New York Blood Center Signs Major Lease Deal in Rye
John Jordan | March 10, 2022
RYE—While the transaction comes with few details at the moment, the New York Blood Center has confirmed reports in the Westchester County commercial brokerage sector that it recently signed a lease for 187,181 square feet at 601 Midland Ave. in Rye.
The deal, which was finalized in the fourth quarter of 2021, was the largest lease by far in Westchester County last year. The New York Blood Center, which is undertaking a major redevelopment of its existing facility on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, plans to utilize its new Westchester County location for laboratory space, office space, as well as blood storage, Newmark reported in its fourth quarter market report for Westchester County.
Howard Greenberg of Howard Properties also mentioned the New York Blood Center lease in his online year-end market report, stating that 601 Midland Ave, formerly occupied by an Avon Cosmetics data center, was purchased by George Comfort & Sons, and was slated to be repositioned as a multi-tenant office building until the Blood Center leased it. Greenberg stated, “This is the largest New York-City based tenant that has established a significant Westchester presence in a long time and this lease also reinforces the continuing growth of medical tenants in the county,” Greenberg stated.
A spokesperson for New York Blood Center when contacted by Real Estate In-Depth, confirmed the lease transaction and said, “NYBC is expanding its presence in Westchester and this will include a new donor center.” She added that the project is in its early stages. A representative of the building owner George Comfort & Sons had no comment on the transaction.
In a letter dated July 6, 2021, the owner of 601 Midland Ave.—Midland Rye LLC informed the Planning Commission for the City of Rye that the adaptive reuse project would not change the footprint of the building.
The letter by Steven Wrabel of the law firm McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP, stated that the New York Blood Center will utilize the building for “office space for NYBC personnel that manage its overall administration; blood collection; sterile processing, finishing and delivery activities; (ii) laboratories used in the light processing and finishing of blood and transfusion products to ready them for use in patients; (iii) logistics support for supplying transfusion products, which are typically stored on site for five to seven days, to hospitals as well as in support of blood drives and blood collection activities; (iv) scientific research laboratories focused on life saving cures for blood-borne diseases as well as the improvement of transfusion and cell therapy products; (v) a small donor room of approximately 4,000 square feet, where members of the Rye and nearby Westchester communities can come to donate blood and support this important community activity; and (vi) storage for supplies to support these activities.”
Newmark stated in its fourth quarter 2021 report that the New York Blood Center lease contributed to a decrease in the Eastern Westchester County market’s overall availability rate from 23.2% in the third quarter of 2021 to 21.9% at year-end 2021.
In November 2021, the New York City Council approved a zoning change for the re-development of the New York Blood Center on the Upper East Side. The City Council approved the New York Blood Center’s ULURP application for an applied life sciences hub called “Center East.” The Gothamist reported that the 43-to-5 vote paved the way for the construction of a $750-million, 16-story center on East 67th Street between First and Second avenues.