Tri-state briefs: TRD’s roundup of real estate news from across the region

Rye Playland
Rye Playland

Westchester: County signs agreement to ‘stop the bleeding’ at Rye’s Playland

County officials last month announced an agreement for a local nonprofit group to operate the historic Playland Amusement Park in Rye, the Journal News reported. The group, Sustainable Playland, will operate and maintain the county-owned park for 10 years, paying the county $4 million upfront, plus annual payments of up to $1.2 million. Sustainable Playland’s redevelopment plan for the park includes scaling back the amusement area and bringing in private partners to run year-round attractions. The group is also planning a new field house and outdoor fields, a new water zone, restaurants and programming in new public spaces. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino asked for proposals to revamp the park in 2010, after saying it could never make money under county control. Sustainable’s annual payments to the county, 50 percent of net operating revenue, would be used to pay off Playland’s debt. “This is a deal that stops the financial bleeding of the county,” Astorino said. The agreement will be signed after it is approved by the Board of Acquisition and Contract.

Connecticut: Danbury’s Lee Farm Corporate Park sells at deep discount

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After seven months on the market, Lee Farm Corporate Park in Danbury sold last month for $16.9 million, less than half its 2007 sale price, the Danbury News-Times reported. A partnership of Summit Development and the Grossman Companies purchased the complex from the overseas investment trust 83 Wooster Heights, which paid $37.5 million for it in 2007. The five-story, 216,000-square-foot Class A office complex, built in 1987, is more than 70 percent leased to tenants including GE Capital, PepsiCo and IMS Health. The Danbury commercial real estate market was hit hard by the recession but is slowly rebounding, according to Jeff Dunne, a vice chairman at the Stamford office of CBRE Group, who represented the seller. Office rental rates are typically a third lower in Danbury than the rest of Fairfield County, according to the News-Times. Felix Charney, a principal at Summit, told the paper that he and his partners will launch an aggressive marketing campaign and common-area upgrades to help fill vacant space at the complex. “We’re confident that Lee Farm will attract additional high-quality tenants,” Charney said.

Long Island: Walt Whitman Shops to get 30 new stores this year

The Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station will get up to 30 new stores and three new restaurants this year, Newsday reported. Mall owner Simon Property Group has started construction on a major overhaul of the shopping center, which includes a new row of shops and eateries along with a pedestrian walkway. Construction is expected to be completed in stages between August and November, according to Newsday. New restaurants will include Brio Tuscan Grille, P.F. Chang’s, Cups Frozen Yogurt and the upscale burger and wine spot Zinburger. The row will also feature a Brooks Brothers flagship store, and Urban Outfitters, Carhartt and Pottery Barn stores. Inside, spaces occupied by current tenants will be revamped. There will be more parking, new lighting and even a statue of the center’s namesake, poet Walt Whitman. Leasing is ongoing, but other confirmed new stores include C. Wonder, Kate Spade New York, Lululemon, Hugo Boss and Lucky Brand Jeans, according to Newsday.