HGAR Cuts Ribbon on New Corporate Headquarters Offices
John Jordan | July 2016
WHITE PLAINS—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, opened its new offices in Downtown White Plains that the organization hopes will serve as its corporate headquarters for decades to come.
On Monday, July 18th, chief officials with the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, including HGAR President Marcene Hedayati, HGMLS President Renee Zurlo, HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty, staff, as well as a host of dignitaries, cut the ceremonial ribbon on HGAR’s new headquarters at One Maple Ave., also known as the Source at White Plains.
More than 200 Realtors, Affiliates and guests attended the event. White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach, U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey and George Oros, chief of staff for Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, spoke of the organization’s long-history in the region and marveled at HGAR’s new space at the complex that borders Maple Avenue and Bloomingdale Road. Oros also gave HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty a proclamation that recognized July 18th as Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ Day in Westchester County.
Founded in 1916 as the Westchester County Realty Board, the association now represents Realtors in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties. The Westchester County Board’s first office was located at Depot Plaza in White Plains. Since 2008, HGAR’s headquarters was housed at the Westchester Pavilion mall at 60 South Broadway. HGAR previously had its headquarters operations across the street at 59 South Broadway.
The former Westchester Pavilion mall is under contract to be sold by Urstadt Biddle Properties of Greenwich, CT. to Maple and Broadway LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lennar Corporation. Lennar plans to raze the property and construct a $227-million 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. Demolition of the property is expected to begin soon.
“We are honored to share this exciting moment with our local dignitaries, as well as our Realtor members, affiliates, and staff,” said Haggerty. “We look forward to continuing to be a vital part of the Hudson Valley, and an advocate for home owners in our local communities.”
He noted that when he joined the Realtor organization (Westchester County Board of Realtors) in 1984, it boasted a membership of 1,400. As of July 2016, HGAR now represents more than 10,000 members in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties.
The new space will also serve as the headquarters for The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, owned and operated by HGAR, which offers some 24,000 properties in the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. It is among the top 50 largest MLSs in the country.
The new location totals 15,614 square feet of space that houses the association offices and classrooms for the HGAR School of Real Estate. Architect MKDA LLC and building contractor William A. Kelly & Company designed and constructed the new office space, which offers a spacious lobby with four video screens, a row of newly installed windows and four skylights. The 250,000 square-foot complex is also home to The Cheesecake Factory, Whole Foods Market, Morton’s Steakhouse, Destination Maternity, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Raymour & Flanigan.
Other amenities at the HGAR headquarters offices feature a new student lounge area with kitchen, LED lighting through the facility, a large boardroom, conference room, and smaller meeting room. The two large classrooms can be converted into one via a skyfold wall and can accommodate up to 150 people. HGAR’s new offices encompass about one-third of the available space on the top floor of One Maple Ave.
HGAR’s Haggerty singled out the City of White Plains for expediting the approval of its plans at One Maple Ave., as well as Julia Lindh of MKDA and Eric Kelly of William A. Kelly & Co. for their fine work and dedication in working with HGAR staff to design and build-out the space under a tight deadline. He also praised HGAR Controller Vicky Gonzalez and MLS Director Gary Connolly for their tireless efforts in overseeing the new headquarters project. He also offered high praise to Westchester Pavilion owner and landlord Willing Biddle, president and CEO of Urstadt Biddle Properties, for working with HGAR and funding the relocation of its operations from the Westchester Pavilion to its new location at One Maple Ave.
“We really think this (new headquarters space) represents the organization in such a positive light. We have had so much great feedback,” Haggerty said. “We are very happy here and we hope that the members will enjoy the space, because really it is ultimately about you. Certainly as staff we are happy here, but we want you to be happy here. We want you to view this as a second home.”
He continued, “We want you to come to classes here, come to meetings here, get involved. Use this space because ultimately this is not staff space, it is HGAR space.”
The program ended when HGAR President Hedayati raised a glass of champagne and offered the toast: “To our new space and to 100 more years.”
For additional photos, Go to HGAR Facebook Album.