Business community talks smart growth, honors leaders at WCA event

Westfair Communications, November 17th, 2017 |  Opportunities for growth abound for suburban markets like Westchester County, said RXR Realty Charmain and CEO Scott Rechler during the Westchester County Association’s Fall Leadership Dinner.

“This is our opportunity,” he said to the crowd gathered at the 67th annual dinner held on Nov. 16 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown.

Rechler, who delivered the evening’s keynote speech, added that skyrocketing population growth and high costs of living in New York City have also put Westchester in a great position to attract new residents. “This is where we have to think of ourselves from a regional perspective and say, ‘How can we tap into some of that energy?’” he said.

In order to take advantage of the desire to be close to New York City, Rechler’s company has placed a focus on transit-oriented developments that offer residents a quick commute into Manhattan.

“We’re fortunate,” he said,” because our arteries are connected to one of the largest heartbeats in the United States: New York City.”

That philosophy is one embodied at Larkin Plaza, the $200 million mixed-use developmentat 49 Main St. Yonkers. “People want a different kind of lifestyle,” he said. “One of downtowns, of walkability, of diversity, of public transit, of entertainment, of culture, of character.”

RXR Realty is also spearheading a development effort in New Rochelle’s downtown after the city selected RDRXR at New Rochelle LLC – a joint venture of RXR Realty and Renaissance Downtowns – as its master developer in 2015. The company also recently unloaded much of its county office portfolio, including two office buildings on the Route 119 corridor.
“It’s not about bringing new people,” he said. “It’s about retaining the important people that drive our economy going forward.”

Rechler also lauded the Westchester County Association, presenters of the dinner, for its  work to prepare the county for the changes ahead with programs such as Smart Growth.

“We are committed to creating a community that will be better off tomorrow than it is today,” said William M. Mooney Jr., president and CEO of the Westchester County Association.