Onyx Equities Issues RFP to Retrofit Class-A Office Buildings to Smart Office Campus

Real Estate In-Depth | July 2020

WestPark is located on nearly 26 acres at 1111 and 1129 Westchester Ave. in White Plains.

WHITE PLAINS—DJ Venn, senior vice president of asset management, Onyx Equities, announced on July 7th that the company had issued an RFP to create one of the first smart office campuses in the nation.

WestPark, as it is known, comprises two Gold LEED, trophy Class-A headquarters buildings on 25.6 acres, located at 1111 and 1129 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. The buildings are available for lease.

The plan, according to Venn, is to transform the buildings and the entire campus to meet the accelerating technological demands of 21st century businesses.

“Our vision is for WestPark to serve as a hub of connectivity for a global workforce and be the place where innovation and creativity will thrive,” Venn said. “With heightened interest by companies—and employees—seeking to relocate to the suburbs, our goal is to rival some of the most technically advanced campuses in the world.”

According to William V. Cuddy, Jr., executive vice president of CBRE, which is marketing the campus, while the complex is currently serving as the temporary headquarters of a major multinational corporation, a re-imagined WestPark will be the catalyst of something much, much larger.

“As Westchester County’s biotech, healthcare, financial services, and tech sectors continue to thrive, the chance to develop and position WestPark as the linchpin of an ‘Innovation Corridor’ along I-287—that will attract companies in New York City’s burgeoning tech and financial sectors, as well as others nationally—is very real,” he said. “The effect will be to invigorate and stimulate flexible ways of doing business, retain and expand the region’s young, educated workforce, and encourage more research and development here.”

The prime location and condition of the WestPark campus can draw a labor force from New York to Connecticut and New Jersey;

1111 Westchester Ave. boasts 234,281 square feet of Class-A space. 1129 Westchester Avenue offers 132,179 square feet of Class-A space.

The complex offers a powerful data center with fiber-optic connectivity, fresh-air ventilation systems, high-speed connectivity, a large cafeteria, fitness center, and plenty of power and back-up generation;

The buildings also have 1,127 covered and surface parking spaces, and boast modern security and life safety systems.

WestPark’s Smart Campus RFP is written for two phases of development. The first phase calls for the two buildings to be retrofitted with next-level technology, including AI and IoT data retrieval systems to meet 21st century demands in terms of sustainability, energy conservation, health and wellness, security, connectivity and workforce attraction.

The second phase calls for autonomous vehicles to set the stage for re-imagining transportation along the I-287 corridor, connecting New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which was invigorated in 2017 with the opening of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

“Our concept is for an autonomous shuttle and other autonomous vehicles to connect our innovation campus with our immediate neighborhood’s sports, food, and health facilities, and then to the White Plains multimodal, transportation center and Metro-North RR train stations. That’s for starters,” said Venn.

To that end, WestPark Associates will work proactively with New York State and Westchester County to encourage the development of an I-287 “Innovation Corridor” and the use of autonomous transportation in that corridor.

“Both our world-class Smart Campus and the concept of developing an autonomous transportation loop along the I-287 corridor all play into the vision we have of moving Westchester County into the forefront of smart business, innovation, and healthy living,” Venn noted.

Venn adds that with the advent of COVID-19 and major companies rethinking their desire to headquarter in large cities, “WestPark is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of our times.”

Venn predicts that the RFP, which is posted at www.westparkny.com, will be of interest to both leading global companies as well as second and third stage companies that are successfully producing innovative technology.

“Experience, qualifications, price, product viability, financial stability, and proposed timetable are among the many factors that will enter into the committee’s decision-making,” he said.

Submissions are due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2020 and decisions are expected by year-end.  For further information about the RFP or leasing, contact: William V. Cuddy, Jr., Executive Vice President, +1 203 325 5380, william.cuddy@cbre.com or Jacqueline Novotny, First Vice President, +1 203 352 8919, jacqueline.novotny@cbre.com