The Real Deal New York

Editor's note

By Heather Grossmann | January 04, 2018 11:00AM

Downtown New Rochelle will never be the same. And that’s a good thing, as far as the city — and developer RXR Realty — is concerned. Three years ago, the real estate company was chosen as “master developer” for the city’s downtown revitalization. In less than a year, the city approved new zoning to pave the way for massive new development. CEO Scott Rechler helped lead the company’s charge to get the local zoning laws eased and to fast-track new builds. RXR is already working on its first two projects, including 587 Main Street, which is expected to start leasing within the year. The Real Deal talked to Rechler about New Rochelle’s progress and RXR’s plans for more multifamily developments throughout the county.

The new plans include more than a million square feet of retail in New Rochelle’s downtown, a difficult play with that sector still in free fall. We look at how brokers and city officials are getting a jump-start on attracting the right retailers (hint: Millennials are a huge part of the equation). Plus, in Fairfield, some savvy boutiques are taking advantage of the turbulence in the retail world and locking in cheap rents in prime areas. TRD compares the retail scenes in Greenwich, Norwalk and Westport.

RXR isn’t the only developer looking to invest in multifamily housing. In 2016, more than 1,000 multifamily units were approved for construction in Westchester County, a nearly 200 percent increase from 2015, according to TRD’s analysis. Nearly 1,000 more were approved in 2017, but lenders are increasingly wary: Many banks are tightening the purse strings for fear of oversaturation in the market.

TRD also ranks the top residential brokers in Westchester, who say less screen time and more good ol’ fashioned tactics like quality interactions with clients are what help them close deals. On the Connecticut side, we tracked the top luxury sales on the state’s so-called Gold Coast on page 10. Since September, there have been four sales over $20 million in the area, giving brokers some hope for the future amid the faltering luxury market.

We leave off with a lighter look at the “equestrian arms race.” Westchester’s most well-hooved families are sinking serious money into indoor rings and blinged-out barns, but will their horse come in when it’s time to sell?

Enjoy the issue!