Rand Commercial Sevices - Ann K. Silver
Please join me welcoming BRIAN EGAN as the newest member of the RCS Team in Orange County. Brian Egan is seasoned & skilled Associate Broker who brings a wealth of experience to our growing Team. Brian’s expertise is in: Land-Industrial & Residential Sub-Divisions.
Brian will be working out of the Goshen office with Charles Emanuel & Michael McBride. Many thanks to Brendan Burke for all his TeamBuilder efforts. Brian can be reached on his cell: 845 731 1846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
RYE BROOK, NY -- Cushman & Wakefield released its first quarter 2012 report for the Westchester County office market on April 17 which indicated that market fundamentals remained flat at the beginning of the year.
Although there was a small increase in vacancy and a decrease in leasing activity, the market suffered from large amounts of sublease space added to the market in the first quarter.
Countywide, the Class-A overall vacancy rate increased to 21.1%, a 1.9 percentage point increase over the 19.2% overall vacancy achieved in the first quarter of 2011 and a 1.2 percentage point increase over the 19.9% overall vacancy rate recorded at year-end 2011.
The White Plains Non-CBD’s Class-A overall vacancy rate continues to be the highest in the county at 27.6%. It increased from last quarter’s 23.7% by 3.9 percent points, primarily due to the 222,626 square feet of space added to the market when Starwood Hotels & Resorts completed its relocation to 333 Ludlow Street in Stamford, CT. There was also 36,000 square feet of data space from IBM at 800 Westchester Ave. that was converted to office space and added to the market this quarter.
The Eastern submarket also saw a significant increase in the Class-A overall vacancy rate, rising 24.4% from 18.0% in the first quarter of 2011 and 12.6% from 19.9% at year-end 2011 to the current 22.4%. Contributing to the overall vacancy increase was the 60,000 square feet of sublease space at 440 Mamaroneck Ave. in Harrison that Bank of NY Mellon put on the market, along with the 22,000 square feet of sublease space from Morgan Stanley at 4 Manhattanville Road in Purchase. In contrast, 59,000 square feet of sublease space was removed from the market by Westcon at 520 White Plains Road in Tarrytown, helping to decrease the Central submarket’s Class-A overall vacancy rate from last year’s 19.9% to the current 17.7% rate.
Countywide, Class-A leasing activity in the first quarter was at 230,003 square feet, slightly lower that the 294,692 square feet leased in the fourth quarter of 2011, but somewhat higher than the 213,811 square feet leased in the first quarter of 2011. This level of leasing activity has been consistently flat since the third quarter of 2008, when market fundamentals were more robust.
The largest office transaction of the quarter was TAL International’s 27,718-square-foot lease renewal at 100 Manhattanville Road in Purchase, while the largest new office lease was Voyetra Turtle Beach’s 20,817-square-foot transaction at 100 Summit Lake Drive in Valhalla.
Other significant deals in the first quarter were Byram Healthcare’s 27,011-squarefoot expansion and renewal at 120 Bloomingdale Road in White Plains, Greywolf Capital Management’s 18,531-squarefoot renewal at 4 Manhattanville Road in Purchase, Akzo Nobel’s 17,500-squarefoot lease at 120 White Plains Road in Tarrytown, and Regus Workspaces’ 14,297-square-foot lease at 777 Westchester Ave. in White Plains.
Class-A overall absorption skyrocketed this quarter to negative 403,194 square feet almost quadrupling from last quarter’s negative 51,990 square feet and a more than 10-fold rise from the negative 35,892 square feet recorded in the first quarter of 2011. This marked increase in overall absorption reflects the combination of large amounts of sublease space added to the market, with the flat leasing activity and minimal tenant relocations from outside the county.
