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Archive for the 'Real Estate' Category

AboveNet extends lease in White Plains

July
28

AboveNet Communications Inc., a telecommunications company that provides high-speed data links, said that it has signed a 10-year lease to remain at its White Plains headquarters at 360 Hamilton Ave.

 The company occupies 32,000 square feet in the downtown building owned by Reckson, a division of SL Green. AboveNet’s system delivers network and Internet services among 15 top U.S. markets and London.

“We are pleased to continue our commitment to the White Plains community with this lease signing,” said Bill LaPerch, AboveNet president and chief executive officer. “The New York area is one of our most important and robust markets of the 15 major metro markets that we support.  Our White Plains headquarters is strategically located to serve the needs of some of the world’s most demanding customers.”  

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
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Yonkers real estate firm completes $20 million warehouse sale

June
10

NAI Friedland Realty, a commercial real estate firm based in Yonkers, said that it recently helped complete one of the largest real estate sales of the year in the Bronx. The 144,000-square-foot Paradise Foods warehouse at 1080 Leggett Avenue in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx has sold for $20 million. Manhattan Beer Distributors purchased the 4.9-acre property from Paradise Foods.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
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Rand Commercial Services spins off as separate company

May
22

Rand Commercial Services is doing business as an independent commercial real estate brokerage after a recent spinoff from the Prudential Real Estate Network.

The company, which has 25 agents in Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties, will serve New York City, northern New Jersey and Connecticut. The company is led by Managing Partner Greg Rand, Senior Executive Director Paul Adler and Director of Operations Gerry Magnarelli.

Rand said the new company was recruiting agents to help service the tri-state area.

“We are seeking like-minded, independent commercial brokers from around the region to join our team of experts and help us continue our expansion,” Rand said.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
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Bramson to speak to realty group

April
21

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson will speak on developments in the city before the Commercial and Investment Division of the Westchester County Board of Realtors on Thursday, April 25 at 8:15 a.m. at the board’s office at 60 S. Broadway in White Plains.
For more information, e-mail Leah Warncke at the board at leah.warncke@wcbr.net.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
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Real estate firm unveils promotion in tough market

January
12

Prudential Rand Realty is finding that many consumers are fearful of buying or selling a home in a sluggish economy and weak housing market.

“Right now, our biggest obstacle to home sales is consumer confidence,” said Matt Rand, managing partner at Prudential Rand. “People are afraid to make a leap into this market.”

To encourage nervous consumers to leave the sidelines, Prudential Rand has come out with a new marketing pitch. The White Plains-based company said that it will waive its listing commission if a homebuyer purchases a property now and is unable to recoup their purchase price when they later sell the house.

The promotion, called “Make Your Move,” is open to those who buy a home through Prudential Rand Realty as their primary residence by March 31 and later re-list the home for sale with the company. Prudential Rand has 19 offices and more than 700 sales associates serving Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties.

The housing market has been deteriorating in the Lower Hudson Valley recently. Westchester County’s median sales price of $575,000 in October was down 14 percent from a year earlier, according to the New York State Association of Realtors. Sales dropped 16.5 percent in the county. Rockland and Putnam counties also posted drops in home sales and purchase prices.

But Rand said that he believes that the worst may be nearly over for the housing market.

“We think prices are at or near the bottom of the cycle and we definitely believe prices will increase during the next five to seven years,” Rand said. “We’re so confident that it’s a good time to buy a home that we’re willing to bet our future commissions on this belief.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
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A real loser in real estate

January
7

Real estate companies in the Lower Hudson Valley followed the national trend in recording sharp stock price declines last year and struggling to navigate a slowing economy, rising vacancies and a credit crisis.

The All REIT Index, which tracks publicly traded real estate investment trusts with stakes in commercial properties, including offices, shopping malls, hotels and industrial sites, was down 37.3 percent in 2008, according to a report released yesterday. Last year’s slide came after a decline of 17.8 percent in 2007.

Such losing streaks are unusual for the index, sponsored by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts in Washington. The index had been up 14 out of the 17 years before the 2007-2008 downturn.

The worst performing local REIT last year was SL Green Realty Corp., down 72 percent. The company, a major office landlord in New York City and Westchester County, recently said that it would cut its dividend by more than half. Analysts have been concerned that the company could be hurt by a large number of office leases to financial companies that have announced big layoffs during the credit crisis.

For the real estate companies in general, the coming year is full of uncertainties.

