Westchester & Fairfield Cheat Sheet: MGM inks $850M Yonkers casino and raceway deal, architecture firm HLW heads to Stamford … & more

Jan.January 30, 2019 04:15 PM

Clockwise from top left: Rockland County sees its highest single-family home sale since 2013 (credit: Vinny Garrison), MGM Resorts completes its $850M purchase of the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway, architectural outfit HLW opens a satellite office in a co-working space in Stamford and a preschool signs a lease for a former supermarket site in Fairfield (credit: Doc Searls).

MGM Resorts closes on $850M Yonkers casino, raceway buy
Eight months after announcing its purchase of the Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway, Las Vegas-based hospitality and entertainment giant MGM Resorts has finalized the terms of its $850 million acquisition, LoHud reported. News of the closing came a day after New York State Gaming Commission’s board signed off on the gaming and horse racing licenses that MGM needed for the purchase to go through, according to the outlet. MGM bought the casino and racetrack from the Rooney family, who owned both properties for 46 years. (The Rooneys also own the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers.) “We are pleased to welcome the 1,200 employees at Empire City Casino to the MGM Resorts family,” MGM chairman and CEO James Murren said in a statement. The Real Deal recently reported on Murren’s dispute with fellow gaming mogul Glenn Schaeffer, a former president of the Mandalay Resort Group, over a New Zealand winery. [LoHud]

HLW opens Stamford satellite office in co-working space
Fresh off signing a 10-year lease to relocate its Manhattan headquarters to 5 Penn Plaza, HLW is now preparing to open a satellite office in Stamford, the design, architecture and planning firm said in a statement. The new location at 700 Canal Street is in a Serendipity Labs co-working space and will house StudioGo, HLW’s recently-launched satellite office initiative. “The concept of StudioGo is about being scalable and adaptable so that we can truly accommodate our clients on a local level anywhere in the world,” said a statement from HLW principal Joseph Montalbano, who will lead the office. “Stamford seemed like the obvious choice in location to launch the initiative because of our continued work both past and present in the area.” HLW, which worked with Google on its renovation of 111 Eighth Avenue, noted this is the first time it will open an office in a “non-traditional space.” [HLW]

Fairfield still has Connecticut’s highest median household income
While its home sales market is going through a transition, Fairfield County is still riding high when it comes to one key metric. Nine of the 10 municipalities in Connecticut with the highest median household income in 2017 were in Fairfield, according to the Fairfield County Business Journal reported, citing U.S. Census Bureau data. Weston and Darien took the top two spots, respectively, while Westport came in third, the outlet reported. The only Connecticut municipality outside Fairfield on the top 10 list was Woodbridge in New Haven County. “Historically the wealth has been concentrated in Fairfield County,” Joseph McGee, vice president of public policy and programs at the Business Council of Fairfield County, told the outlet. “That’s been true for a long time, and it should continue.” Average household income in Fairfield stood at $89,773, while the average household income for the entire state of Connecticut was $73,781, according to the FBJ. Perhaps not surprisingly, a study released earlier this month by HomeArea.com found that the most affordable homes in Connecticut were outside Fairfield, with Bridgeport being the only in-county municipality to make the list. [FBJ]

Developers propose 3 new apartment buildings in White Plains
A joint venture between Rye Brook-based RPW Group and Cleveland-based apartment developer NRP Group hopes to bring 303 new apartments to White Plains, the Westchester County Business Journal reported. RPW’s founder and CEO Robert Weisz told the White Plains Common Council the venture would add three five-story apartment buildings to the northeast side of an office complex at 1133 Westchester Avenue. “The work-live concept is going to be brought to life in White Plains, and this will be one of the first in the region,” Weisz told the council. The building currently houses ITT Corporation, the Journal News newspaper and the national law firm Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, among other tenants. Weisz is also hoping to construct apartments near the postmodern 800 Westchester Avenue, another White Plains building located along Westchester’s rapidly-changing Platinum Mile. [WBJ]

Preschool signs lease for former supermarket site in Fairfield
A roughly 9,700-square-foot Fairfield property that has been vacant for more than a decade will soon house a preschool. Summit Development recently bought the former Stratfield IGA Market property at 1280 Stratfield Road and plans to lease it to the Goddard School, which has 10 other locations in Connecticut, the Fairfield County Business Journal reported. The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based preschool franchise, founded in 1988, has signed a 15-year lease for the site, which has been vacant since 2006 when the supermarket closed. Efforts to put a Walgreens on the property fell apart over zoning issues. “We will build out the exterior and interior, do landscaping and build a playground,” Summit Development founder, CEO, president and principal Felix Charney told the outlet. [FBJ]

Rockland County has highest single-family home sale since 2013
Just west of Westchester County, a waterfront estate in Upper Nyack has sold for $5.2 million — making it the priciest single-family home sold in Rockland County since 2013, LoHud reported. That title was previously held by Rosie O’Donnell’s former compound in Nyack, which sold for $5.1 million a year ago, according to Weld Realty, whose broker Laura Weintraub had the Upper Nyack listing. The 4,488-square-foot home at 641 North Broadway has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and an in-ground pool, as well as 723 feet of shoreline that includes a sandy beach and a private boat dock. The area around the 6.42-acre estate used to be a sandstone quarry in the 1800s, Weld Realty said. “Rockland County continues to offer an exceptional opportunity for buyers looking for space, amenities, natural beauty and proximity to New York City,” Weintraub said in a statement. Seta Tunell of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty’s brought in the unidentified buyer, according to LoHud. [LoHud]

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