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Real Estate Bisnow
The largest commercial real estate publication in the United States.
January 9, 2012 



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Once upon a time, Westchester was a headquarters hot spot, but that reputation has gone the way of the dodo and handwritten notes. Landlords learned to roll with the punches and repositioned their buildings as multi-tenant. And now the repositioning continues as owners and investors consider alternative uses like a cancer treatment center and fitness centers.
Al Gutierrez

CBRE’s Al Gutierrez tells us Westchester once was home to larger space users, the Texacos of the world,” like Altria, Reader's Digest, Verizon, and more recently Nokia. IBM—which had millions of square feet in the county, including 44 S Broadway and 1133 Westchester Ave—has mostly consolidated into its Armonk HQ. Verizon has downsized, Nokia is out, and Starwood Hotels is leaving for Stamford. (In case anyone is getting nervous, Heinekin’s US HQ is still here.) But, Al says, the I-287 corridor is gaining new life with out-of-the-box plans like Liftetime Fitness' re-use of the old Gannett building and Memorial Sloan-Kettering's intention to build a cancer treatment center at Verizon's former 500 Westchester Ave. (This seems like an opportune time to remind you we've got a NY Healthcare Real Estate Summit coming up Jan. 17 at The Roosevelt Hotel and that you can sign up here!)

1111 Westchester Ave and 1129 Westchester Ave

Al and his team are marketing the 233k SF 1111 Westchester Ave and its 147k SF sister building at 1129 Westchester Ave for 10-year sublet (whether the entire park, either building, or in blocks of 20k SF). Starwood had sublet 1111 Westchester for its world HQ from Nine West but is leaving on Feb. 28. Al says he’s had a good number of showings and started some negotiations, but no deals have landed just yet.

104 Corporate Park Drive, Harrison, NY

New York Commercial Realty Group's Frank Rao tells us Westchester County squeaked in a big office deal before the 2011 buzzer. On Dec. 28, the 118k SF, Class-A 104 Corporate Park Drive in Harrison sold to Cerlee LLC (operating as biotech firm Histogenics). GLIC Real Estate Holding, repped by CBRE's William Cuddy Jr. and Timothy Donohue, is a Genworth Financial subsidiary that was the mortgage lender for previous owner AVR Realty. AVR gave the property back a year earlier when sole tenant Malcolm Pirnie downsized and moved to 44 S Broadway in White Plains. Histogenics, though, is bursting at the seams at its current 30k SF in Ossining, says Frank, who with Michael Rao repped the buyer.

Barry Alton, John Picco, Paul Darrah, and Michel-Claude Fiechter at Top of the Rock Weather Room on Jan. 5, 2012
Looking like the Jersey Boys on Thursday at CoreNet's holiday party at Rockefeller Center, we snapped Jefferies & Co's Barry Alton, Cushman & Wakefield's John Picco, Bridgewater Associates' Paul Darrah, and TPG Architecture's Michel-Claude Fiechter. (John didn't talk about it, but we hear he repped Doral Bank in another lease at Cohen Brothers Realty's 623 Fifth Ave. The bank, which in August extended its lease on the 13th floor and expanded to the 14,500 SF 19th floor, has just expanded by another 9,500 SF.)
Alison Kwiatkowski, Steve Kaufman, Charlie Assenza, Brittany Wunsch, and Jason Aster at Top of the Rock Weather Room on Jan. 5, 2012
KBA Lease Services' Jason Aster (right, with DEGW's Alison Kwiatkowski, Counsel RB Capital's Steve Kaufman, IBM US real estate senior program manager Charlie Assenza, and JLL's Brittany Wunsch) tells us commercial tenants' monthly payments are not as cut and dried as you'd think. They're often based on rent and estimated operating costs, but many landlords send out reconciliation statements explaining the real costs in January, and tenants either get a credit or owe more. That's also a chance for lease auditors like KBA to identify charges that aren't in line with the lease (or lease language that doesn't quite achieve what it was meant to). And because leases put a limit on how long tenants have to object, well, January is Jason's busy month.
Shamus Barnes, Jim Molloy, Mindy Williams-McElearney, and Brian Rothschild at Top of the Rock Weather Room on Jan. 5, 2012
WorkSpaces' Mindy Williams-McElearney (with Shamus Barnes—president of The Advance Group's furniture installation unit, FITCO—Advance CEO Jim Molloy, and Envirochrome prez Brian Rothschild) tells us her newly hyphenated name, after 20 years in the industry, makes for a difficult rebranding effort.
Rockefeller Center on Jan. 5, 2012
The party was in the Weather Room at the Top of the Rock, which is so high our camera was incapable of getting it and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in one shot.
Email amanda.metcalf@bisnow.com to express Steelers sympathy or the other Amanda at amanda@bisnow.com if you're from Denver, Cleveland, or Baltimore.
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