“The REIT market continues to face the same challenges as other industries — the need to revitalize the frozen credit markets enabling companies to refinance debt coming due, and weathering the uncertain and challenging economy,” read the report from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

Regional mall REITs fell 60.6 percent last year in response to worries about sluggish consumer spending, retail store closings and increased mall vacancies, according to the report. The poor investor sentiment hurt Simon Property Group Inc., the Indianapolis-based operator of the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights, and the Galleria and The Westchester in White Plains. Simon’s shares dropped 38.8 percent for the year.

Lodging/resort REITs plunged 59.7 percent as hotels faced declining business and vacation travel in a slowing economy, the report said. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., the White Plains-based operator of the Westin and Sheraton chains, converted from a REIT to a corporation in the late 1990s. Yet the lodging slump contributed to a 59.4 percent drop in its share price last year.

Other REITs with a local presence also performed poorly last year. Mack-Cali Realty Corp., a major owner of office space in Westchester and the metropolitan area, fell 28 percent; Presidential Realty Corp., a White Plains-based real estate investment trust that owns commercial and residential buildings, dropped 50.8 percent; and Acadia Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust in White Plains that specializes in shopping centers, fell 42 percent.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
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SL Green cuts dividend by more than 50%

December
29

SL Green Realty Corp., a major office landlord in New York City and Westchester County, will cut its dividend by more than half as it responds to a weakening economy and a softening real estate market.

The New York-based real estate investment trust said that it will pay a dividend of 37.5 cents a share during the fourth quarter, down from from the dividend of 78.8 cents that it paid during the four previous quarters.

“Given the current capital markets environment, we have reset the dividend to reflect the company’s current policy to preserve internally generated cash flows,” Chief Executive Officer Marc Holliday said in a written statement. “Looking forward, this reset will help conserve approximately $95 million for the company in 2009.”

Analysts have been concerned that the worst downturn in the financial services industry since the Great Depression could hurt SL Green more than other real eatate companies. More than 85 percent of the company’s office leases comes from Midtown Manhattan, home to large numbers of troubled financial companies.

“Financial-services firms, which make up 42 percent of SL Green’s base rental revenue, are cutting back on head count, demanding less space and even subleasing office space that they no longer need,” Morningstar analyst Jeremy Glaser wrote in a research report. “Although demand from other sectors and international firms is picking up some of the slack, rental rates have moved downward for the first time in four years as vacancies have inched up.”

In 2007, SL Green acquired 3.6 million square feet of space in Westchester, and Stamford, Conn., helping to diversfy the company beyond Manhattan.

Glaser said that the divdend cut will help SL Green preserve capital in an uncertain economy.

“Management believes that the crisis will eventually bring opportunities to buy distressed assets at bargain prices,” Glaser said. “However, we’d still prefer SL Green pay down its debt and strengthen its balance sheet before it takes on more acquisitions.”

Shares of SL Green dropped $2.80 to $24.42 in trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock is down 72 percent during the past year.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
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Regional mall owner seeks refinancing

December
16

The debt-strapped owner of more than 650 U.S. shopping malls, including the Cortlandt Towne Center and seven other plazas in the Lower Hudson Valley, appears ready to turn over control of most of the company to lenders under a tentative refinancing deal announced this week.
Centro Properties Group of Melbourne, Australia said it has obtained a one-month extension of its credit contracts that were due to expire yesterday while the refinancing deal is under review.
Centro is struggling with $3.35 billion in debt that it accumulated in the course of expanding its retail holdings around the world in recent years. Its stock sells for pennies a share.
It had planned to sell a portfolio of American malls earlier this year that might have included some regional property, but commercial real estate values have fallen. In September, Centro said the deal was canceled but talks were continuing.
This week Centro said the current refinancing deal calls for part of its debt to be changed to securities that in turn could be converted into the equivalent of 90 percent of Centro’s equity.
The company’s office in Manhattan declined to elaborate on the latest announcement.
Centro has more than 1.26 million square feet of gross leasable space in Westchester and Rockland counties. In addition to the Cortlandt Towne Center, its portfolio includes Rockland Plaza in Nanuet, Dalewood Shopping Center in Hartsdale, Highridge Plaza in Yonkers, North Ridge Plaza in New Rochelle, A & P Mamaroneck, Village Square in Mamaroneck, and a plaza on North Central Avenue in Hartsdale.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
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USA Bank posts lower 3Q losses

