Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: Valhalla lease signed for $1.2B biotech center, Diageo ditches Norwalk for NYC … & more

TRD New York /
Jan.January 16, 2019 03:00 PM

Clockwise from top left: Developer signs Westchester lease for site of $1.2B biotechnology center (credit: Usroadman), Diageo moving its North American headquarters out of Norwalk, an anonymous LLC shells out $7M for a retail and office building in Greenwich (credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel) and a 14-story hotel could rise behind a bank building in Stamford (credit: John9474).

Developer inks Valhalla lease for new $1.2B biotech center
A $1.2 billion biotechnology center is slated to rise in Valhalla, the Westchester County Business Journal reported. Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed a 99-year lease last week with developer John Fareri of Fareri Associates for 60 acres of land at the Grasslands Reservation, according to the outlet. That land for the so-called North 60 project, as well as 20 acres of adjacent land that Fareri Associates already owns, is where the future Westchester Bioscience and Technology Center will be constructed. The center, which still requires local approval, won’t be far from the Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. A proposal to include housing in the development was dropped for the time being. “It’s going to be a very walkable community, so it will actually decrease traffic for the medical center and for the tenants that go there,” Fareri told the outlet. [WBJ]

Diageo moving North American headquarters out of Norwalk
London-based spirits conglomerate Diageo is moving out of its Norwalk office, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. Diageo currently has a 56,000-square-foot lease for its North American headquarters at 801 Main Avenue, the outlet reported, but plans to move those operations to New York City. The Real Deal broke the news a week ago that Diageo would relocate to 3 World Trade Center by taking an 87,000-square-foot lease at the Silverstein Properties-owned office tower. But the company, which owns Baileys, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and other alcoholic beverage brands, still plans to keep an office somewhere in Fairfield County, although it’s not yet clear where. “We are committed to continuing to operate in Connecticut,” Diageo North America president Deirdre Mahlan told the FBJ. “Our Fairfield County office will house a number of teams, including our innovation center of excellence.” [FBJ]

Average number of days Westchester homes spent on market hits 10-year low
Homes in Westchester County spent an average of 76 days on the market in 2018 — marking a 10-year low, according to a 2018 fourth quarter market report for the county released by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Westchester reached that milestone despite a “significant increase in outbound moves, along with a tumultuous election season, the volatility on Wall Street and a limited supply of available inventory,” the report said. Sales of homes with $750,000 to $1 million price tags actually increased by 3.9 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to BHHS. Fewer homes sold for more than $2 million in 2018 than the year before, but the average price went up by 3.9 percent, “providing evidence that demand is still strong in this segment when buyers see value,” the report noted. The town of Harrison experienced a 62 percent increase in sales over $2 million with 42 homes sold in 2018, up from only 26 in 2017. [BHHS]

Shopping center owner pays $7M for Greenwich office and retail building
A private investor sold a three-story mixed-use building in Greenwich to Charter Realty & Development Corporation, which owns or operates more than 80 U.S. shopping centers, the Greenwich Time reported. Stephen Westerberg, first vice president of Marcus & Millichap Westerberg in Stamford, had the listing and brought in the buyer, according to the Westchester County Business Journal. The 8,300-square-foot building at 301 Greenwich Avenue was once home to the flagship store of the local Finch’s pharmacy chain before a Starbucks took it over. The property now houses both office and retail space and fetched $7 million for seller Joel Adelman, the outlet reported. [Greenwich Time]

Downtown Stamford eyes 14-story hotel behind bank building
A developer wants to build a 14-story hotel in downtown Stamford, the Stamford Advocate reported. The proposed 100-key hotel will rise behind the 119-year-old Stamford Savings Bank building and use the property at 160 Atlantic Street “as its primary entrance” if it gets the approvals it needs to move forward, according to the outlet. Land use consultant Richard “Rick” Redniss told the newspaper that a developer from the area is planning to buy the historic bank building in the city’s central business district and construct the hotel, but he didn’t reveal the developer’s identity. The hotel would rise next to a parking entrance for the Stamford Town Center and a restored park set to open later this year. [Stamford Advocate]

Developer proposes Harrison rental building for ‘empty-nesters and young couples’
A Rye Brook-based developer hopes to build a five-story rental building in Harrison, LoHud reported. RPW Group’s development would house 150 rental units — including 88 one-bedroom apartments, 57 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom apartments — and sit on 9.5 acres of currently vacant land on Webb Avenue. The site isn’t far from a business complex that RPW already owns at 800 Westchester Avenue, according to the outlet. (RPW reportedly received $24.1 million last summer after selling another nearby office building in Harrison.) The units would be aimed at “empty-nesters and young couples,” LoHud reported, and would be on the same street as a Wegmans grocery store currently in development. “This concept would allow people to live and work pretty much in the same space,” RPW founder and CEO Robert Weisz told the outlet. “We thought [it was] a perfect combination.” [LoHud]

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