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Author: The BCW

Developers Outline Transformational Projects in White Plains and Yonkers

From left, BCW Chairman Jamie Schutzer; BCW President & CEO Marsha Gordon; Michael Goldrick, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, PCSB Bank; Bruce Berg, CEO, Cappelli Development Company; Joe Cotter, CEO, National Resources; Kim DeMillia Executive Vice President, Division Head, Commercial Lending, PCSB Bank and Michael Schiliro, Senior Vice President, PSCB Financial

The Business Council of Westchester (BCW) continued its State of the Economy series on Wednesday with a focus on two of Westchester’s most transformational projects.

Bruce Berg, Chief Executive Officer of the Cappelli Development Company, and Joe Cotter, Chief Executive Officer of National Resources, presented updates on the District Galleria proposal for White Plains and the massive film and television studio expansion underway in Yonkers.

“The transformational projects in White Plains and Yonkers are fostering important and fresh approaches to community renewal,” said BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon. “These initiatives are not only reshaping landscapes, but they are also creating jobs, educational pathways, and vibrant public spaces that will enrich the fabric of Westchester County.”

The multi-billion-dollar District Galleria proposal is a reimagination of the former White Plains Galleria mall. The proposal is currently undergoing a zoning board review and it features seven residential towers of varied heights with up to 3,200 apartments, of which 12 percent are affordable. More than four acres of the mall’s 11-acre footprint would become publicly accessible open space that would include a town square called Entertainment Plaza.

“This project—if and when approved—will be transformational not only for the City of White Plains, but to the county of Westchester,” said Berg, whose firm is one of several partners in the venture. “What we call Entertainment Plaza, it’s a public space that could have a bandshell. It could have an amphitheater. It’s a place for gatherings, so if the city wants to do a flag raising or they hold some kind of public meeting, it will be a spot where they can do that, and it will flow and continue right into the farmer’s market. We’re trying to create a community space that the city currently doesn’t have.”

National Resource’s partnership with Great Point Studios consists of a chain of sound stages and video production offices scattered across Yonker’s west side with more than two million square feet of development rights. Tenants include Lionsgate Studios and MediaPro US, a Spanish-language production company. The buildout would create thousands of jobs and a new media arts public middle/high school.

Cotter noted that the transformation he is helping to bring to Yonkers is about more than delivering new buildings and jobs to one of Westchester County’s poorest zip codes.

“With a project of this scale we really thought we needed to do more than just the usual efforts, so we strategized and came up with something that we think has real social impact,” said Cotter, noting that his company’s acquisition of a 28-acre former orphanage in southwest Yonkers included a school in good condition. “We asked, ‘Why doesn’t Yonkers get its own version of Fame and we’ll convert it to a high school for performing arts?”

Yonkers political and educational leaders agreed with Cotter, and the new 6-12 grade school will open in September with about 500 students.

“This program that’s been crafted, they guarantee students—if they graduate—a job in the (film and television) union,” said Cotter.

The State of the Economy transformational projects series continues April 11 with presentations from Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts and Playland. Click here to register.

The State of the Economy series is sponsored by PCSB Bank. Contributing Sponsors are Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts; IMA Financial Corp.; NewYork-Presbyterian; RM Friedland; Simone Development Company; and Westchester County Office of Economic Development. The series is hosted by Reckson-360 Hamilton Ave.

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