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Reimagining Westchester retail

With an average household income of $135,000 — 8 percent higher than found in Manhattan, and 54 percent higher than the rest of New York State — Westchester County has plenty of affluent shoppers.

But as other suburban markets adapted to shifting demographics and consumer preferences — including the move to internet shopping over bricks and mortar — Westchester’s retail model largely stayed the same, with indoor shopping centers and strip malls dominating the scene.

There are signs, however, that Westchester’s market is finally beginning to get hip to new trends. Developers are both modernizing existing retail centers and designing new ones, according to industry insiders including Jonathan Gordon, CEO of Bronxville-based Admiral Real Estate Services.

“We’re seeing established malls spending significant amounts of money to recapture the consumer, and reinvent themselves to be more of an entertainment center,” Gordon said. He said that many municipalities in Westchester could help by embracing open-minded zoning codes that allow for developers to get creative with their proposals. “The towns that adapt their zoning are flourishing. Doing so brings in dynamic uses that make retail for the consumer an engaging and entertaining experience.”

Scott Auster, managing director at Harlem-based developer Grid Properties, agreed. “If you’re going to create a new retail project today, you have to be creative,” he said.

Source: Murdocco, Richard. (2017, January 1). Reimagining Westchester retail. Retrieved from https://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/reimagining-westchester-retail/