The Real Deal New York

Westchester interstate works to reduce Class A office vacancy

January 04, 2012 01:00PM

The Platinum Mile, a section of Interstate 287 in Westchester County, is fighting to reduce its Class A office vacancy rate, which now sits at 19 percent, up from 13 percent in 2002, the New York Times reported. To entice new tenants to the office park, the Platinum Mile must consider uses like education, housing, retail and recreation, experts said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of creative reuses for these buildings,” said Alfred Del Bello, chairman of the Westchester County Association.

“We need to reposition and repurpose these buildings. Unless we can reduce [the 6 million square feet of vacant office space] by at least half, not only will there be no demand going forward for new office construction in Westchester, but owners will also have trouble keeping these buildings.”

The 19 percent vacancy rate along the mile, slightly above the county average of 18 percent, is out of a total inventory of 5.3 million square feet, said Glenn Walsh, a senior director for Cushman & Wakefield.

Part of the problem is the recession, he told the Times, but the vacant properties are also in need of massive retrofitting, as they would not be suitable for many contemporary companies in their current condition. [NYT]