The city of White Plains combines a suburban environment with urban sophistication for a great living and working experience. Just 25 miles north of Manhattan – a 35-minute commute by express train – it is home to high-tech firms like Disney Publications and IBM, and major corporations such as Heineken and Bloomingdale’s.
This city of 57,000 sees its population swell to more than 250,000 on an average weekday due to shoppers, visitors and workers. White Plains is also considered one of the wealthiest cities in America: The median family income stood at approximately $91,450 in 2008, while per capita income totaled more than $45,000.
White Plains is a premier business market, ranking fifth in the state in annual sales volume. Retail trade earns close to $2 billion in sales annually, while the professional services and health care sectors each rein in more than $1 billion. The active economy and growing population led Businessweek magazine to declare White Plains one of America’s fastest-growing cities in 2010.
Beginning in 1998, White Plains experienced significant economic development in the commercial and housing sectors as a result of its Smart Growth and Sustainable Development policies. Core achievements include the city’s Coordinated Review System, which eliminates bureaucratic roadblocks to development, and changes in zoning laws that emphasize mixed-income housing downtown and continue to attract businesses to the city’s core.
The Renaissance Square complex, completed in 2008, features two 40-story residential and hotel towers, one with more than 300 condominium units and the home of a luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel. The City Center, which opened in 2003, is a mixed-use development with two 35-story apartment and condominium towers, one of which is a Trump Tower completed in 2005. There are also municipal parking facilities and 600,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space. This development has expanded White Plains’ preeminence as the retail center of Westchester County.
As another aspect of Smart Growth, the city funded construction of the 410-seat White Plains Performing Arts Center, which hosts concerts, off-Broadway productions and even business seminars. For something larger, the art-deco Westchester County Center, opened in 1930, has more than 40,000 square feet of space. It is an up-to-date, multi-purpose indoor recreational facility, hosting everything from trade shows to sports events.
White Plains also embraces sustainable development, as several office buildings, including 123 Main Street, 360 Hamilton Ave., 10 Bank Street and 150 Grand Street, have been renovated to high levels of energy efficiency and green building standards.
The business revival has allowed the city to showcase its commitment to the local economy. The walkability of the downtown area encourages downtown resident consumers to shop and enjoy high-quality dining in their neighborhoods. Three college campuses — Pace University, Berkeley College and Mercy College — are seated in White Plains, providing a key demographic to many businesses. Restaurants and pubs serve the growing young professional population, helping to reverse the decline in this age cohort.
Also important to the City of White Plains is the Fire Bureau and the White Plains Hospital Center. The Fire Bureau is one of only five fire departments in the northeastern United States to have achieved a Class 1 rating; it provides the maximum amount of protection to residents and business owners, resulting in lower residential and commercial property insurance rates. The 292-bed White Plains Hospital Center is a regional leader in orthopedics, obstetrics, neonatology and cancer care, and is an eight-time winner of the Consumer Choice Award, a national honor bestowed upon top hospitals.