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Thread: White Plains: City Center, Other Projects

  1. #1

    Default White Plains: City Center, Other Projects

    Some projects complete or nearing completion in this "suburb" north of the Bronx (Westchester)
    http://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/new.../dwntwnmap.htm

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    CITY/TOWN CENTER...(includes 2 35-story towers)































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    OTHER PROJECTS









  2. #2

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    Development in last rendering..




    Fortunoff...





  3. #3

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    Cappelli unveils 2-tower plans
    By SUSAN ELAN THE JOURNAL NEWS

    WHITE PLAINS Developer Louis Cappelli yesterday presented the White Plains Common Council with his second, $300 million development proposal for downtown that would include a 35-story Westin hotel and condo complex, and a 35-story office tower.

    Council members reacted favorably to the layout and design of the proposed Main Street high-rise that would house a 192-room Westin hotel with meeting facilities and a small ballroom, as well as 200 condominiums.

    But near the end of the three-hour meeting at City Hall, several council members balked at a request by Cappelli that some said would let the site be developed too densely.

    "The downtown was zoned so that construction of this density would not be feasible," Councilman Thomas Roach said.

    The disagreement focused on whether to consider as a single unit Cappelli's recently acquired site at 221 Main St. and his parcel at Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue where the $300 million City Center movie theater-retail and residential development is under construction. The city's Urban Renewal Agency agreed to designate the parcels as a single unit last week.

    The new project would require the extension of Court Street between Main Street and Hamilton Avenue to provide access to the complex.

    If the council also agrees to the proposal, Cappelli would have the right to construct a 35-story office tower off Hamilton Avenue that would not taper at the top, as he proposes to do with his hotel-condo building.

    However, Cappelli would still be able to achieve the same 1 million square feet of construction at the new site by transferring some of the air rights he acquired from the city, from an approved but not constructed retail floor at the City Center, and from Grace Episcopal Church, which adjoins 221 Main St.


    Instead of building a 35-story office building that would remain the same width from top to bottom, Cappelli could use more of the open space at the site to achieve the same amount of square footage.

    Refusal by the council would not be a deal breaker, Cappelli said.

    Councilwoman Rita Malmud also expressed concern over the nearly 1,500 vehicles that would come to the site each day.

    "We need to pay particular attention as to how we will move people and cars easily" in the downtown, Malmud said.

    A request by Cappelli to the council to let him build 60,000 square feet of retail space on top of the Main-Martine municipal garage that is currently being rebuilt did not raise objections.

    The space could be used as a health club and spa, would occupy only a small portion of the top level of the garage, and would add only 20 additional feet in height, Cappelli said as he showed a color rendering of the proposal to the council.

    "I think it looks nice and is a good location," Councilman Bill King said. "And it's not too tall."

  4. #4

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    More on the 2 largest developments in White Plains...

    Cappelli outlines hotel, office plan
    By SUSAN ELAN *

    WHITE PLAINS Developer Louis Cappelli yesterday took the first formal steps toward his second, $300 million development in downtown White Plains. It would include a 35-story Westin hotel and condo complex and a 35-story office tower.

    Although the project will require an extensive environmental review, evaluation by the city's boards and commissions and numerous public hearings, Cappelli said he is aiming for final city approval by August. The goal is to begin construction in October and finish in 2005, Cappelli has said.

    Cappelli also told city officials yesterday that the movie theater-retail portion of his $300 million City Center development across the street from the hotel site is on schedule for an opening in October.

    The newly proposed Main Street high-rise would house a 192-room Westin hotel with meeting facilities and 200 condominiums ranging from studios to three bedrooms. Construction of a 35-story office building off Hamilton Avenue would take place simultaneously if enough tenants make a commitment, Cappelli said.

    The new project would require the extension of Court Street between Main Street and Hamilton Avenue to provide access to the complex.

    Beyer Blinder Belle, the Manhattan architectural firm that designed the City Center, also will work on the new proposal, Cappelli said. He wants the hotel complex and City Center, which would be diagonally across from each other on Main Street, to create a visual link.

