Westchester County, N.Y. — Westchester County, N.Y., Executive Robert P. Astorino and Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz announced a long-term lease between Westchester County and Fareri Associates that paves the way for developing a 3 million-square-foot, mixed-use, biotechnology complex on 80 acres in Valhalla, N.Y. Called the Westchester BioScience & Technology Center, the new development will include $1.2 billion in private-sector investments and promises to create thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues and rent for the county.
The property, known as North 60, will be developed by Fareri Associates, a developer in Westchester and Fairfield counties with more than 40 years of experience. The agreement involves the county leasing 60 acres of its land on the Grasslands Reservation to the developer, who owns 20 adjacent acres. Fareri will pay rent, including a percentage of gross rental income, real estate taxes, utility charges and permitting fees while also investing $40 million in the site’s infrastructure, including new roads, water supply, sanitary waste water systems and stormwater management.
“This is precisely the smart growth we need in Westchester County,” said Astorino. “This initiative will create a biotechnology hub that will position our county as a leader in the field, will create thousands of jobs, and produce a revenue-stream to help pay for parks, roads, day care, public safety and other services for years to come.”
“Passage of this North 60 project is a tremendous win for everybody in Westchester and the surrounding region,” said Kaplowitz. “Turning this tract of vacant county property into a hub of scientific research and innovation will create significant new revenues, economic and scientific activity and create thousands of permanent and construction jobs.”
The development comprises three major, multi-phase components: West Research Village, Central Village and East Research Village. Fully built out, the new center will include 2,252,600 square feet of biotech/research space; 400,000 square feet of medical offices; a 100,000-square-foot hotel with 100 rooms; 114,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, and a 34,000-square-foot Children’s Living Science Center, a unique complex designed to promote the improvement of the health of children in the region through dynamic and interactive educational programming.
The first phase of the project will include 220,000 square feet of biotech/research space, 100,000 square feet of medical space, 80,000 square feet of shopping/ground-level retail space, and a 100,000-square-foot hotel for a total of 500,000 square feet.
“Today is an important moment not only for our company but for the future of Westchester. While our vision for the creation of the Westchester Bioscience & Technology Center dates back more than seven years, the role it can play in strengthening the county’s economic future has only continued to grow,” said John Fareri, president of Fareri Associates. “The opportunity to create a hub for the county’s already strong position in the vitally important life sciences sector is real. The unique location and facilities will foster innovation, collaboration, education and a wide range of employment options in a beautiful and vibrant environment. This project will place Westchester in the economic forefront providing benefits for the town, school district, county and state. We thank the County Executive for his leadership and the Board of Legislators for their thoughtful study and willingness to take this bold and exciting step. We now look forward to working with the Town of Mount Pleasant to make this long dreamed of concept a reality.”
The plan will incorporate many sustainable features, such as green roofs, gardens, preservation and improvement of onsite wetlands, bio-swales and rain gardens, interpretive trails and preserving and improving forest land onsite. Approximately 54 percent of the property — or 43.6 acres — will be preserved as open green space. The benefits that the $1.2 billion Westchester BioScience & Technology Center offers to the community include:
- $9 million in estimated new real estate taxes annually to Westchester County, the Town of Mount Pleasant, and the Mount Pleasant School District (there is no residential component, so the complex will not have any impact on the class sizes of local schools);
- $7 million in estimated new annual rent to Westchester County;
- approximately 4,000 new construction jobs;
- more than 8,000 new permanent jobs from entry-level through the professional ranks;
- forging relationships between the Westchester Medical Center and providers and inventors of cutting-edge medical technologies and innovations;
- creating job opportunities for students in the emerging bioscience field by forming partnerships with nearby Westchester Community College, Pace University, and New York Medical College; and
- creating a new Children’s Living Science Center that will provide children with a personal awareness of health issues.
Fareri Associates has more than $1.5 billion and more than 5 million square feet of real estate completed, owned or under development. The company’s projects in Westchester include 19 Bradhurst Avenue in Valhalla, a 220,000-square-foot medical office building leased to the Westchester Medical Center and 3030 Westchester Avenue in Purchase, an 85,000-square-foot medical leased to WESTMED Medical Group. John Fareri is founder of the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at the Westchester Medical Center.
The Westchester Bioscience & Technology Center will be designed to create a strong sense of place with a pedestrian friendly Main Street lined with shops and restaurants with outdoor dining and landscaped plazas as gathering places for those who work at the center as well as the general public. One of the plazas will overlook a pond and gardens with terraced seating for public performances and locations for public art.
The complex will be a walkable and interconnected community with sidewalks, paved multi-use paths, pedestrian bridges and bikeways connected to a regional bike network. There will be a shuttle service to nearby Metro North stations. The architect for the Westchester BioScience & Technology Center is Torti Gallas & Partners, an award-winning architectural firm with more than 60 years of experience with projects in 36 states and 15 countries. Its biotech/R&D projects include Life-Sci Village in White Oak, MD and The Parks at Walter Reed in Washington, D.C.