• Top 12 Transformations in Westchester Business in 2014

  • JANUARY 07, 2015

  • WCA Gears Up for White Hot Year Ahead in Economic Development

  • Economic development is white hot again in Westchester County. As we gear up for the year ahead, we celebrate 12 transformative projects that the WCA has helped to drive behind the scenes in 2014!


    1. A United States Health Tech Hub

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    Through the efforts of the WCA's BLUEPRINT, Westchester County has received national recognition as a hub of health tech innovation--R&D, wearables, clinical trials--in the United States. New York City has run out of lab space and demand continues to increase in Westchester, where medical innovators are clustering because of our flexible and affordable workspace, cooperative landlords, educated workforce, transportation infrastructure, livable communities, and proximity to NYC.
    Photo: Getty Images 

    2. Reshaping Downtown New Rochelle

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    It is the largest and most significant economic development initiative in New Rochelle's history: City officials approved a deal with RDRXR, a master developer that will oversee the development and revitalization of the city's downtown district with mixed-use and transit-oriented development projects, the kind of development long advocated for by the WCA's BLUEPRINT for Westchester.
    Pictured above: A rendering of the potential new downtown New Rochelle

    3. Hospitals Align, Invest Big Time

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    The big story in healthcare in 2014 was how quickly area hospitals and large medical groups merged, were acquired, or formed strategic alliances to compete better in the new healthcare marketplace. Significant facility investments have resulted including Phelps' new surgery center (in partnership with North Shore - LIJ), the opening of Memorial Sloan Kettering's treatment facility in West Harrison, White Plains Hospital (a Montefiore affiliate) six-story tower expansion and doubling of its cancer center, and a reboot of Lawrence Hospital's cardiac care unit by NewYork-Presbyterian. Additional partnerships and investments include NY-Presbyterian's alliance with Hudson Valley Hospital and North Shore-LIJ with Northern Westchester Hospital.
    Pictured above: The final beam of the new White Plains Hospital Cancer Center prepares to be hoisted. The new building opens in 2015. John Vecchiolla photo.

    4. Healthcare: $15B And Growing Here

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    The WCA has taken the lead in facilitating the growth of the $15B healthcare industry in Westchester. In 2014 alone, the industry saw a $1B capital infusion and thousands of jobs are beginning to fill. By bringing the healthcare industry's major players together with leaders in business through its Health Tech conferences and Healthcare Consortium, the WCA continues to drive the conversation on integrating new models of healthcare delivery, information technology, and policy in the region.
    Pictured above: Jeff Menkes, Montefiore Medical Center; Ken Raske, Greater New York Hospital Association. Lynda Shenkman Curtis photo.

    5. $1MM For White Plains Transit Center

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    White Plains is one of New York's fastest-growing cities and is the MTA's busiest transportation center outside of New York City in the state. With proposed bus-rapid transit arriving with the new Tappan Zee Bridge, redeveloping the White Plains Transit Center is a top priority. In 2014, the city received a $1 million transit-oriented development (TOD) grant to plan a revitalized area in and around the train station and will be working with WCA throughout the development process.
    Photo Credit: citydata.com

    6. The New Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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    Through its Pitch Nights, BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network, and new networking groups, Accelerate Westchester (for startups) and Innovate Westchester (for the research community), the WCA has launched a new entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the county's early stage companies as they start and grow their companies here. Financial resources, industry expertise and mentoring, and the opportunity to meet like-minded innovators are just a few of the resources the WCA provides to drive economic growth in the entrepreneurial sector.
    Pictured above: The Digital Arts Experience showcases 3D Printing technology at Health Tech '14. Lynda Shenkman Curtis photo.

    7. Westchester's Higher Ed Boom

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    The state of higher education in Westchester has never been stronger. With major growth and construction projects occurring in several of the county's educational institutions--the EF International Academy, Iona College, Mercy College, and Pace University, to name a few--the education sector is creating jobs, too. The WCA's Higher Education Committee drives collaboration between education and business leaders to prepare a workforce tooled with skills needed by 21st century businesses.
    Pictured above: Pace University's potential new look.

    8. Hot Spot BioInc@NYMC Launches

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    The opening of BioInc@NYMC, a new biotechnology incubator at New York Medical College offering shared lab space and resources to innovative startups, was another milestone for Westchester's burgeoning health tech sector, which is creating breakthrough pharmaceuticals, digital technology, therapies, and revolutionary treatments. NYMC Dean Rob Amler said the new incubator will springboard off the innovations highlighted at the WCA's Health Tech conference, and bring medicine into the 21st century.
    Pictured above: Dr. Rob Amler, NYMC; Marissa Brett, WCA; Randi Schwartz, NYMC 

    9. Residences at Corp. Park Drive

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    This is exactly what Westchester needs! Work.Live.Play is coming to the Platinum Mile in the town of Harrison! Pending approvals by the town's planning and zoning boards, this transformative joint project between Normandy Real Estate Partners and Toll Brothers would transform vacant office buildings into a 421-unit apartment building and connect it to existing on-site amenities. The WCA's BLUEPRINT has long-championed this kind of mixed-use development as critically important to attracting young professionals to Westchester--an important direction for developing Westchester's current and future economy.
    Pictured above: Ariel view of Corporate Park Drive

    10. County Unemployment Dips Again

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    Westchester's economic transformation is generating jobs. Among the employers adding jobs in 2014 were MasterCard Worldwide in Purchase and Acorda Therapeutics in Ardsley. At the same time, Westchester's unemployment rate continues to decline. At 5 percent, the County's rate is lower than both New York State's and New York City's overall rates. Add to that annual events such as the WCA's collaborative job & internship fair, Recruit Westchester (pictured above), and Westchester's job outlook looks very bright.
    Source: NYS DOL's Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program. Photo credit: Lynda Shenkman Curtis

    11. Mamaroneck Says 'Yes' to TOD

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    The Village of Mamaroneck said "yes" to transit-oriented development (TOD) when village trustees voted 3-1 to rezone areas of the village within walking distance of major transportation hubs. The move could bring major investment, rehabilitation, and development to the village's downtown. New development will also help the village address flood-control issues after heavy rains.

    12. Movement on Showcased Properties

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    Nearly all of the properties featured in the WCA's City Showcases—in White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, and Peekskill—have seen activity in 2014. Our goal was to promote the tremendous real estate assets, public/private redevelopment opportunities, excellent transportation, and strong infrastructure Westchester County has to offer. Through the WCA's BLUEPRINT for Westchester economic development campaign, driven by strong partnerships between leaders in real estate, business and higher education and in collaboration with county and city government, we are creating an environment where companies can grow and flourish.
    Pictured above: City Showcase attendees return from a bus tour of development possibilities. Photo credit Lynda Shenkman Curtis

    Westchester's economic renaissance has begun.

    Join us as we help to facilitate growth in the region for the digital healthcare industry, the general business community, and serve as a voice for the interests of business in Westchester County in 2015 and the years ahead.


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