White Plains Business Improvement District

Apartment Conversions Prop Up the White Plains Office Market

Wall Street Journal, Keiko Morris, April 8, 2018


After years of high availability rates and stagnant rents, the White Plains office market is getting a lift from a boom in apartment construction taking place in this city north of New York City.


Developers have been converting office buildings into rental apartments, in some cases demolishing and rebuilding new towers, aiming to draw younger workers and empty nesters to amenity-laden complexes close to shops, restaurants and the train station.


By removing obsolete office buildings built in the 1970s through the ’90s, developers in effect are reducing supply and helping to lift rents for other office properties, real-estate brokers and executives said.


The surge in apartment development in White Plains also is changing the composition of the commercial-property market, creating more of a ’round-the-clock atmosphere with an uptick in restaurants, bars, grocery stores and fitness clubs. The city has about 4,000 apartments in the development pipeline, most of them in the central business district, city officials said.


Removing the lower-priced office space from the market inevitably leads to higher average asking office rents that will continue to rise, said William V. Cuddy Jr. , a CBRE executive vice president who works in the Westchester County and Fairfield County markets. “And it is making it a much more attractive environment for companies to relocate because they like the live-work vibe that is the White Plains culture.”




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