Independent Realtors Rule, Scarsdale Takes Inventory, More Construction in White Plains?



HOUSE OF THE WEEK

$3.5 Million
Annual Property Taxes: $37,824
French Chateau
15 Archer Rd, Harrison

Designed by renowned architect Frank J. Forster (who was responsible for many of the area’s best Norman architecture) in 1931, this home with a gated, stone-pillared entry displays “breathtaking Old World craftsmanship enhanced by stunning renovations throughout,” says listing agent Michele Flood of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. It has three turrets, arched doorways, beamed ceilings, fireplaces, mahogany-trimmed windows, and a kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances. In all, there are six bedrooms, five full baths, and two powder rooms—plus a free-form in-ground pool and a four-car garage. The previous owners put the “unique” house, with its European feel, on the market when they retired, says Flood. “There’s not another house like it. It’s the kind of home that appeals to people that have classic taste.” For more information, call (914) 420-6468 or visit www.15archerroad.com.

Independent Brokerages Thrive in Westchester
Did you know that more than 80 percent of the brokerages in Westchester are NOT affiliated with big-name franchises like Sotheby’s and Better Homes and Gardens?That’s the latest approximation from the Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors . Nationwide, franchises account for about 50 percent of the market. Why the difference?
Westchester, as we know, is super-complicated.

P. Gilbert Mercurio, the chief executive officer of the Association, speculates that Westchester, with all its overlapping school boundaries and 40-plus municipalities, sometimes needs a local agency to understand where, say, Larchmont village begins and ends. Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors in Washington, opines that in a market like Westchester, independents can “create their own brand identification.”

Forward-Looking Scarsdale
Officials in Scarsdale are planning an inventory of the village's homes and buildings to assist the village board in designating buildings and areas as historic landmarks or districts. The municipality is expected to award a contract in late April to a private consulting firm. Such a project was undertaken two years ago in Yonkers. That city hired TKS Historic Resources of Babylon to conduct a $50,000 update of the city's inventory of historic or architecturally significant structures built before 1935.

Mixed-Use Is All the Rage
Anthony “A.J.” Rotonde, a partner in Ridgemour Meyer Properties, LLC, reportedly is pursuing tenants and financing for a $7 million mixed-use redevelopment project on Main Street in downtown White Plains.

The word is that the developer is mulling whether to build a residential tower or business-oriented hotel in air-rights space above the Main Street block (remember where the old A&P used to be?). Estimated cost: $15 million. Rotonde already has renovated a row of storefronts with existing tenants on Main Street.

Hilton Hotel Sold for $35.5 Million
The Hilton Rye Town, the 447-room hotel and event center in Rye Brook, has been purchased for $35.5 million by Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc., a real estate investment trust based in Dallas, Texas. The 38-year-old hotel at 699 Westchester Avenue will continue to be managed by Hilton Hotels. Perhaps the new owners also will add a little spit and polish to the inn, which has begun to show its age.

Biotech in Yonkers
ContraFect Corp, a Manhattan-based biotech firm, is moving to Westchester. The three-year-old company has signed a 15-year lease at i.park Hudson, the 1.1 million-square-foot former site of Otis Elevator. According to Robert Nowinski, the co-founder, CEO and chairman of ContraFect, the company will spend about $4 million to outfit 15,000 square feet of office and lab space and initially hire up to 17 employees. Its long-range plans include hiring as many as 200 workers. The company develops drugs to treat infectious diseases.

Saturday Morning Workshops
Beginning April 9, Stew Leonard’s Garden Centers will offer free one-hour workshops on Saturdays at 9 am inYonkers, as well as its Danbury and Norwalk, Connecticut, locations. Attendees will learn about lawn and gardening techniques and receive handouts for home reference. Topics will cover a range of subjects from lawns to tomatoes, among other things. For more information, call (914) 375.4700.


Who's building, selling, buying, and who's profiting from our favorite contact sport: real estate

About This Blog

White Plains resident and writer Karen Odom has a passion for interesting architecture, especially when architecture and history collide. Her extensive experience as a real estate feature writer has led her in an around Westchester's distinctive homes uncovering the fascinating stories behind the houses, their owners, architects, and designers with awe, admiration, and more than just a little amazing curiosity.

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