Direct average asking rent for Class-A office space in the county decreased by $1.23 per square foot over last year, from $30.87 psf to the current $29.64 psf. The Northern submarket’s Class-A rental rate experienced the most significant yearover- year drop of 11.5% from $28.21 psf in 1Q-11 to the current $24.96 psf. The White Plains Non-CBD submarket also saw a decline in Class-A direct average asking rents dropping 9.2% from last year’s $31.42 psf to the current $28.52 psf. Showing strength, the White Plains CBD’s Class-A overall asking rent reached its highest level since the beginning of 2009 —$33.92 psf —an increase of $0.92 psf over last year.
“Although the Westchester County real estate market continued its malaise through the first quarter of 2012, two drivers are expected to boost market activity in the near future,” said Jim Fagan, senior managing director and market leader of Cushman & Wakefield’s Fairfield and Westchester County region. “The first is adaptive re-uses for existing office product including medical, residential and retail; the second is the increased economic activity that we believe will be created by the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. These factors point to lower vacancy and increased leasing activity in the future.”
The White Plains CBD’s overall vacancy rate for Class-A space averaged 17.1%, on par with last quarter and a slight increase from the 16.5% vacancy rate recorded last year. Class-A leasing activity in the CBD in the first quarter was 48,476 square feet, almost four times the leasing from the disappointing 13,225 square feet leased last quarter, but comparable to the 44,732 square feet leased last year.
Class-A leasing activity in the White Plains Non-CBD totaled only 48,209 square feet, a 70.7% decrease over the 164,430 square feet leased in the fourth quarter of 2011 but more than double the 23,819 square feet leased one year ago.
Paul Adler receives the President's Award for Service to the RBA at the 2012 Pinnacle Awards on May 2, 2012. Please see the video below:
Become a socially responsible company to stay ahead of the competition and find loyal customers.
April 2, 2012
It may seem like just buzzwords right now, but soon “social responsibility” is going to change the way your company does business. Why? In the next few years, if your company isn’t socially responsible, you’re going to be left in the dust.
“If you aren’t a socially responsible business now,” says Shel Horowitz, green/ethical marketing consultant and co-author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, “your market is going to leave you behind within the next few years. It’s going to become a rule of doing business.”
“When you have a socially responsible business plan, it’s putting you in line with the trajectory of how business is being thought about now,” says Summer Rayne Oakes, co-founder of Source4Style, an online marketplace that connects the fashion industry with sustainable materials from around the world. “Having a socially responsible business plan and being able to communicate that internally to your employees and being able to communicate it externally to your consumers, as well as your shareholders, is going to reduce risk.” Socially responsible businesses also tend to attract higher quality job applicants as well as a more loyal customer base, says Horowitz. “If you survive the screening process that they’re going to put you through, they will be evangelists for you,” he says.
Convinced? Read on to find out five ways to incorporate socially responsible practices into the way your company does business.
1. Donate (Your Money and Your Time)
“Focus on community service. Don’t just condone it, normalize it. Work with HR or operations to make giving back easy for your employees. Arrange regular employee volunteer days, and don’t require that vacation time is used for them,” says Jonathan Hsu, CEO of Recyclebank, a website and online community that offers rewards for environmentally friendly actions. He also suggests enabling your team to make automatic paycheck donations to their charity of choice, and partnering with and donating part of your company’s profits to a public-facing charity. Some of the charitable programs Recyclebank has partnered with have included NatureBridge, Alliance for Climate Education, and MillionTreesNYC.
When choosing partner charities, we recommend focusing on organizations that are in tune with your company’s own core values and mission,” says Hsu. “We also suggest including one or two local charities, which will help all employees feel a personal connection to the group.”
2. Sweat the Small Stuff
Often the easiest way to kick off your plan of becoming a socially responsible company is to start with the small things that are easy to change, such as changing the tea and coffee in your break room to fair trade brands.
