Mid-Hudson Valley Region Named “Best In State,” Wins $92.8 Million in Grants for 2013

Westchester’s Friedland Realty takes Manhattan; 10th anniversary gives Gentle Touch Dentistry something to smile about PLUS: Mid-Hudson Valley region named “Best In State,” wins $92.8 million in grants for 2013



REVOLVING DOOR

PEOPLE

The Bristal at White Plains, a new assisted-living community that offers memory-care support as well as enhanced levels of care, has promoted Allison Miller to director of Community Relations. Prior to joining The Bristal at White Plains, Miller was director of Recreation at The Bristal assisted-living communities in North Woodmere and North Hills on Long Island, and was a key member of the start-up team for both locations. She previously served as director of Lifestyle Programs at the Hallmark Battery Park City senior community in Manhattan before returning to The Bristal as director of Community Relations at the East Meadow, Long Island, location. In her new role, Miller is responsible for maintaining maximum occupancy of community residents and promoting The Bristal within the community.

NEW BUSINESSES, RELOCATIONS, OPERATIONS

The Walmart Foundation’s New York State Giving Program has granted the Food Bank for Westchester $50,000 to help with heightened emergency food needs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

With the enormous demand for a workforce with the right skills to meet business needs, a White Plains firm, Hospitality Resource Group, has been tapped by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board (WPWIB) to manage the employment and training requirements of local businesses and help them obtain grant money. The firm, which will manage all six sectors, will be paid $42,500 for the year, with the option to renew the contract for two more years.

Stark Office Suites, which offers executive offices and virtual-office services for professionals and entrepreneurs, has surpassed the 100,000-square-foot threshold with the expansion of both its New York City and White Plains locations. In addition to the company’s expansion in New York City, Stark Office Suites also has acquired an additional 1,700 square feet for its White Plains location. Along with the extra square footage, Adam J. Stark, president of Stark Office Suites, also signed a long-term lease extension through 2022 for its White Plains headquarters.

Gentle Touch Dentistry KUDOS

Harrison’s Gentle Touch Dentistry celebrates 10 years of dental care to families in the lower Westchester community. The Gentle Touch Dentistry staff offers preventive dental care, cleanings, localized restorations, fillings, caps and crowns, teeth whitening, periodontal services, root canals, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, and custom dentures, among its services.

Friedland Realty brokered a deal in the Summer of 2012 for the lease of 10,000 square feet at 271 Madison Avenue for Flight Centre, Ltd. (FC), the parent company of Australia-based Liberty Travel. Now, months later, the doors of Liberty Travel’s first United States flagship store have opened for business. The storefront will house Liberty Travel, Travel Associates, and other Flight Centre brands in a state-of-the-art integrated travel center. Offering a 3-D travel planning experience, the center provides live demonstrations of cruise lines, hotels, far-off destinations, and more using the latest technology. Gene Meer, president of the Friedland Realty Manhattan office, represented Flight Centre, working closely with Ron Mollozzi, director of real estate for Liberty Travel.

The law firm of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, in White Plains has been recognized by U.S. News Media Group as one of the region’s top-tier firms, receiving the honor of  “Best Law Firm” for the fourth consecutive year. This distinction follows Managing Partner Anthony J. Enea’s “Super Lawyer” accolade, presented to him by the Thomson Reuters publication of the same name. Enea has been named a “Super Lawyer” each year since 2007.

Three Westchester County projects are among the recipients of the largest grants that were announced on December 19 by Governor Andrew Cuomo through the State Regional Economic Council. The Mid-Hudson Valley Region, which includes Westchester, was named one of the top five “Best Plan Awardees” among the 10 regions statewide, and, as a result, earned $92.8 million in funding grants for 2013. This sum represents a 30-percent increase over the $66 million in grants for 2012, the program's inaugural year. “This is a tremendous endorsement of the quality and economic impact of the projects in Westchester that were proposed for funding,” commented Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester and a member of the Regional Economic Council Executive Committee. “Considering that literally hundreds of projects from across the state were submitted for funding, gaining a Best in State designation and a thirty-percent increase in funding is a testimony to the viability of the specific projects and the economic power of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Valley.” 

Leading the way in receiving grants was The Echo Bay Waterfront Expansion Project, New Rochelle, which received $1.5 million toward providing public access to the waterfront; the construction of new, affordable housing and neighborhood retail opportunities; and the creation of five acres of open space.

The ibio Incubator at New York Medical College in Valhalla received $1 million toward the creation of office and lab space for biotech entrepreneurs and for biotech-sector workforce development. The college also received funding last year for the creation of the incubator. The Glenwood Power Station in Yonkers received $1 million toward the preservation and redevelopment of the iconic Hudson Riverfront plant as a social, business, and cultural destination.

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BIZ BUZZ: OUR BUSINESS BLOG

As Congress rings in 2013 with an 11th-hour compromise, Peekskill closed out 2012 with a policy modification to maintain its credit rating, while the County government clarifies the impact of the 2013 budget on individual municipalities. As the full impact of the County budget comes into sharper focus, local nonprofits and arts organizations feel the pinch.

