Transportation is Westchester County’s Achilles’ heel. While the area has space for rent, the region remains a dead zone for commuters, with buses and trains relatively scarce.
The Westchester County vacancy rate ended up at 28.1 percent in October, up from 24.9 percent in September 2010. Meanwhile, asking rents continue to hover around $30, ending at $29.98 for the month of October.
The availability of 325,000 square feet of space—thanks, mostly, to the departure of Starwood Hotels & Resorts from two spaces on Westchester Avenue in White Plains—has caused the vacancy rate to soar above year-end 2010 levels, said Mr. Sammons.
Nokia’s announcement in April that it will shutter offices at 102 Corporate Park Drive in White Plains as part of its efforts to consolidate didn’t help matters either.
“It’s been a challenging office environment in terms of job growth and companies coming into Westchester, so one of the shining stars has been the growth of the medical practices and the adaptive re-use of former office space into medical space,” said Budd Wiesenberg, a vice president at CBRE.
Among the medical conglomerates now picking up the slack in Westchester is WestMed Medical, which has expanded across the county with a handful of high-profile deals.
In October, the group moved into a new 84,000-square-foot space in the Ridge Hill development in Yonkers, and during the same month it announced a new 28,000-square-foot space on Huguenot Street in New Rochelle. The selling point for the medical group was the Huguenot office’s relatively convenient location, located just blocks from parking spaces, a Metro-North train station and a Bee-Line bus stop.
Meanwhile, Memorial Sloan-Kettering received approvals to remodel 400 Westchester Avenue into a $143 million cancer treatment facility.
Other activity includes Acorda Therapeutics, a biotech company, leasing 138,000 square feet of space at 410 and 412 Saw Mill River Road in Ardsley. w Jersey, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, National Football League, UBS, Stamford, Connecticut, Hudson, Morris, Essex, Middlesex, Chris Christie, Panasonic, Pearson, Gregory Barkan, CBRE, Nassau, Suffolk, Acorda Therapeutics, 4
“I will say that health care has become a darling in Westchester,” said Frank Tomasulo, a senior vice president at CBRE who represented WestMed in both deals.