WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. Special to WPCNR from James Benerofe. September 27, 2016:
At a Special Meeting of the Common Council last night, according to James Benerofe, the council heard from Dannon Yogurt which has plans to occupy first floor space in the Fortunoff Mall on Old Bloomingdale Road, and it has started the process to move their world headquarters to White Plains from its current location on Hillside Avenue in Greenburg.
Benerofe says Dannon hopes to get a Special Permit from the Council to change the zoning on the Fortunoff property to allow construction of a research and development laboratory on the first floor of the structure, which Dannon says develops new Dannon products, tests and perfects them and brings them to market. The proposal will bring in 350 current employees into the building, the Dannon Senior Director of Public Relations told WPCNR. The project is hoped to be occupied in 2018. Morton’s Steakhouse and the maternity shop are moving out of the first floor space.
Michael Neuwirth, Senior Director of Publis Relations for Dannon told the WPCNR
“Dannon is in the process of filing applications with the City of White Plains Common Council, the County of Westchester IDA, and the State of New York Empire State Development, as the company explores the opportunity to move from its current location to downtown White Plains. The City, County and State have been very supportive of Dannon’s plans for growth and Dannon’s business goals.
The company has not finalized its move plans, which are contingent on a number of factors. While we cannot provide any additional information about the possible move until we work through various contingencies, we appreciate everyone’s patience and tremendous support. We recognize the efforts of the State of New York, County of Westchester and City of White Plains to keep us in the area, which we’ve called home for more than 20 years.”
In another development Bill Mooney of the Westchester County Association pitched the Common Council on White Plains joining with other cities in Westchester to add broadband capbilities to the city, a project first introduced at last spring’s conference on the future of Westchester sponsored by the WCA. Broadband was highlighted as a shortcoming of the Westchester marketplace (not enough broadband capacity to attract research, medical, and other businesses). Mooney suggested that by White Plains acquiring broadbanding in conjunction with other cities (as it did with Sustainable Westchester’s green power plan bu combining with 20 other communities for combined customer purchasing power), much money could be saved.