The City of Peekskill closed out 2012 with the approval of a modification to its Fund Balance Policy that requires maintaining a fund balance of between 15 and 25 percent of operating expenses. The policy, which will ensure that Peekskill maintains a solid, positive credit rating, took effect on January 2, 2013. Mayor Mary Foster explained that a prudent fund balance is viewed favorably by credit agencies and thus reduces the cost of borrowing. Peekskill officials passed the resolution to modify the City’s Fund Balance Policy during the December 27 Special Common Council meeting. During the meeting, Mayor Foster indicated that she and the Peekskill Common Council would immediately contact the world’s “Big Three” credit-rating agencies—Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings—to make them aware of the policy change. Once in effect, the new Fund Balance Policy will bring Peekskill’s Fund balance in line with other, similar municipalities in the area and reflect best practice guidelines from the New York State Comptroller and Government Finance Officers Association.

Just prior to the year’s end, the Westchester County Tax Commission released its estimate of the impact that Westchester’s 2013 budget will have on individual municipalities. For the third year in a row, County Executive Robert P. Astorino’s budget has not increased the County property tax levy. For 2013, the tax levy—the amount to be collected in property taxes to fund County government—holds steady at $548 million, on par with the past two years, and 2 percent lower than in 2010, when Astorino took office.

However, because communities assess properties differently and property values don’t go up and down uniformly from community to community, the amount owed by each municipality to the County changes from year to year. A state equalization rate is applied to each municipality so that the tax can be fairly apportioned. The result is that even though the total amount of the tax levy in the 2013 budget did not increase, 14 communities will see their portion of County taxes go down and 11 will see them go up. The decrease in the property tax bill to local governments will range from 7.67 percent in Mount Vernon to 0.45 percent in New Castle. Increases range from 7.46 percent in the City of Rye to 0.83 percent in Pound Ridge.

While the budget carries mixed implications for property owners, according to Nonprofit Westchester, which represents nonprofit groups throughout the County, the County’s 2013 budget “severely compromises” the nonprofit sector. The group cites that the budget cuts millions of dollars in funding to a wide range of organizations, including those that provide food and legal services to the poor and disadvantaged, and called the budget a “short-term fix” that does “greater damage to the County in the long run.” According to Group, the nonprofit sector comprises more than 5,000 organizations in Westchester who collectively employ nearly 100,000 people.

The area of arts funding also felt a budgetary pinch, as a lobbying effort failed to prevent funding cuts of approximately $285,000. ArtsWestchester, a nonprofit organization that promotes the visual and performing arts in Westchester, observed that the cuts might have been even more severe, and that $500,000 was actually put back into the arts budget.

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HOT PROPERTIES
914INC.'S COMMERCIAL
REAL ESTATE SHOWCASE

Property: 80 Business Park Dr, Armonk
Brokered by: Lashins Realty Services Group, Ken Harbour (914) 273-5200
Availability: 6,160 square feet, comprising two spaces, one of 1,100 and one of 5,060 square feet.
Selling points: Attractive, Northern Westchester property built in 1981. Building services include on-site owner and management, as well as FedEx drop-off. Site features more than 250 parking spaces. La Quinta Inn and gym are located nearby. Pricing is available upon request.
Downside: Not sub-dividable.

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914 DATEBOOK
UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS

FRIDAY, 1/11/13
Hudson Valley Startup Meet

Up At W@tercoolerW@tercooler, 21 N Broadway, Tarrytown;  7 - 9 pm. Free. Join other entrepreneurs at a New Year Meetup at the W@tercooler in Tarrytown. The event will offer the opportunity to discuss everything/anything in the startup world. Register at meetup.com/Hudson-Valley-Startups/events/95257822/

FRIDAY, 1/18/13
Global 2013 Outlook: Where Have All The Yields Gone?

The Tappan Hill Mansion, 200 Gunpowder Rd, Tarrytown, 7:30 - 9:30 am. $70 (members), $100 (non-members). This discussion will feature Dr. Neal M. Soss, managing director & chief economist of Credit Suisse, an international corporate and investment-banking firm. He joined the firm in 1984. Prior to that, Dr. Soss was with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As a vice president, his responsibilities included bank supervision and foreign relations. During a two-year leave from the Fed, he was assistant to chairman Paul A. Volcker of the Federal Reserve Board. Register at acgyc.org.

WEDNESDAY, 2/20/13
Managing and Promoting Events For Small Businesses and Nonprofits

120 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains. 1 - 3 pm. Presented by SCORE Westchester, this event offers an insider’s look at a new way to manage and promote events big and small. Now, in one place, small business can have all the tools to handle everything from registrations to payment to promotion in a professional, affordable way. Smaller enterprises and nonprofits need solutions that make them more productive and professional looking. This session will explore today’s affordable and easy-to-use event-marketing tools to provide these organizations with the ability to engage and capture meaningful data about their audience, which can result in stronger relationships, increased sales, and smarter event planning. This program will also explore effective online event-marketing techniques. Call (914) 948-3907 or visit scorewestchester.com for details.

WEDNESDAY, 3/13/13
Mega Mixer Business Expo

Hilton Westchester, 699 Westchester Ave, Rye Brook. 2 - 6 pm. Don't miss the opportunity to showcase your business at the largest business trade show in the Hudson Valley. This is an unparalleled opportunity to maximize your business growth in just four hours! Plan to be seen by more than 1,800 business professionals. Register at online at westchesterny.org.

Do you have tips, scoop, or gossip concerning business in Westchester? If so, our INComing blogger, Lisa Cesarano, is all ears. Please email her with a short pitch to 914incoming@gmail.com.

Upcoming events should be submitted no later than Sunday, January 13, to be considered for the January 22 edition. Please submit business-related events only; no fundraisers or consumer events.

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