November
19

USA Bank in Port Chester said it had lower losses in the third quarter and warned that near-term profitability would be “a major challenge.”
The commercial bank, founded in 2005, said it had a net loss of $118,000, or 2 cents a share, for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $843,000, or 15 cents a share, in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Net interest income figures were not announced.
The bank said that total assets at the end of the third quarter grew 15 percent from the end of 2007, to $195.7 million. Deposits were up 24 percent from the end of 2007, to $151.9 million. The loan portfolio was up 40 percent from the end of 2007, to $149.6 million.
The bank said that its board of directors had negotiated a buyout of its administrative office lease at 800 Westchester Ave. in Rye Brook, and nearly all the staff would move to its Port Chester office. The rest will move to an office in nearby Greenwich, Conn.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 12:33 pm |
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Real estate firm adds Rye office

October
7

Paddington Stone, a real estate brokerage with two offices in White Plains, recently opened a third office at 2 Purdy St. in Rye. The office will be known as Paddington Stone Realty of Rye LLC. The company, founded in 2007, currently has 30 agents on staff and anticipates $1 million in revenues this year.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
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Existing home sales fall by double-digits in region, but median price rises in Putnam

October
1

Sales of existing homes continued to compare unfavorably year-over-year in August across New York state.

In the Lower Hudson Valley, sales were down by double-digits, though the median sales price rose in Putnam County, according to data provided today by the New York State Association of Realtors.

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Posted by Frank Brill on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
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Expansion, new tenants revive Loehmann’s Shopping Center

September
4

The recent departure of Lubin’s Men’s & Boy’s World and a Chinese restaurant from a White Plains strip mall has resulted in the 6,000-square-foot expansion of Wine Warehouse, according to Goldschmidt & Associates, the agency that negotiated the deal.

In addition, three new tenants, Carpet World, Bushido Karate and Royal Beauty Supply, occupy the remainder of the vacated space in the Loehmann’s Shopping Center on Route 119.

With the expansion and the additions, the strip mall is fully leased, the Scarsdale-based leasing agent said.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
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Developer plans to build retail center in Cortlandt

September
4

A 36-acre site in the town of Cortlandt opposite Cortlandt Town Center has been sold to a developer who plans to turn the parcel into a mixed-use complex of residences and retail stores.

Westrock Development LLC, based in Yonkers, plans to devote 10 of the acres to retail, creating Cortlandt Crossings, an 85,000-square-foot shopping center with 445 parking spaces and an additional 5,000-square-foot bank site, according to NAI Friedland Realty Inc., the Yonkers-based firm that brokered the sale.

Friedland will also act as leasing agent for the retail spaces. The shopping center, construction for which is expected to start in November 2009 with a planned opening date a year later, will join a mass of other retailers along the section of the Route 6 corridor, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Barnes & Noble.

(This posting corrects a previous post that contained incorrect information.)

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, September 4th, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
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Five businesses sign leases in Westchester

July
30

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. reports that five businesses have signed leases for a total of 117,719 square feet in Westchester County.

They are: AFP Imaging Corp., which renewed its lease for 10 years at its 48,000-square-foot offices at 250 Clearbrook Road in Elmsford; HQ Global Workplaces LLC, which renewed its lease on 22,000 square feet at 50 Main St. in White Plains; Con-Way Freight Inc., which renewed its lease on a 22,100-square-foot warehouse at 6 Warehouse Lane in Elmsford; EquiSearch Services Inc, which signed a new five-year lease for a 13,810-square-foot office at 555 Taxter Road in Elmsford; and JBG Health Facilities, an affiliate of the Jewish Guild for the Blind, which signed a new seven-year lease for 12,000 square feet at 4 Executive Plaza in Yonkers.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
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Acadia Realty reports profits surge in quarter

July
30

Acadia Realty Trust, a real-estate investment trust in White Plains, reported today profits soared in the second quarter to $17.91 million from $3.03 million in the year ago quarter.

Revenues more than doubled in the three months ending June 30 to $51.52 million from $25.25 million last year.

Funds from operations — a widely followed gauge of a real estate investment trust’s performance — totaled $13.9 million, or 41 cents a share, compared with $8.8 million, or 26 cents a share, last year.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
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Home prices up in Putnam, Westchester despite sales declines

July
1

Sales and median prices of existing homes continued to show weakness year-over-year in May across most of New York state.