Once you’ve changed the little things, you can dig a bit deeper. “Examine the environmental practices of your local goods and service providers. Ensure they are transparent in communicating their own impact and strive to use materials that are eco-conscious and not toxic,” says Hsu. “Look at who is making the products that you are using as a business, and who is making the products that you are reselling as a business. What are their practices like? Are they paying a fair wage? Are they establishing good, safe working conditions?” says Horowitz.
“Get employees to contribute their ideas. You’ll probably find that they have better ideas than you,” says Horowitz. “Create a culture of collaboration; emphasize how you’re all in this together to make this company a participant in a better world.” Hsu suggests regular surveys or an open-door policy to encourage employee feedback and idea-sharing. “Great ideas come from all levels. Start a Green Team composed of a mix of employees, which is something we have at Recyclebank. When new ideas and programs are generated from this group, it encourages broader employee adoption.”
Also make sure you’re communicating your initiatives with partners and shareholders, as well as your employees, who can all help spread the word. And don’t forget your customers, too. E-newsletters and social media can be a great way to let people know about your initiatives, as well as find new ideas.
4. Get out of the Office
Oakes takes her team on monthly field trips to engage them firsthand on sustainable and local business practices. Recently, they’ve been everywhere from a recycling center to a textile arts center to a button factory. Ask your employees where they’d like to go, and incorporate volunteering into your office trips. “Some of the coolest companies I’ve seen are really supportive of their employees who are engaged in their own kind of volunteer efforts. It’s a brilliant opportunity,” she says.
5. Start from the Top
“As a business owner, it’s up to you to set the tone for social responsibility among employees,” says Hsu. “Make it ingrained in your corporate identity and fabric so it’s part of everything you do. This way, it won’t seem like a daunting undertaking but instead a part of daily operations.” In order to have the right company culture in place, says Oakes, a business must also have understanding from partners and shareholders. “And that’s not always easy to create,” she says. However, a small part of the team making strides to make your business more socially responsible can lead to big changes down the road, both for your company and the future of your industry.
“You can shift the culture in about two years, but it’s got to be two years of consistent, honest, committed, and sincere efforts,” says Horowitz. But at the end, he says, “You will have a cleaner conscience. You’ll be able to say, ‘We are doing right by the world.’”
Read below to see Jon Paul Molfetta of RCS quouted in the Journal News!
SUFFERN — Spring in this western Ramapo village will herald a sprucing-up project downtown as officials seek to revitalize the area to attract new businesses and young professionals.
That’s welcome news to small-business owners whose storefronts will get a makeover — and the federal government will pick up most of the tab.
“We’re psyched about it,” said Joe Capalbo, who owns 88 Lafayette Ave. and runs Artistic Floors there with his father, Charles.
The family could never afford to make a $57,000 investment into the building’s aesthetics, Capalbo said. But he’ll spend only a fraction of that while a Community Development Block Grant contributes $50,000 to the cost to reface the upper half of his building.
Suffern received the grant in late 2010, and a committee recently finalized plans to distribute it among a third of the 30 businesses that applied for funds. The grant pays up to 90 percent of the cost for facade improvements while business owners pitch in the rest.
About $167,432 total — $136,388 in grant money — will be spent to overhaul 10 storefronts downtown, touching the buildings between 86 Lafayette Ave. and 100 Lafayette Ave.
Designs were drawn up by Michael Shilale Architects of New City, and Hudson Valley Bridge Construction of Harriman has been awarded a bid for the construction, Mayor Dagan LaCorte said. Work is set to begin in May or June.
“It’s definitely a positive,” LaCorte said. “Suffern has a lot going for it but also has had its share of struggles due to external forces like the economy. So anything we can do to support the ongoing businesses, attract people to the Village of Suffern, it’s a good thing and we’ll move forward on it.”
Most building owners are spending only a few thousand dollars — except for Bill Tarantino, who’s investing$20,000 into Hines Playhouse — for what will result in a full facade makeover. The 98-year-old landmark and the longtime home of Handy Hardware Store, at 92 Lafayette Ave., will get the biggest facelift.