    Cappelli told the Urban Renewal Agency he hopes to open the movie-retail portion of the City Center in time for his birthday on Oct. 10.

    "I want to end the first project and start on the new project on that same day," said Cappelli, who will turn 52.

    The steel work on the entertainment and retail portion of the City Center has been completed, and the crane will be removed from the site within the next few days, Cappelli said yesterday.

    "This is a milestone," he said. "We have put in 8,000 tons of steel worth $15 million."

    Work to outfit the interior of the building for tenants, including a Target store, Circuit City and 15 movie theaters, will begin within two to three weeks, he said.

    By the end of the month, Cappelli also plans to begin work on a separate condominium loft building that will be located off the Martine Avenue side of the City Center project. The 20, 1,900-square-foot units will feature 11-foot-high ceilings and will sell for $900,000 apiece, he said.

    The target date to begin work on the second of two 35-story City Center apartment towers is April 15.

    Cappelli also is rebuilding the Main-Martine public garage as part of the City Center. The garage is slated to open Sept. 1.

    "We're in good shape in spite of the winter weather," he said.

  5. #5

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    Louis Cappelli took the wraps off detailed first rushes of his plans for a hotel and office complex on Main Street between Church and Court Streets Thursday evening and received enthusiastic response from the Common Council. The "Super Developer" brought back the design impresario for his City Center, Fred Bland, of Beyer, Blinder Belle of New York to present the designs for the 35 story hotel and 30 story office building in the distinct and eloquent Bland style.



    ANOTHER BLOCKBUSTER FROM BLAND: The Fred Bland design for the 35-story Starwood Westin Hotel and Condominium complex presented to the Common Council Thursday night. Louis Cappelli plans a block long restaurant on the Main Street streetscape, 6 stories(192 rooms) of hotel above, and 29 stories of luxury condominiums bigger and more luxurious than rentals being built at his City Center.The building behind the hotel-condoplex is an office building Cappelli said would not be built on speculation. He is hoping for a single tenant corporate tenant to lease it before he starts the office portion of project.

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    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    Good name for an architect.

  7. #7

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    LOL. *Here's another look at City Center...












  8. #8

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    From the White Plains CitizeNet Reporter, more views of both building projects...


    THE VIEW LOOKING SOUTH FROM CHATTERON HILL ACROSS HAMILTON AVENUE: In the foreground is the office building, that will be highlighted by a glass atrium entrance and foyer allowing clear views through the lobby towards the hotel fronting Main Street. Four floors of parking garage for 900 cars will be built below street level and four above. Parking will be for 1,430 cars and serve both the hotel and office tenant.



    HOTEL-CONDOPLEX IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY: A three dimensional model shows how the new "Cappelli Bland Hotel" will fit into the city scape. You are looking from the Southwest to the Northeast. Diagonally across from the two miniature white models of the hotel/condoplex is the City Center. The two City Center residential towers are at the right of your picture.



    THE NEW CITY SKYLINE, LOOKING WEST DOWN MAIN STREET: The two City Center residential towers are shown to the left on this miniature model of White Plains. The "Cappelli Bland Hotel" and Office Plex are the white models to the right fronting Main Street.



    THE VIEW OF CONROY PLACE FROM THE STEPS OF CITY HALL, showing the new health facility of the City Center Garage at center of the picture. The tall structure slightly to the right of center is the South Cappelli Tower on Matine Avenue. To the right in the foreground is the North Cappelli residential tower, to the left is the rendering for the envisioned Corner Nook/Deli/Main Street Bookstore property.

  9. #9

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    NY Times....
    .................................................. ...........................

    The Renaissance of White Plains
    By LISA W. FODERARO

    WHITE PLAINS, April 17 During the 1990's, as cities everywhere seemed to prosper and expand, this unassuming city became the wallflower of Westchester. The office vacancy rate ballooned to 31 percent. The downtown turned ghostly at night. And not a single movie screen flickered across its nine square miles.

    But now, as the rest of the region worries through the current recession, White Plains is the belle of the ball and, appropriately, raising a toast to itself. Overnight and against the odds, it has become a boomtown.

    A billion dollars' worth of construction is under way, including more than 1,600 rental apartments in and around the central business district. Fifteen movie screens, new restaurants and major retailers from Target to Fortunoff are in the works. And developers keep proposing more: a hotel, condominiums, even office space (now that the vacancy rate has dropped to a respectable 15 percent).

    How did White Plains, the archetypal "edge city" of the New York suburbs, suddenly become everybody's sweetheart? To many minds, the answer is Mayor Joseph Delfino. After taking office five years ago, he made it his mission to bring residential development to downtown, following the lead of Stamford, Conn.

    He streamlined the notoriously complex, drawn-out process by which developers sought approval, and he broke the city's immutable 230-foot building-height barrier by allowing 350-foot high-rises downtown. He also courted builders and retailers with gusto, personally showing Louis Fortunoff a site recently vacated by Saks Fifth Avenue.

    "Developers didn't feel comfortable and didn't feel welcomed," said Mr. Delfino, a native of White Plains, a Republican and a former county legislator. "Now the attitude is: Go to White Plains. They'll make things happen for you."

    As one strolls through downtown, where cement mixers whirl and stacks of lumber are moved through the air, there is a sense that White Plains is undergoing a personality change. Many are eager for the downtown to hum with new life, but others look at the future high-rises and shudder.

    "I feel overwhelmed by that height," said Louise Foley, a retired analyst for I.B.M. and a longtime resident, gazing up at the new building. "White Plains is no longer going to be a small town."

    City officials insist that if developers had not been allowed to build higher, they would have taken their blueprints elsewhere. "The bottom line is, some people want this to be Mayberry, but you know, Andy Griffith died many years ago at least the character died," said George Gretsas, the city's executive officer.


    Like many cities that dot the suburbs, White Plains has remained a vibrant place to live for its 53,000 residents, despite its bedraggled downtown. There are snug neighborhoods with well-kept houses, and quiet avenues with imposing residences.

    Residents appreciate the relatively low taxes, a benefit of the many companies based here. Indeed, White Plains drew the first major corporate relocation from New York City, when General Foods moved its headquarters to Westchester Avenue in 1954.

    Certainly, the city in the 1990's was not devoid of development. The Westchester mall opened in 1995, bringing a million square feet of retail space and upscale stores like Tiffany and Williams-Sonoma.

    The same year that the mall opened, however, the heart of downtown stumbled when Macy's left the intersection of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue. The department store resurfaced a few blocks away, but the sprawling limestone structure that it had occupied sat empty for years, sapping energy from the retail corridor.

    Vacancies spread, punctuated by $1 stores, and the site attracted more pigeon droppings than redevelopment plans. City officials were crestfallen when Tishman-Speyer abandoned its plan for a retail center and 21-screen Loews movie theater.

    But two years ago, a developer with a long track record, Louis R. Cappelli, strode into town. He had just completed New Roc City in New Rochelle, a $190 million sports, entertainment, retail and hotel complex that helped turn around the downtown area with a huge dose of razzmatazz.

    For White Plains, he was proposing a $320 million project, called City Center, on a seven-acre parcel that included the old Macy's site. On it he would erect twin 35-story towers with 300 rentals each; a half-million square feet of retail space; a 15-screen movie theater, and parking for 2,340 cars.

    Mayor Delfino was ecstatic. But there were months of hand-wringing on the City Council over building heights. Until then the tallest structure in the city was 20 stories. Mr. Cappelli prevailed, and the project is scheduled to open in the fall. The city persuaded him to include a 450-seat community theater amid his retail lineup of Target, Circuit City, Barnes & Noble, Legal Sea Foods and others.

    Mr. Cappelli credits the mayor with opening the doors to development. "Mayor Delfino and his staff listened to what it takes to make a development successful," Mr. Cappelli said. "You get an honest opinion out of them about where you stand right away."

    The City Council is now considering the next phase of Mr. Cappelli's minicity a hotel-condominium tower at 221 Main Street, across from his City Center, and an adjacent office tower. Both would be 350 feet high. Mr. Cappelli says he prefers to build in a weak economy when financing is cheaper.

    "My buildings are timed to come on line over the course of the next year when the war could be over and the stock market could go through the roof," he said. "We've already been in a low point for a while, and I'm making a bet that we're going to go up."

    While it is clearly the most ambitious project, Mr. Cappelli's is not the only one in town.

    Near the train station, workers are finishing two 21-story apartment buildings, called Bank Street Commons, with a total of 500 rental apartments. On the other side of town is Clayton Park, a 260-unit complex on Canfield Avenue that is nearly complete. At the south end of Mamaroneck Avenue, demolition has started for the Jefferson, a 285-unit apartment building.

    Things are bubbling on the retail front, too. Fortunoff is moving into Westchester with a project that will include a 190,000-square-foot store and 72,000 square feet of retail space for lease on Bloomingdale Road. And residents now have a Stop & Shop superstore, which opened on Westchester Avenue in December.

    "It's probably the most exciting time of all for White Plains, when you consider all that is going on simultaneously," said Frank Tomasulo, a senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis, a leading commercial real estate firm.

    White Plains, he said, was wise to copy Stamford's strategy of putting apartments downtown. "The influx of housing created a real buzz that makes that a 24-hour city," Mr. Tomasulo said.

    Diane Cisterna, a White Plains resident for 50 years and co-owner of Creation Plus, a hair salon in the shadow of the City Center project, describes White Plains after hours as a "ghost town." City Center, she feels, "is the best thing that could have happened."

    But her employee, Vicky Driggs, a hair stylist who has lived here for 30 years, isn't so sure. "I don't like such big, big buildings," she said. "If they build more, it's going to look like New York City."

    Such misgivings are a concern for the mayor's office. Already, the City Council seems to be taking a tougher approach to Mr. Cappelli's hotel and office proposals.

    "The wind is finally at our backs and there's a handful of people who say, `Oh no, now's the time to stop; bring everything to a halt and let's see where we are,' " Mr. Gretsas, the mayor's deputy, said. "The momentum has brought us to the point where we may be good, but you take that momentum to get to the finish line, which is greatness."




    City Center, a $320 million project that will include two apartment towers, retail space, a multiplex cinema and parking for almost 2,500 cars, is to open in the fall.

  10. #10

    Default White Plains, New York *- City Center, other projects

    April 22, 2003

    Construction and Outdoor Cafes in White Plains

    By TANYA MOHN


    Louis R. Cappelli, a White Plains developer, is briefed by an engineer at the site of the City Center project, scheduled to open in October.

    So many corporations started flocking north to White Plains and environs from Manhattan in the 1950's that one highway that became studded with their office buildings was known as the Platinum Mile. Then, starting in the 1980's, many departed, including General Foods and Texaco, in the mergers-and-acquisitions binge of the 80's and the downsizing that went with it. Soon 99-cent stores and tattoo parlors were sprouting in the formerly bustling downtown.

    Now, though, the economic decline has ended. Some companies, like PepsiCo and I.B.M., never left the area, and others, including MasterCard International and many small and medium-size businesses, have set up shop. The influx accelerated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, with several prominent law firms opening offices and Morgan Stanley buying the former Texaco headquarters in nearby Harrison to accommodate up to 3,000 employees and a trading floor.

    Construction is everywhere, fueled by more than $1 billion of private investment in the last four years, much of it helped by the $320 million City Center project scheduled to open in October by a local developer, Louis R. Cappelli. The city has spruced up the business district with potted flowers, trees and new street lights and sidewalks; outdoor cafes are packed at lunch, and police officers patrol the streets on bikes.

    AIRPORT

    A cab from La Guardia, Kennedy International or Newark Liberty International Airports can take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the traffic, but the WESTCHESTER COUNTY AIRPORT, built for the military in World War II, is just minutes away.

    Though it is one of the nation's three busiest airports for corporate and charter flights and is served by more than a dozen airlines, it has not lost its country club feel. Lawrence C. Salley, the county's commissioner of transportation, says a new security master plan will "go above and beyond" federal requirements.

    HOTELS

    At the newly renovated CROWNE PLAZA (914-682-0050, $199 to $239) downtown, courtesy shuttle buses will take you anywhere within seven miles. Its bar is a popular local hangout for its large-screen projection television and Friday night karaoke. "These people really care about doing it right," said Dr. Gerald Gardner, an orthodontist who holds professional meetings there. The staff even held an impromptu pajama party during a recent blizzard.

    For easy airport access, try the DORAL ARROWWOOD CONFERENCE RESORT (914-939-5500, $200 to $225) in Rye Brook, which specializes in corporate business retreats and meetings. Christine C. Counihan, a program training coordinator for Citigroup in Manhattan who runs executive training programs there, likes the rates and the free movies and popcorn offered some evenings; her participants like the indoor and outdoor tennis courts, the pool and the nine-hole golf course.

    RESTAURANTS

    Dan Tearno, a vice president of Heineken USA in White Plains, recommends MULINO'S (914-761-1818, $110 for dinner for two, including wine and tip) for its northern Italian cuisine and the tables that look out on a courtyard garden with waterfalls. "It's where the political movers and shakers in the county eat," he said. He also likes the Mediterranean fare at TROTTERS (914-421-5012, $85). It features live jazz or a D.J. at the cocktail lounge Wednesday through Saturday. It's also the place to see and be seen.

    Richard G. Baccari, managing partner of the Richard G. Baccari & Company accounting firm, says if you want to do something a little different, take a client to the recently opened SEASON'S JAPANESE BISTRO (914-421-1163, $40; no liquor license yet, so bring your own) for sushi and soup. Another newcomer is VINTAGE (914-328-5803, $100). It is in a refurbished Art Deco building and serves eclectic dishes like Thai peanut shrimp lo mein.

    For power breakfasts, Richard P. Biondi, a vice president for the White Plains Hospital Center, says CITY LIMITS DINER (914-686-9000) "has the greatest homemade granola in the world" as well as delightful aromas wafting in from the bakery.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Mr. Biondi likes GRYPHON'S (914-682-0048), "a relaxing little place for beer and darts," great burgers and Peruvian-Italian fusion food. Mr. Tearno enjoys DOOLEY MAC'S (914-428-0211), which he describes as "a good Irish pub," and MICHAEL'S RESTAURANT AND SPORTS CAFE (914-946-9385), a haven for Yankee fans.

    LAZY BOY SALOON (914-761-0272) is a good place to shoot pool over one or two of the more than 400 brands of beer on the menu. For a quiet alternative, LOLOVIVI (914-682-4128), a new wine-and-dessert bar, serves espresso, gourmet teas and light fare amid overstuffed pillows and lots of candlelight.


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  11. #11

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    October 15, 2003

    REGIONAL MARKET

    White Plains Project Adds Big Retailer

    By ELSA BRENNER


    Target's new store in Westchester County is below street level in the new City Center at White Plains.

    WHITE PLAINS, Oct. 14 - Target, the national discount merchandiser, has opened a 153,000-square-foot store here, becoming the first retailer to ring up sales in a new $320 million retail-residential complex called the City Center at White Plains that will also include a Circuit City, a 15-screen National Amusements movie theater, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, several restaurants and two 35-story residential towers.

    It is Target's initial foray into Westchester County, and its first store below street level. It is also its first outlet in a residential-retail complex.

    Usually the retailer, which has more than 1,200 stores in 47 states, locates in one-level freestanding stores in a community or regional shopping area.

    In downtown White Plains, which is undergoing major retail and residential redevelopment, the merchandiser will serve as a co-anchor with the theater complex, which is scheduled to open next month, in a four-level (one of them below ground) 540,000-square-foot retail center.

    A vertical retail format - as opposed to the more traditional horizontally structured mall - is increasingly being seen in metropolitan areas where land is at a premium, said Mark Schulman, a partner in Street-Works, the White Plains architectural firm responsible for the overall design of the City Center complex.

    "The value of dirt today is often such that it requires us to put this kind of density on a site, with co-anchors on the bottom and top floors instead of across the way from each other," he said.

    The White Plains complex, including 529 rental units and condominiums as well as a 10-level parking garage, is being built by Cappelli Enterprises of Valhalla.

    The complex occupies most of a city block, on land where a Macy's department store once stood.

    Macy's moved from one corner of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue in the mid-1990's to the Galleria at White Plains, a mall across the street.

    This past summer, Sears Roebuck left the 270,000-square-foot free-standing store it had occupied nearby for 37 years to join Macy's as a co-anchor in the Galleria.

    The new leaseholders of the former Sears building say they are spending $17 million to redevelop it and are looking for several retailers to occupy the site.

    Several blocks away in the downtown area, a Fortunoff store opened last month in a 265,000-square-foot, four-story retail complex directly across from the Westchester, a million-square-foot mall built in the early 1990's and anchored by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

    Fortunoff took over a site formerly occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, which left the city after 52 years.

    A spokeswoman for Target, Paula Greear, said that the White Plains location would be able to draw customers from a broad geographic area bounded by Greenwich, Conn., to the north and New Rochelle to the south. Another advantage, she said, is that the area is not oversaturated with existing discount retailers.

    Target, which has hired 35 full-time and 65 part-time workers for the store, is purchasing its new quarters from LC White Plains Retail, a commercial condominium organization formed by Cappelli Enterprises.

    Ms. Greear, the spokeswoman, would not disclose the purchase price. The other stores are leasing their spaces.

    Circuit City, one of the largest electronic chains, will open its 38,000-square-foot store at City Center tomorrow.

    The stores uses a new design that features "more dramatic lighting, increased signage and most of the stock on the selling floor as opposed to in the warehouse," said Jim Babb, a spokesman.

    Mr. Babb would not disclose specific terms of its 20-year lease.

    Barnes & Noble, which is taking 27,000 square feet, will open during the winter.

    In addition to worrying about the possibility of additional traffic congestion - an estimated 12,000 more vehicular trips to the city a day - some residents have voiced concerns about the fate of the smaller retail shops and restaurants lining Mamaroneck Avenue, an area that has long struggled in the shadow of the Galleria, a thriving mall that opened during the 1970's.

    But Bruce Berg, executive vice president of Cappelli Enterprises, says the retail-entertainment complex has been designed to encourage pedestrian activity on the street, "and not just be a separate entity unto itself."

    Rather than circulating within the stores of the complex, shoppers will in most cases have to go outside to enter another retail outlet within the building.

    Also, Mr. Berg predicts that the new residences at City Center will create the need for service businesses like restaurants, florists and dry cleaners on the street.

    The rental office for the first apartment tower is scheduled to open early next year.


    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  12. #12
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    Cappelli, White Plains to iron out hotel plans

    By SUSAN ELAN

    THE JOURNAL NEWS
    (Original publication: April 18, 2004)

    WHITE PLAINS A development plan for the last major piece of downtown real estate is expected to come before the Common Council for a vote May 3, but agreements on several key issues, ranging from open space to affordable housing, have yet to be reached.

    To try to resolve the remaining points concerning plans for the $350 million hotel, residential and office complex at 221 Main St., developer Louis Cappelli and the council are scheduled to meet Thursday at City Hall.

    Among the questions city officials want answered is whether Cappelli has lined up a hotel chain to participate in the project. A six-story hotel serves as the base of two 35-story, residential towers that would be built adjacent to Grace Episcopal Church. A 28-story office building, measuring 310 feet, also is proposed for Hamilton Avenue as part of the Renaissance Square complex.

    "I have an agreement in principle with Starwood Hotels for a Westin Hotel with about 200 rooms at the site," Cappelli said last week. Although there is no signed deal with a hotel chain, Cappelli said, the recent spurt of development in White Plains has generated widespread interest in his proposed 890,000-square-foot project.

    "The dynamics in White Plains have changed dramatically in the last three years," Cappelli said. "This is no longer a city where you have to convince people to come. It's a city where people and companies want to come."

    Mark Ricci, a spokesman for the White Plains-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., was unable to confirm any agreement between Starwood and Cappelli.

