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Westchester vacancies jump to 27%.

In Westchester County, corporate consolidations, including announced reductions of some 900,000 square feet by IBM, has driven the county-wide vacancy level up to 27.1 percent.

According to the "Rostenberg-Doern Midyear 1993 Corporate Real Estate report", covering Westchester and Fairfield Counties, a total of 1.3 million more square feet of space was vacated than leased (600,000 square feet) in the county. The current vacancy rate of 27.1 percent represents nearly a five-point increase from the year-end 1992 vacancy rate, which was 22.1

Among the major blows dealt to the county's office market was IBM's continued consolidation especially in downtown White Plains where the mid-year vacancy reflects a six-point jump at 34.9 percent. The Big Blue announced it will vacate 320,000 square feet in White Plains, 425,000 square feet in Purchase and at least 171,000 square feet in Tarrytown.

In addition, on the eastern. side of the county, the entire 75,000 square feet leased to JWP last year has returned to the market as sublease space. The survey, which offers an analysis of Westchester's five submarkets, lists the following significant leases: Transamerica's lease of 125,000 square feet in the former Nestle building; Research Institute of America's consolidation of offices from Westchester, New Jersey and New York City. to 52,000 square feet of leased space in Mount Pleasant; Market Data leased 30,000 square feet in Rye Brook; and Hitachi leased more than 14,000 square feet in Tarrytown.

Michael H. Siegel, executive director of the Westchester/Fairfield office of Edward S. Gordon Co., Inc., which also tracks the Westchester and Fairfield markets, said the survey's figures reflect the impact IBM has had on the market. But, he said, the amount of activity should not be ignored.

"The market has performed pretty much to expectations compared to last year," said Michael Siegel,

While rents are beginning to stabilize, he said, the vacancy "must be worked off and tenants will need to move in from outside the county.

Fairfield County fared much better in the last six months. The survey reports some 1 million square feet being leased in the last six months and a positive absorption of 726,000 square feet. There the vacancy rate fell from 24.8 percent at the end of 1992 to 23 percent.

Among the leases signed in the county were relocations from Manhattan by Witco Corp.(250,000 square feet in Greenwich) and Dun & Bradstreet (94,000 square feet in Westport). The survey credits these leases to a heavily funded economic development campaign funded by the state.

Combined the Westchester-Fairfield region reported a negative absorption of some 580,000 square feet. The bi-county mid-year vacancy rate was from 24 percent to 24.7 percent.
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Title Annotation:vacancies in commercial buildings, Westchester County, New York
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 7, 1993
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