Sales were down in 41 counties and up in 16 and unchanged in one among 58 counties that have Multiple Listing Services reporting to the state association of Realtors.

Median sales prices also declined, pushing the residential real estate economy more firmly into a market favoring buyers. Prices fell in 36 counties and rose in 22.

In April, prices were up in slightly more than half of the counties.

Sales statewide fell 17.1 percent to 6,590 units, while the median price declined 8.7 percent to $210,000 from $230,000.

The balance between buyers and sellers was less apparent in much of the Lower Hudson Valley. Sales were down across the region, but prices rose in Westchester and Putnam counties.

Putnam’s median rose the most — 17.9 percent to $470,000, despite a sales plunge of 44.4 percent in May from a year earlier. Unit sales dropped to 50 from 90 in May 2007.

Westchester’s median rose 4.1 percent to $702,500, though sales fell 21.8 percent.

In Rockland County, the median sales price of $476,500 was down 5.6 percent as sales declined 20.7 percent.

Four counties — Bronx, Franklin, Hamilton and New York — do not participate in the Realtors’ survey.

The May 2008 results are reported as preliminary, though the Realtors rarely note revisions in subsequent months.

Posted by Frank Brill on Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
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Panel to discuss real estate agencies

June
6

The Young Professionals Advisory Committee of the Westchester County Association will hold the second workshop in its series on buying a home on Tuesday, June 10 from 6-8 p.m. at Reid Castle at Manhattanville College in Purchase.
The program is called “The ABCs of Real Estate Agencies.” Participants include Gary Herbst of Buyers Edge Realty, Laurie Hathorn of Keller Williams Realty, and a real estate attorney with Bleakley Platt & Schmidt. The panel discussion will be followed by a networking reception.
Advance admission is $25 per member and $35 per non-member, and $30 and $40 respectively at the door. Register online at www.westchester.org, or call Julia Salem at 914-948-6740.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
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Taconic Corporate Park has leasing agent

June
3

Taconic Corporate Real Estate Co., owner of Taconic Corporate Park at 2651 Strang Blvd. in Yorktown Heights, has named Cushman & Wakefield as exclusive leasing agent.
The 145,000-square-foot mixed-use building is just over two-thirds vacant. It was built in 1988 on 24 acres near the Taconic State Parkway and Routes 202/35, and features a loading dock and parking. Zoning permits office use, disaster recovery, laboratory and educational, and other uses.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
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Properties to be up for auction

May
29

Those looking to buy property in a down real estate market will have the chance to bid on houses, condominiums, commercial buildings at an auction to be held June 8 at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in White Plains.

United Country – Absolute Auctions Realty Inc. of Pleasant Valley will take bids on about 50 properties from Maine to Pennsylvania. The properties include residences, mini-mart gas stations, restaurants and recreation sites and will be offered without minimum starting bids to qualified buyers.

Registration will begin at 10:33 a.m. The auction is scheduled to begin at 1:11 p.m.

For information on the properties, go to www.UCAuctionServices.com/Events/NewYork. Those interested can also call 800-999-1020, extension 902.

Posted by Allan Drury on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
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Stewart Stamping building for sale in Yonkers

May
22

The former Stewart Stamping building at 630 Central Park Ave. in Yonkers is for sale.
At 201,000 square feet, it is the largest industrial building on the market in Westchester County, according to the broker, CB Richard Ellis in Stamford, Conn. No asking price is being set.
Stewart EFI of Thomaston, Conn. said this month it was closing the precision metal manufacturing operation in Yonkers by the end of the year. The two-story red brick building was an industrial manufacturing landmark in the city for more than 50 years. Stewart said 145 people are employed there.
Its location should help draw bidders for the property, said Budd Wiesenberg, the CBRE vice president who’s leading the sales effort.
The property is between Yonkers Raceway and the Cross County Shopping Center, just a mile north of the New York City/Westchester County line. The factory can be accessed off Exit 3 of the New York State Thruway. The brokerage estimates that 135,000 vehicles pass it every day.
Wiesenberg noted that the new Empire City casino at the Raceway, and the renovations at Cross County Shopping Center, were driving traffic to the area.
“The location is very interesting,” he said. “We’re very bullish on it.”
The 3.5-acre lot is zoned industrial. The factory was built in stages between 1930 and 1983. It features about 15,000 square feet of finished office space and 186,000 square feet of manufacturing space on two floors, with 18-foot ceilings throughout.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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