From a multitenant office market of more than 33 million square feet about 12 years ago, we have demolished and/or repurposed almost 6 million square feet of multitenant office space, and have not built any new office buildings at all. Many functionally obsolete buildings have been demolished to free up the sites for new residential, medical and retail development. These were primarily the first buildings built in the early 1970s, which were well past their useful lives.
Some of the former corporate headquarters buildings have been purchased by other companies for their own use. Others have new owners, such as Robert Weisz’s RPW Group, which have repurposed them into multitenant buildings. Weisz believed that the amenity-rich environment built by the large corporations for their employees (including IBM and Altria) would be very attractive to small and midsize businesses, and his theory proved correct in his successful adaptive retenanting of large buildings, including 800 and 1133 Westchester Ave.
Suburban office parks in Westchester are not what they used to be. The originals contained office buildings only. Today, those parks contain office buildings, multifamily residential, retail, medical, hotels and stand-alone fitness centers. Our suburban office parks are morphing into “live/work/play” environments.