Category Archives: News

BREAKING NEWS: White Plains Galleria may soon be making way for major development project

Plans are being created to redevelop the Galleria shopping mall in downtown White Plains into a massive mixed-use project that could involve demolishing part or all of the structure, according to White Plains Mayor Tom Roach.

In a conversation with the Business Journal Wednesday, Roach described what’s taking shape as what could be “the biggest development project” for the city.

The Business Journal talked to Roach before and after a news conference that was held to announce that installation of solar panels is underway at various city buildings. (A separate story will be forthcoming on the solar project.)

Galleria White Plains
Macy’s will close at the end of its final sale. Photo by Peter Katz

The Galleria has lost both of its major anchor stores, Sears, which has already closed and Macy’s, which is in the process of holding store closing sales. The Galleria is owned by Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) based in El Segundo, California. The company said it has more than $3 billion in retail assets currently under management. Previous anchors at the Galleria included Abraham & Straus and JCPenney.

The mayor revealed that the city had been involved in “serious” ongoing talks regarding redevelopment of the mall site. He said that as owner of the municipal garage adjacent to the mall, the city has a distinct interest in the property.

Roach for several years expressed his concern that the mall’s streetscape is not pedestrian and shopper friendly and he has called for enhancing the frontage, specially along Main Street, to make it more enticing and eliminate the stretches of blank wall that people currently face. General concepts previously were floated to reposition the Galleria as more of an entertainment destination, but that did not take place.

“They wanted those stores out. Those buildings are getting knocked down,” Roach said.  “It’s going to probably be the biggest development project that the city’s going to see. So, that’s a positive. They wanted to get Sears out for a while, and now Macy’s.”

Roach emphasized that the mall’s owners are well capitalized and the project would represent a very large expenditure. He did not have a timetable for when redevelopment plans might be formally submitted but indicated that steady progress is being made in creating them.

The Galleria was built by Cadillac Fairview and opened in the summer of 1980. It straddles two city blocks, with Martin King Jr. Boulevard running under an elevated section of the garage.

The Galleria was credited with jumpstarting the rebirth of the city, which had been in the midst of an urban renewal effort that cleared-out large portions of the downtown. According to PRCP, the mall has 865,000 gross leasable square feet in its four levels. It counts 2,840 available parking spaces. PRCP bought the mall in 2016 from the Simon Property Group for about $120 million.

The Galleria is diagonally across from the site of the two 43-story Ritz-Carlton Residence towers built by developer Louis Cappelli that includes 374 condominiums, a hotel, 70,000 square feet of offices and a 900-car underground garage.

 

Original story [HERE]

Macy’s sells White Plains store to Galleria owner for $27 million, to remain open

The department store will remain open as a tenant.

WHITE PLAINS – Macy’s sold its real estate at the Galleria shopping center to the mall’s owner, Pacific Retail Capital Partners, for $27 million.

Under the new arrangement, the Macy’s store will remain open as a tenant.

Until this sale, Macy’s had been the owner of the store, one of the mall’s anchor stores along with Sears, while the rest of the shopping center was bought by Pacific Retail Capital Partners in 2016.

The sale was part of the retailer’s asset management strategy based on ongoing review of its real estate portfolio across the country, said Emily Hawkins, Macy’s spokeswoman.

“After careful consideration, Macy’s has decided to sell the White Plains, New York, store,” she said in an email. “We will continue to operate the store under a lease, and the store will operate as it does today.”

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The building, which is located on the east end of the mall, is on a 2.25-acre lot on Court Street between Martine Avenue and Main Street. It’s assessed at about $25 million in the city’s 2019 property assessment roll.

In 2016, Pacific Retail Capital Partners purchased the Galleria mall, including the other anchor Sears store property, for $119.58 million, aiming to transform the 870,000-square-foot mall at 100 Main St.

The California-based company hasn’t filed official plans for the site’s redevelopment.

Tom Miles, vice president with Pacific Retail Capital Partners, said the recent purchase deal is part of the ongoing investment effort by the company, which holds $1.5 billion in retail assets.

“They’ll continue to operate the department store,” Miles said of Macy’s. “Just a matter of the ownership of the pad.”

This is not the first store that Macy’s sold in the Lower Hudson Valley in recent years.

In November, Macy’s announced its closure of its Nanuet shop. The 218,000-square-foot store was later sold to AGMRA Nanuet LLC, in care of investment firm Angelo Gordon & Co., for $11.5 million, according to the property records.

Joe Farkas, founder and CEO of Metropolitan Realty Associates, a Manhattan based investment firm, has said that in partnership with Angelo Gordon & Co., his firm plans to redevelop the entire first floor of the former Macy’s store to be occupied by At Home, a national chain of home décor superstores.

Original Story HERE

Galleria: New owner may add new uses, events

The deal was announced this week.

WHITE PLAINS – The Galleria shopping mall has a new owner.

Pacific Retail Capital Partners announced this week that it has added the 870,000-square-foot mall at 100 Main St. —  along with two other shopping centers elsewhere — to its portfolio, in a joint venture with an investment partner.

The total cost of the acquisitions is valued “in excess of $200 million,” although the price of each property was not disclosed.

The Galleria, once considered to be at the top end of the malls in the area, has been in need of a facelift. Mayor Thomas Roach said he was hoping the new owner would revitalize the facility.

“We’ve seen major reinvestment in both the City Center and The Westchester malls and we’re optimistic that we’ll see a reinvestment and improvement in the Galleria as well,” he said.

Steve Plenge, managing principal of Pacific Retail Capital Partners, said in a statement that the company is ready to invest.

“Pacific Retail’s experienced team will be deployed to evaluate each asset in the context of the neighborhood and what is valued by the customers to create a program to further enhance its appeal,” he said. “This may include bringing new uses to the center, improving the physical space, adding events and public programs and in some cases redeveloping portions of the real estate.”

Mall-goers were pleased to hear about the new ownership.

“This is a good news for the city of White Plains,” said Rafael Nievecela, 68, of White Plains. “They are going to fix everything.”

Rene Sperling, 81, of Eastchester, agreed.

“I do like the location. I like Macy’s,” she said, one of the mall’s anchor stores along with Sears. “But it needs a better selection, or an additional selection of stores especially for women.”

Ebo Yumus, who runs phone repair booths in the mall, said he was also hoping the new ownership would lure new tenants.

“Some stores were closed down. People are not coming here,” Yumus said. “We need good stores that everybody knows.”

Simon Property Group, which owns The Westchester in White Plains and The Shops at Nanuet among its 230 properties, acquired the Galleria when it merged with The Mills Limited Partnership in 2007.

Les Morris, spokesman for Simon Property Group, said it’s the company’s long-standing policy not to comment on its property sales or acquisitions.

A potential sale of The Galleria has been talked about for months, with Simon saying in past financial documents it was continuing to sell properties that “no longer meet our strategic criteria or that are not a primary retail venue within their trade area.”

The center features 130 retailers including Macy’s, Sears, H&M, Forever 21 and a food court.

Original Story HERE