrooms for the association’s school of real estate separated by an airfold sky wall that retracts into the ceiling to create one larger classroom that could accommodate approximately 150 students when necessary.

The HGAR headquarters space also features a row of newly installed windows that offer dramatic views of Downtown White Plains and four skylights creating an abundance of natural light. Other amenities in the new space include higher ceilings, a comfortable student lounge area with kitchen, LED lighting throughout the entire facility, as well as an impressive information area near the front entrance featuring four large LED flat screen monitors.

Information area
Information area

Haggerty explained that the four flat screen monitors are designed as a video wall that can be programmed to play four different informational videos or one presentation.

Another attractive feature of the new space is that parking is directly accessible outside of HGAR’s third floor entrance in the back of the Source at White Plains property.

HGAR moved into its former headquarters on the top floor of the Westchester Pavilion in 2008, and was the last remaining tenant in the building when it relocated earlier this month. Major past tenants had included Border’s Books, Toys R Us, Education Warehouse, Sports Authority and Daffy’s. Earlier this year, Outback Steakhouse, Subway, McDonalds and Corner Sushi shut down their respective operations at the mall.

The now vacant Pavilion mall is under contract to be sold to Maple and Broadway LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lennar Corporation.  Lennar plans to raze the current Pavilion property and construct a major mixed-use development at that location. Current plans feature more than 700 residential rental units with retail and restaurant space covering more than 850,000 square feet.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth