HGAR Celebrates All That is Westchester County
John Jordan | August 22, 2023
WHITE PLAINS—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors shined the spotlight on Westchester County on July 24 with a highly informative program that highlighted the latest in economic development, politics, as well as updates from HGAR on a host of its initiatives that impact Westchester County and its real estate market.
The program was the second in a continuing series that focuses on the key market areas serviced by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. On July 17, the association staged a highly-informative and well-attended “Rockland County Day” program at the Nyack Seaport.
The main program of the association’s Westchester County Day began with presentations by Roseann Paggiotta, HGAR Regional Director – Westchester County and HGAR President Tony D’Anzica, who briefed the attendees on the association’s latest initiatives, including the conclusion of its CEO search with the hiring of Lynda Fernandez, CAE, RCE, CIPS as HGAR’s new Chief Executive Officer. Fernandez comes to the association after serving as CEO of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors since 2021. Fernandez is scheduled to take her new post at HGAR on Sept. 1.
Freddimir Garcia, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer of HGAR, discussed the importance of incorporating DEI into a real estate firm’s operations and a host of initiatives HGAR has undertaken to promote those principles.
Gail Fattizzi, President, Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, briefed the attendees on the tremendous charitable work the foundation has undertaken since 2016. The fundraising committee of the foundation raised funds primarily through Pub Nights and since 2016 has handed out a total of $367,000 in grants to recipients engaged in tackling housing, hunger, health, happiness and humane needs issues.
The program continued with a panel that focused on economic development and commercial real estate in Westchester County. Moderated by HGAR Commercial Investment Division President Clayton Livingston, the panel featured: Bridget Gibbons, Director, Economic Development, Westchester County and developers: Lily Ackerman, Managing Director and Project Manager, Hines and Andrew S. Weisz, Executive Vice President of RPW Group.
Gibbons detailed the efforts by Westchester County to assist businesses find workers and has held a host of sector-oriented job fairs, as well as efforts geared at offering training for growth industries in the county.
Ackerman discussed Hines’ development projects in the region, including its first project in New Haven, CT, as well as its Northlight at Edge on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow. She noted that the recently completed project features 246 units at the former General Motors Assembly Plant property and is 96% leased. Hines is also planning a second development called “Daymark at Edge on Hudson,” which will feature 100 condominium units at the Sleepy Hollow property.
She said that Hines is currently exploring other residential development opportunities throughout the New York metro region.
Weisz detailed the company’s recently completed 303-unit rental apartment project at 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains adjacent to the company’s office building complex. He also noted that the Rye-Brook-based firm secured approvals in March of this year for a 200-unit apartment development in Harrison.
The program also featured a legislative panel discussion that covered a wide array of topics, including the state’s housing crisis. The panel included: New York State Assemblyman Chris Burdick (D-93rd District); New York State Senator Shelley B. Mayer (D-37th District, Westchester County Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D-13) and White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach.
Westchester County Day concluded with a reception hosted by HGAR’s Young Professional Network.
Sponsors of the Westchester County Day event were: Hudson United (Premier Sponsor) and Gold Sponsors: Clancy Relocation & Logistics; Alan M. Block Agency Inc. and Raymour & Flanigan.
Upcoming County Days
The next County Day event will fete The Bronx on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at The Castle Hill YMCA and will begin at 1:30 p.m. Among the key highlights of the program include briefings by HGAR President Tony D’Anzica, Lynda Fernandez, who is scheduled to begin her tenure as HGAR Chief Executive Officer on Sept. 1 and Eliezer “Eli” Rodriguez, Esq., Regional Government Affairs Director for HGAR/Director, Bronx Chapter of HGAR.
The program will also include presentations on the latest legislative developments in New York City, Albany and Washington, DC, as well as a briefing on the Bronx’s commercial real estate market by MacKenzie Forsberg, HGAR CID Vice Chair, and Kathy Zamechansky, Owner and President of KZA Realty Group, Inc.
Matt Engel, HGAR Legislative Committee Co-Chair/HGAR Bronx Chapter Legislative Co-Chair and Sandra Erickson, HGAR Bronx Chapter Legislative Co-Chair, will moderate the legislative discussion. Scheduled speakers include: New York State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda (D-32nd District); State Assemblymember Kenny Burgos (D-85th District; New York City Council Member Marjorie Velazquez (D-13th District); and Bronx Community Board 11 District Manager, Jeremy H. Warneke.
Joseph Cosentino, Regional Director, Bronx Chapter of HGAR, will close out the presentations, which will be followed by an HGAR Young Professional Network reception that will run from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Bronx County Day will also feature a Tour of the Castle Hill YMCA from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
HGAR asks its members to mark their calendars for Orange County Day and Putnam County Day, which are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 11 and Monday, Nov. 6 respectively. Please go to https://www.hgar.com/events for further information.
PHOTOS BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA