The Changing Face of Main Street: RM Friedland Forecasts Continued Growth of Experiential Retail in Westchester County

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Recent transactions proving a new kind of retailer taking hold of the County’s bustling downtowns

Since August, the team of Beth White, David Scotto and Robin Herko have handled two transactions at The Waterfront at Port Chester.

We personally have found that retail is not dead, it is just reinventing itself. We have seen an influx of experiential retail tenants coming into the County and moving into spaces that had previously sat vacant for years.

In recent months, industry experts and media outlets have claimed the same thing: retail is dead. Brick and mortar has seemingly been replaced by omni-channel shopping, with many industry cornerstones and mom and pop shops shuttering doors across the country. While many have started to pull away from this sector, RM Friedland, the largest privately held commercial real estate brokerage firm in Westchester County, has doubled down, expanding its retail team with the belief that retail is not dead, it is simply evolving.

“So much has been said about the state of retail across the country. We personally have found that retail is not dead, it is just reinventing itself. We have seen an influx of experiential retail tenants coming into the County and moving into spaces that had previously sat vacant for years,” said Sarah Jones-Maturo, president of RM Friedland. “While online shopping is not going away, consumers will still travel to a brick and mortar location if they feel it is worth it and it is not something they can do at a computer. For example, there is still demand for experiences such as going out to eat, dance classes and other forms of exercise. These types of tenants could usher in the future of Westchester’s downtowns and revitalize the demand for retail space.”

In the past 60 days alone, RM Friedland has participated in three of these such retail transactions. The team of Beth White, David Scotto and Robin Herko have handled two transactions at The Waterfront at Port Chester, a property for which RM Friedland is the exclusive leasing broker. In August, the company represented both sides in a transaction that brought Greenwich Ballet Academy, Inc., to the property. In September, a high performance squash academy leased an 8,670 square foot space. Both of these units had previously been vacant for over a year.

The Waterfront at Port Chester is a 358,619-square-foot shopping, dining and entertainment hot spot located along the Byram River Waterfront in Port Chester’s bustling downtown. The area is known for popular restaurants like Tarry Lodge, Bar Taco, Q, The Rye House, Saltaire and Alba’s, and showcases Westchester’s favorite live music performance venue, The Capitol Theatre.

In August, the team of Scotto, Herko and Katelin Van Voorhis represented both sides in a transaction that allowed Fancy Feet Enterprises, Inc., a Bronx-based dance studio, to open its first Westchester location in a former bank branch office at 567 Gramatan Ave., in Mount Vernon’s Fleetwood section. Joanna Simone, Vice President of Leasing and Property Management Operations for Simone Development Companies, which owns 567 Gramatan Ave., said, “We have seen a flurry of activity from non-traditional retail tenants at many of our retail projects around the County.”

“If recent months are any indication, we feel optimistic about the future of retail in Westchester County,” continued Jones-Maturo. “This continues to be a strong area of our business, and we look forward to working with tenants and owners alike to bring new opportunities to County residents and visitors.”

The company currently represents over 35 retail properties primarily in Westchester and the Bronx.

RM Friedland is a commercial real estate services company serving the Tri-State Metropolitan Area. The company relies on a team of talented veteran and junior brokers who represent all asset classes with a focus on industrial, retail and office. Its brokers are supported by robust databases and a capable staff that is dedicated to the success of each broker. RM Friedland is located at 440 Mamaroneck Avenue in Harrison, New York and can be reached at (914) 968-8500 or by visiting http://www.rmfriedland.com.

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Kayleigh Lentz
Co-Communications, Inc.
+1 (914) 666-0066
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since: 07/2014
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