Workers will remove the coverings that for decades have hidden a row of third-story windows and replace the glass. Opening up the south-facing windows will flood light into the building, which once held racquetball courts and an ice skating rink, among other things. Currently, Tarantino rents nooks and crannies of the vast space to artists. One renter teaches Zumba classes.
“It adds value to the building,” Tarantino said of the facade project.
At other buildings, plans call for new signage, power washing, fresh paint, new paneling and new windows. The result will be good for Artistic Floors’ business and the village as a whole, Capalbo said.
“It will just brighten up the town,” he said.
Funds came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010 and were distributed through the Rockland County Office of Community Development. In 2012, Suffern was among more than two dozen municipalities and nonprofits in Rockland that received a portion of $1.9 million in Community Development Block Grant funds.
LaCorte said the village plans to assess other downtown buildings in need of aesthetic repair and use its $85,000 grant for a second phase of facade improvements that could begin in the fall.
It’s all part of Suffern officials’ overarching plan to bring in new businesses and create a place where young professionals who work in New York City want to live and spend their dollars, LaCorte said.
Jon Paul Molfetta, an associate broker at Rand Realty and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce who also worked on the facade project’s committee, said the village has a lot of potential in this effort.
In the past year, new businesses have opened downtown, including three clothing boutiques, two restaurants, a printing shop and a computer repair shop, Molfetta said. Vacancies remain, however, with one of every 10 storefronts empty, he estimated. Commercial rents range from $12 to $22 per square foot.
“The commercial sector hasn’t (historically) been strained the way it has been the last few years,” he said.
There’s been a concerted effort to diversify downtown business, Molfetta said.
“We’re trying to break the stereotype of just food in our downtown,” he said, referring to the village’s multitude of eateries in what’s known as Restaurant Row.
What’s also needed, he said, is a “luxury” residential rental market — specifically, a mid-rise building with new units to mix up the current market of apartments and artists’ lofts downtown.
LaCorte agreed, saying downtown housing options should appeal to families, current residents looking to downsize or young professionals commuting to work via NJ Transit.
“Bringing people to live in the village around mass transit ... that’s kind of the direction we go in building a downtown around that,” he said.
Plans to redevelop property on Orange Avenue into just that sort of apartment building as part of an urban renewal plan have languished for years as the village struggled to retain interest from developers.
The 2013 budget includes $300,000 in revenue the village is counting on from the sale of its property at 120 Orange Ave. LaCorte said the village has received renewed interest from a developer but the fate of 120 Orange Ave. hasn’t been decided.
Separately, a new proposal to build condos on Washington Avenue could go before the Planning Board this year, LaCorte said. The plan would require a zone change.
HVEDC partners with Hudson River Ventures on strategic investments in Hudson Valley businesses
Fund targeting high-growth industries
NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. (April 26, 2012) - The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) is partnering with an investment fund that will extend capital to businesses throughout the Hudson Valley.
Hudson River Ventures, LLC is a small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley. Founded by Sean Eldridge in 2011, Hudson River Ventures works to empower entrepreneurs and build thriving businesses throughout the Hudson Valley.
In partnership with HVEDC, Hudson River Ventures will make strategic investments, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, in small businesses within its target industry sectors, including Food & Beverage, Tourism & Hospitality, Information Technology, and Biotech. HVEDC will help identify startup companies and existing companies who qualify for investment.
"In this current economic climate, small businesses are struggling to find capital. But there are entrepreneurs with bold ideas and growing businesses throughout the Hudson Valley that are smart investments, which is why I founded Hudson River Ventures," said Sean Eldridge, president of Hudson River Ventures. "I am thrilled to partner with HVEDC to invest in startup companies and existing businesses. Together, we will create jobs, strengthen communities, and build a more prosperous Hudson Valley."
