Past reports can be found on the archives page!
The reports on White Plains CitizeNetReporter are intended solely for our reading audience. Any reproduction or retransmission of these reports without express written consent of CitizeNetReporter Network, Inc. is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.
The Front Page:
Cappelli Trumps Again!
Cappelli Enterprises tells city it is buying Town Center from Tishman Speyer outright as sole purchaser.
Contract is signed. Closing on April 23.
Requests early meeting with Common Council to discuss plans, required environmental reviews.
"The Trump of Westchester" plans $225 Million "Cappelli Center" of upscale retail, movies, and hotel, and 250 to 300 residential apartments. WPCNR sees 25 story tower on top of entertainment and retail base.
City Hall schedules Common Council Meeting for April 24 to hear proposal after learning of deal at 9 AM Friday morning.
By John F. Bailey
CityLine: April 6, 2001 -- Briarcliff Manor, NY and City Hall
Cappelli Enterprises of Valhalla, the flagship development company owned by Louis R. Cappelli, creator of New Roc City, notified the city of White Plains Friday morning that it had entered into a contract with Tishman Speyer to purchase the Macy's property at Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street.
The informal confirmation consisted of a letter from Alfred E. Donnellan to Mayor Joseph Delfino, that arrived over the city's fax machine at 9 AM Friday morning. A copy was faxed to WPCNR by Paul Wood, City Hall Economic Development Officer.
Geoffrey Thompson, Cappelli spokesman, of Thompson & Bender, announced the contract to WPCNR at 6 PM Friday evening.
Mr. Thompson told WPCNR that a letter had been delivered to City Hall Friday confirming the contract to purchase with Tishman Speyer which will close according to Thompson on April 23. Thompson said no purchase price was disclosed.
Thompson said the Cappelli letter requested a meeting with the White Plains Common Council soon after the anticipated April 23 closing to present their vision for developing the Town Center property, as well as to commence future environmental reviews.
According to Paul Wood Friday evening, Mayor Joseph Delfino scheduled a meeting of the Common Council for Tuesday evening April 24, and issued the following statement:
"The fact that there were so many developers interested in purchasing this site is a very good sign for the downtown. I have scheduled a special meeting of the council immediately after the closing date so that the council and I can get a detailed presentation of the developer's vision for the property. And I look forward to working with the Common Council on this project which I hope will contribute to our efforts to revitalize the downtown."
WPCNR real estate experts tell us the property was being shopped for approximately $25 million. Bidding was so strong that it caused Forest City Ratner, a premier national developer to bow out of the heady competition. Two other contenders, the Georgetown Company and The Related Companies, fell by the wayside to the Cappelli challenge.
Cappelli the sole developer: projects larger, street-energizing project combining movies, hotel and 300 apartments
Mr. Thompson said Cappelli Enterprises will be the sole owner of the property in the deal. He was unaware of any the names of any architects drawing up the preliminary plans. Asked if Halpern Realty which owns the building diagonally across the street from the Town Center property was at all involved, Bender said Cappelli was the exclusive developer.
Thompson reported to WPCNR that the Cappelli organization plans a larger complex that Tishman Speyer envisioned. The project will cost $225 Million and will combine street level upscale retail stores with a movie theater, a hotel and 250 to 300 residential apartments. No further details were available at this time, according to Thompson. No retail tenants apparently have been lined up. Though Target Stores, a tenant lined up for the former Tishman Speyer Town Center was a part of a Cappelli project in Mount Vernon.
WPCNR projects that the 250 to 300 residential apartments projects out to be a 20-story building in the heart of downtown on top of the theater, hotel, restaurant retail base to the project. It could be a single tower or a twin tower design. This concept would fit in with Mayor Delfino's downtown Revitalization Plan for the Martine Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, North Broadway and Mamaroneck Avenue.
The Mayor's plan for the Central Core Business District recommends "a high density mixed use area encompassing the core of the City's Central Business District...permit(ing) a combination of residential, retail, office, government, business services, cultural and entertainment uses."
In fact, a 20-story residential tower with movies, restaurants and retail and a hotel appears by WPCNR analysis to be permitted under the new zoning recommendation, the height of such a building, "for a development which is 80% or more residential and is located on a parcel of at least 50,000 square feet (the Macy's site is larger -- we do not have the exact figure),with access from two streets, the permitted density...could be increased on issuance of a special permit by the Common Council to...210 feet."
Thompson said a design will be showcased to the Common Council on the date set by the Common Council.
Thompson indicated that Mr. Cappelli's timetable calls for construction beginning this summer with the demolition of the Macy's building. Asked whether the Martine Avenue garage was going to be demolished and a new garage built, Thompson said "that's up in the air at this time."
The text of the Cappelli letter announcing the contract:
"Dear Mayor Delfino:
We are pleased to advice that our client LC White Plains, LLC, affiliate of the Cappelli Organization, has entered into a contract with TST White Plains, LLC for the purchase of the former Macy's site in White Plains. The closing is expected to occur on or before April 23, 2001.
The Cappelli Organization and our firm look forward to working with you and the Council toward a successful project. We would like to schedule a meeting with the Council as soon as convenient after the closing to discuss the project and the designation of LC White Plains, LLC as the successor sponsor."
Thompson said the Cappelli organization considered the Macy's site to be one of the best commercial development opportunities in the entire New York metropolitan area.
He stated on behalf of Cappelli that the company would cooperate with other downtown businesses to assure adequate parking during construction. He said a goal of the project would be to energize the street and the design would encourage street traffic, while seeking to develop after business hours commerce.