Work Begins on $650M Redevelopment Of Former White Plains Mall Property
John Jordan | December 14, 2022
In the 1970s and 1980s, the parking lot at the White Plains Mall was filled with shoppers and diners who were patrons of such Downtown White Plains staples as Scotch & Sirloin, Dag’s Tavern, Wallauer Paint & Design, McDonald’s and in the later years Bob Hyland’s The Sports Page. For a time, many in the region had to renew their licenses or register their cars at the Westchester County Department of Motor Vehicles, which had offices there.
However, competition from The Galleria at White Plains, The Westchester and other negative influences took their toll and parking spaces at The White Plains Mall have not been at a premium for years. Eventually, the ownership of the property went before the City of White Plains for approvals of a large mixed-use project at the property and for incentives from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency to help offset construction costs. In 2020, the ownership of the White Plains Mall secured $17.5 million in sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions from the Westchester County IDA.
After some delay, construction has officially commenced on Hamilton Green, a $650-millon mixed-use project that will be undertaken in phases. On Dec. 8, city and county dignitaries joined RXR and The Cappelli Organization to break ground on the project. While site work has commenced, the ceremony included the symbolic dismantling of The White Plains Mall sign.
At full build-out the project will feature four residential tower buildings that will total 860 rental units, including 78 affordable units, open space as well as approximately 84,000 square feet of retail space.
Located two blocks from the White Plains Metro North Train Station and one block from the White Plains Central Business District, phase one of Hamilton Green calls for the construction of two residential buildings: 7 Cottage—a 12-story, 162-unit building, and 240 Hamilton—a 25-story, 308-unit tower. The phase one component includes a 515-space underground parking garage, nearly 523,000 square feet of residential space, approximately 55,000 square feet of open space and nearly 39,000 square feet of retail space. Phase I is slated for completion in 2025.
Phase II will include 390 residential units, 441 self-park parking spaces and 45,000 square feet of retail space.
“We are incredibly excited to break ground on the first phase of Hamilton Green. This is a unique opportunity to develop our first project in White Plains and convert a defunct shopping mall into a much-needed, 470-unit mixed-use residential community and commercial site. With this being our fifth residential project in Westchester County, we are heartened by the lessons we’ve learned and relationships we’ve fostered to continue offering residents a highly amenitized living experience at a significant discount to New York City rents,” said Joseph Graziose, Senior Vice President of Residential Development at RXR. “We look forward to co-developing this project with The Cappelli Organization, advancing local hiring initiatives, and building thoughtful community partnerships in the vibrant White Plains community.”
“We are very excited to again partner with RXR on this new development. Since our first joint project in 1998, we have developed world-class residential and retail projects with the latest technological innovation and state-of-the-art design. As we move forward in converting this functionally obsolete asset, the project will implement sustainable design features, including an all-electric ready infrastructure and smart home technologies utilizing intelligent thermal controls, dynamic glass and high efficiency mechanical systems, further promoting health and wellness for the building and its tenants,” said Louis Cappelli, Founder of The Cappelli Organization. “The Hamilton Green development will be a terrific addition to our portfolio in Westchester County and deserving of its place within the vibrant White Plains downtown district.”
“I would like to thank The Cappelli Organization and RXR for breaking ground on the highly anticipated Hamilton Green development, which will replace the 50-year-old White Plains Mall property” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “The ambitious redevelopment plan includes rental units and affordable housing, dining, retail, commercial space and parking, and is situated just two blocks from the White Plains Metro North Rail Station. The reimagining of this space will significantly contribute to the transformation of the downtown area and offer a real benefit to the people who live, visit and work in White Plains.”
White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach noted that redevelopment work is underway on many of the sites that were outdated, underutilized or served as a blight and discouraged pedestrian traffic from the White Plains Metro-North train station to the Downtown District on Mamaroneck Avenue.
Last month, the owner of the 870,000-square-foot Galleria at White Plains—Pacific Retail Capital Partners and Aareal Bank—announced it was bringing on new joint venture partners—SL Green Realty Corp. of New York City and the Cappelli Organization of to “explore mixed uses” and “rebalance the mix of uses” for the property that has fallen on hard times as its two chief anchors—Macy’s and Sears—have both shuttered their stores there. Pacific Retail Capital Partners is headquartered in El Segundo, CA and Aareal Bank is based in Wiesbaden, Germany.
“The City of White Plains seeks to transform idle, underperforming downtown sites into vibrant, pedestrian-friendly spaces. RXR and The Cappelli Organization have partnered to reimagine the underperforming White Plains Mall site into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, sustainable space that offers diverse housing: luxury, market and affordable; public and private public areas for daily enjoyment by residents; and high-quality retail and restaurants which will create jobs and provide exceptional culinary and shopping experiences,” Mayor Roach said. “The City of White Plains looks forward to the construction of Hamilton Green which will activate this critical, well- positioned site with people and a variety of uses that will be appreciated and enjoyed by the White Plains community.”
Hamilton Green, designed by Lessard Design and MdeAS Architects, will undergo a phased ground up construction process and feature a contemporary design. Exclusive amenities for all residents will also include 24-hour concierge services, resident lounges, co-working spaces, a pool, game rooms, fitness studios, expansive outdoor terraces and a shared public plaza.
RXR closed on the land for the proposed phase one development and The Cappelli Organization closed on the land for the proposed phase two development on Nov. 30, 2022. The White Plains Mall originally opened its doors in 1972 at 200 Hamilton Avenue and was demolished in August 2022, with the exception of its sign bordering Hamilton Avenue.