"Corporate executives in the Hudson Valley have been telling us that access to capital is their most critical issue as they try to grow their business," said Mike Oates, President and CEO of HVEDC. "Sean and Hudson River Ventures is a most welcome addition to the tools available for economic development in our region. HVEDC is thrilled to be Hudson River Venture's partner. Sean will not only bring needed capital to our market but will also provide business expertise that will help position our region for growth."
To learn more about how to apply, contact Mike Oates, President and CEO, Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp., at email@example.com or 845-220-2244 or visit www.HudsonRiverVentures.com.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer: "Hudson River Ventures, in partnership with Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp., will be a new and unique catalyst for small businesses to grow and expand in the Hudson Valley all while creating new local jobs in this new economy. Sean Eldridge and Hudson River Ventures have a vision of helping Main Street businesses, tourism, food & beverage and high-tech ventures, which is exactly what we need in New York and I look forward to partnering with them and HVEDC to help create jobs and expand economic opportunities throughout the Hudson Valley. By creating this new investment and development fund, Sean will leverage public-private partnerships and give new and expanding Hudson Valley businesses all the tools they need to succeed and I look forward to working with his fund to strengthen the economy and the Hudson Valley and all of New York State."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: "The investments made by Hudson River Ventures will help strengthen the regional economy by focusing on growing industries in the Hudson Valley. Investments in existing companies and startups in key markets including biotech and innovative technologies would create opportunities for sustained job growth."
Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino: "The Hudson River Ventures Investment Fund will provide a wellspring of financial resources to entrepreneurs thirsty for new sources of capital. We applaud Sean's efforts to invest in the Hudson Valley, and fill the widening gap between private industry's growing need for additional funding and government's ever-shrinking pool of public monies available for investment."
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef: "We wish Hudson River Ventures much success, and hope that they make significant investments in the lower Hudson Valley, particularly Rockland County. Last year 500 new jobs were created in Rockland, and in the coming months we look forward to working with successful organizations like Hudson River Ventures to encourage continued investment in companies that seek to expand or start-up in the county."
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro: "The Hudson Valley has long been a leader in attracting entrepreneurs and innovation, and Hudson River Ventures will help ensure our region remains a leader."
Orange County Executive Edward A. Diana: "We welcome the opportunity to work with Hudson River Ventures as they contribute to advancing the region's economic attraction and retention efforts."
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein: "The business community of Ulster County and the entire Hudson Valley will be augmented by Hudson River Ventures' efforts to grow entrepreneurship, strengthen local companies and help create more jobs."
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell: "Hudson River Ventures is affording 'entrepreneurs' the opportunity to grow or build a business in the Hudson Valley Region, by supporting their contribution to private public partnerships, we hope this will enhance economic development and, therefore, create jobs in the region.
Sullivan County Partnership President Allan Scott: "With access to capital becoming ever more challenging, we welcome Hudson Valley River Ventures as an integral partner in helping our regional growth industry sectors to grow and expand."
Scenic Hudson Ned Sullivan: "Across the country, job creation is hampered by cautious financial institutions and cash-strapped government agencies. Sean Eldridge is boldly stepping into this arena with the vision, courage and resources to revitalize the Hudson Valley's economy by investing in sustainable small businesses - with the most capable and effective partner - Mike Oates and HVEDC."
About Hudson River Ventures LLC: Hudson River Ventures, LLC is a small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley. Founded by Sean Eldridge of Garrison, N.Y., in 2011, Hudson River Ventures works to empower entrepreneurs and build thriving businesses throughout the Hudson Valley. Learn more at: www.hudsonriverventures.com.
About Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC): HVEDC represents seven counties in Hudson Valley. This public-private partnership markets the region as a prime business location to corporate executives, site selection consultants and real estate brokers. HVEDC also helped start the branding and promotional effort for NY BioHud Valley. For more information on Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation or to review available business sites, visit www.hvedc.com or call CEO Mike Oates at 845-220-2244.