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Westchester County poised for economic upswing.

Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank has indicated that the domestic economy is starting to positively move away from it recessionary period. Clearly, this is an affirmation of a resurgence of confidence in our economy. The Westchester County real estate market benefited from the growth years of the 1990's and after a year's period of stagnation now looks forward to the opportunity of business growth as we exit this recession.

Poised for the upswing in the economy, Westchester County provides an urban/suburban alternative to users just 25 miles north of New York City. It's infrastructure, residential communities, ease of access and an excellent educational system are all cause for many corporations to consider a relocation to Westchester County advantageous.

This office market offers users the opportunity to occupy class A space at significant economic savings to their bottom line. Average asking lease rates for overall county were reported at $26.78 per SF for the fourth quarter of 2001 in comparison to $40-$85 per SF in Fairfield County Connecticut and New York City, respectively. This, coupled with an overall vacancy rate of 14%, make Westchester County an attractive alternative.

As corporations strategize and look to implement their next moves, the Westchester marketplace offers major blocks of class A space, which were previously occupied by corporate users. Properties like Mount Pleasant Executive Center that offers a world class corporate headquarters facility of approximately 383,000 SF on 76 acre provide that less expensive answer to the end user. Other properties include 333 Westchester Ave., 44 South Broadway, 445 Hamilton Ave. and 100 Hillside Ave. all in White Plains and 900 King St. in Rye Brook are also poised to satisfy the needs of users.

The attack of the World Trade Centers has also caused many companies to rethink their corporate real estate strategies. Corporations are looking more closely at the flexibility of decentralizing operations, both from a personnel and infrastructure perspective. As a result, the suburban market in Westchester County is presently experiencing a significant amount of inquiries and inspections on the part of these firms, which are looking to duplicate or supplement many of their New York City operations.

Currently we are starting to see this potential migration with Morgan Stanley's announcement that they have, entered into negotiations with Chevron-Texaco to acquire Texaco's former worldwide headquarters at 2000 Westchester Ave. This transaction will take over 500,000 SF of available space off the market and bring several hundred jobs to the county. Like Morgan Stanley, there are many other firms looking at the Westchester market to satisfy their ongoing needs on equal or much smaller scale. The year 2002 is one of great speculation when it comes to the real estate market. The one assurity is that Westchester County is ready to satisfy the needs of firms as they implement real estate strategies and as the economy begins to grow.
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Article Details
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Author:Gutierrez, Al
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 13, 2002
Previous Article:Tenants exploring suburban leasing alternatives.
Next Article:LI's North Shore residential market still blooming, despite lack of supply.

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