Westchester IDA Approves Incentives For Three Major Development Projects

John Jordan | June 2019

An aerial rendering of the Hamilton Green project to built at the site of the White Plains Mall.

WHITE PLAINS—The Westchester County Industrial Development Agency on June 13 granted final approvals for incentives to firms that plan to redevelop the White Plains Mall and the former Westchester Pavilion Mall, as well as build a new senior living project on Bloomingdale Road here.

The three projects total well in excess of $1 billion in new development in the City of White Plains and involve the addition of 1,674 apartment units and another 132 units of senior housing. The IDA Board gave final approval to Lennar Multifamily Communities’ 60 South Broadway project at the former Westchester Pavilion Mall site; WP Mall Realty, LLC’s massive mixed-use Hamilton Green project at 200 Hamilton Ave. at the site of the White Plains Mall and National Development’s 120 Bloomingdale Road senior living project. All three projects made presentations before the Westchester County IDA back in April.

The IDA also granted incentives in connection with POP Display’s 25,000-square-foot lease at 1 International Drive in Rye Brook.

The redevelopment of the current White Plains Mall by owner WP Mall Realty, LLC will involve the demolition of the outdated 170,000-square-foot existing mall at 200 Hamilton Ave. The more than $580-million “Hamilton Green” project will entail 860 apartment units in four buildings with 10% of the units earmarked as affordable.

Other major components include 84,500 square feet of specialty retail and restaurant space, including a Food and Craft Hall, 27,000 square feet of office space, and approximately 956-space parking garage and open space.

Eon S. Nichols, an attorney with the law firm Cuddy & Feder LLP, said a PILOT agreement was approved by the White Plains City Council on June 3.

Kenneth Narva, managing partner of Street-Works Development of Port Chester, said he expects construction/excavation will begin by the end of this year after environmental remediation work is completed. The first phase, which will include extensive infrastructure, is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2022, with the second phase completed 16 months later.

The equity partner in the project is Mass Mutual. Narva told the IDA Board he expects to close on the financing for the first phase of the project in the next six to eight weeks. The IDA Board approved approximately $14 million in sales tax exemptions and $3.5 million in mortgage tax exemptions for the project.

The redevelopment of the former Westchester Pavilion Mall has been delayed, due in part to Lennar re-working its original plan to reduce the amount of retail space at the development. The Westchester Pavilion Mall has been demolished to make way for the new development.

The project, which has been valued at approximately $500 million, will feature a total of 814 units at full build-out and more than 28,000 square feet of retail space. The development would be built in two phases. Mr. Nichols said the developer expects to create between 600 to 700 construction jobs during the life of the project. A PILOT agreement in connection with the project was approved by the White Plains City Council on June 3. A subdivision approval was pending at the time of the session.

Lennar secured IDA approval of sales tax exemptions of $5.5 million in phase one and $5.4 million in phase two; mortgage tax exemptions of $1.25 million in phase one and $1.25 million in phase two and property tax abatements of $28 million in phase one and $30 million in phase two.

Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in June 2020, with occupancy in September 2022. The second phase will begin construction in June 2022, with occupancy in September 2024.

Lennar officials noted that the firm has broken ground on its 434-unit Broadstone apartment project on Mamaroneck Avenue and East Post Road in White Plains. Nichols said Lennar recently closed on a $106-million loan in connection with the project.

The IDA also granted final inducement on the “Waterstone” senior living project that will be built on Bloomingdale Road. The $120-million development will involve a five-story, 132-unit independent living facility.

The project, which is s expected to take 22 months to complete, was granted more than $2.4 million in sales tax exemptions and $780,481.78 in mortgage tax exemptions by the IDA.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth