WHITE PLAINS – County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced on Friday the Westchester Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has approved inducement resolutions for two important Westchester projects: The creation of The Shrub Oak International School in the Town of Yorktown, and the residential conversion of the former AT&T headquarters at 440 Hamilton Avenue in White Plains. “Thanks to projects like these, Westchester County continues to increase its stock as a top tier location to live, work, go to school, and raise a family,” said Astorino. “Both projects will create jobs and provide significant economic return to the county.”
Shrub Oak International School
The Shrub Oak International School, LLC, which has strong local support, will meet an important and growing need for autistic young adults (14-22+) from around the world. It will invest upwards of $40 million in purchasing, renovating, and upgrading a vacant facility — long off the tax rolls — at 3151 Stoney Street in Shrub Oak, and replace it with a for-profit, high-performance boarding school that will provide tax revenue and an estimated 584 new jobs when fully operational.
The project covers 127 improved acres of land, with a main building of 270,000 square feet of space and six outbuildings of approximately 20,000 square feet combined. The school will include dormitory rooms, classrooms, an auditorium and other public spaces, a gym, kitchen, dining room and office spaces. Two barns, a pool, improved parking, and a helistop will also be constructed.
“Yorktown is enormously grateful to County Executive Astorino and the Westchester IDA for approving this key inducement,” said Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace. “This facility did enormous good for many years as a therapeutic community helping drug addicts achieve and maintain sobriety, and we are pleased that the same parcel of land will now be used to address another growing need. In addition to the public good The Shrub Oak International School will bring hundreds of jobs, tax revenue, and international prestige to our community.”
A spokesperson for the Shrub Oak International School stated “School leadership is dedicated to serving the needs of children and families, and to become a valued neighbor, friend and place of opportunity.”
440 Hamilton Avenue
The IDA inducement approval for 440 Hamilton Avenue will make possible the estimated $87 million purchase, renovation, and expansion of the former, windowless AT&T headquarters in White Plains into a state-of-the-art, 245 unit residential facility scheduled to open in early 2019. The structure is currently a 12-story, mostly vacant office building expected to be completely vacant by 2018.
The 350,000 square-foot building, which sits on three acres, will be expanded by approximately 20,000 feet, and 10 percent of the new housing stock will be set aside as affordable housing under White Plains ordinance.
The conversion of 440 Hamilton Avenue is expected to create 214 new construction jobs initially, and dozens of permanent jobs for building employees, local retail workers, various professionals, and suppliers. At least 80 percent of manual workers on the project will be hired from within Westchester. It will also provide a substantial capital investment in upgrading the aging facility and a substantial increase in the property tax base going forward.
“White Plains is excited to see this new, downtown residential project move forward,” said Mayor Tom Roach. “This state-of-the-art conversion will further enhance White Plains’ vibrant, residential, downtown core and provide significant job growth and economic benefits to the City for years to come. This is a good day for the City of White Plains.”
Aaron Wexler, one of the members of American Equity Partners I, LLC, the new owner of 440 Hamilton Avenue stated: “We are so pleased with the efforts of the City of White Plains for its efficient processing of our site plan approval for the adaptive re-use and re-purposing of our building. Our proposed 245 apartment units, along with a small market and coffee shop, at this important intersection in White Plains will certainly be a contributor to the vitality of the Hamilton Avenue corridor. We are now looking forward to working cooperatively with the Westchester County IDA, because the economic incentives and benefits that can be provided will unquestionably help facilitate the viability of this project. I am confident that our attractive design, amenity package and building improvements will be extremely well received by the community.”