    Bank Street Commons, a new apartment complex located opposite the city's Metro-North Railroad station, has city approval to build a 200-room hotel at its site but has not yet closed a deal.

    LCOR, the Manhattan-based developer of Bank Street Commons, "is talking to a number of people in the hotel industry who are interested in the site," spokesman David Stearns said Friday.

    Hotel industry analyst Joe Bonner of Argus Research in Manhattan said business has picked up for the entire hotel market since the slump that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the threat of a SARS epidemic.

    "Things started getting better in the hotel industry towards the end of 2003," Bonner said. "Upscale hotels that cater to the business traveler such as Starwood are doing particularly well."

    Cappelli said he is interested only in the highest end of the hotel industry because that would best suit his development, where condominium apartments are expected to sell for about $500 a square foot.

    Elected officials and a spokesman for the city's civic associations said that before the project is approved, agreement must be reached on a number of issues.

    They include the amount of open space available at the project's ground level, the buildings' layout and facade appearance, the shadows and wind they would create, and how the developer would meet a city requirement to provide 6 percent of the proposed 290 residential units for below-market housing.

    Councilwoman Rita Malmud said the council has not yet approved legislation that would allow Cappelli to pay into a fund for affordable homeownership to assist low- and moderate-income families with down payments instead of turning over some of his residential units for rental at below-market rates.

    Bob Meyerson, secretary of the White Plains Council of Neighborhood Associations, expressed concern about the effect a project the size of Cappelli's would have on the downtown's infrastructure and utilities, including electricity, gas, water and sewers.

    Such concerns will be addressed when the council meets with Cappelli on Thursday, said Susan Habel, the city's planning commissioner.

    A site plan of the project distributed to the council on April 7 shows that Cappelli's plan provides more than the 20 percent of open space required at street level at the site, Habel said.

    In addition, legislation enabling Cappelli to pay into a city-run fund for affordable homeownership has been drawn up and awaits a vote by the council, she said.

    As to the question of the project's effect on infrastructure, Habel said, "If there is one thing we have, it's capacity. And if there wasn't enough, the developer would be required to pay for it."

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    I wonder how tall those 35-story office buildings are. If the city's height limit is 350 feet as many articles state, it doesn't seem practical to have only a 10-foot floor-to-floor height for a 35-story building; office buildings need a lot more space between floors and ceilings for utilities, not to mention the height of the lobby and a mechanical penthouse would make the building's floors a lot shorter.

  14. #14

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    May 15, 2004

    Trump Adds His Name to Condos

    By THOMAS CRAMPTON

    WHITE PLAINS, May 14 - What's a name worth? Donald J. Trump, who on Friday announced that he would lend his name to a luxury apartment building in Westchester that is almost half built, will not say.

    Interviewed by telephone as he putted toward the ninth hole in a golf game, Mr. Trump declined to disclose any aspect of his financial interest in the deal beyond insisting that renaming the 35-story building Trump Tower at City Center was sure to increase the value.

    "The name Trump has got more recognition than any other name in the business," Mr. Trump said. "People know it means quality and they recognize that with higher prices."

    A real estate developer better known recently for firing hapless contestants on the television show 'The Apprentice,' Mr. Trump said his company would be involved in development, sale and management when the building is complete.

    "I will not be having anyone from 'The Apprentice' running this project," Mr. Trump said. "But I do hope this building will be as successful as the show."

    Sixteen stories of the building, which is expected to open in the summer of 2005, have already been completed. It is part of the $325 million City Center complex here that is being built by Louis R. Cappelli, a Westchester developer. In addition to the 212 luxury condominiums of the newly renamed Trump Tower, the complex includes retailers like Barnes & Noble and the New York Sports Club.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #15

    Default white plains

    i used to have a girl from white plains.

    a few years ago it was a nice quiet town with some stores and little to do at night. overall, that was not bad. i even thought of moving there.

    during my last visit, i came across an overbuilt, congested small town that is trying too hard to be a mini manhattan.

    i hope the city council knows what they are doing.

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