WPCNR 5 O’CLOCK LIGHTNING NEWS LEADER. UPDATED 7:05 PM E.D.T. By John F. Bailey. September 26, 2002: Cappelli Enterprises of Valhalla, developers of the City Center at White Plains confirmed today they have purchased the block from Church Street to Court Street on Main Street in White Plains for $16 million from Jon Halpern of Halpern Real Estate Development of Purchase.
VISION OF CAPPELLI: Louis Cappelli sees a 4-STAR HOTEL, 200-UNIT CONDOMINIUM & OFFICE BUILDING rising on the former Halpern property seen here looking West down Main Street, across the street from Mr. Cappelli’s City Center at White Plains, now going up. Mr. Cappelli has confirmed the closing on the property. Sources said the Condominium complex would overlook Hamilton Avenue.
Photo by WPCNR
The report was confirmed at 5:15 Thursday afternoon by Geoffrey Thompson, spokesman for Cappelli Enterprises.
Mr. Thompson said that Mr. Cappelli plans to have preliminary plans for the site to discuss with the White Plains Common Council within 30 days. Thompson said that in Mr. Cappelli’s remarks to him that Mr. Cappelli is planning a 4-Star Westin Hotel for the site, plus a residential/office condominium complex.
Thompson added that Cappelli would mostly like take the whole block from Church Street to the Court Street extension, which includes the former RKO Theater, and a string of retail outlets, plus the 299 Main Street building. The Grace Church will not be touched. A city hall source said that Cappelli has reached an amicable accommodation with the Church. The air rights over Grace Church are included in the ownership of the Halpern acquisition.
MAYOR JOSEPH DELFINO WELCOMES HOTEL PLAN: “Attracting a first class hotel to this site in our downtown has been a major component of my economic development plan and today’s news will hopefully bring us one step closer to achieving that dream. There obviously is a lot of work and detail to be considered and I look forward to beginning the process,” said Mayor Delfino in a statement from City Hall upon learning of the Cappelli prize.
File Photo by WPCNR
Boykin impressed with Cappelli Investment.
Council President Benjamin Boykin contacted WPCNR to advise us of the purchase, and said it
seems like an exciting project, saying “it is wonderful that this man is going to invest another $300 million in our city.” Boykin indicated he would reserve judgment until hearing of the developer’s plans, but was excited on hearing the news of Cappelli’s purchase today.
Thompson Recalls Halpern’s Thoughts on White Plains Development.
Reflecting on the former Halpern plan for the site which was presented in the 1980s which envisioned two office towers 221 Main and 301 Hamilton, Thompson said, Cappelli’s plans will be completely different.
Thompson added though that Mr. Halpern was prophetic. Thompson recalls Halpern remarking that there was no point in going ahead until the Macy’s property future was determined, calling it “the lynchpin” of the center of White Plains.
Thompson told WPCNR “that is exactly what has happened, the City Center is the seed for new growth.”
Speaking of the City Center, Mr. Cappelli’s signature development in White Plains, Thompson described it as exactly on schedule with the foundations for the second residential tower being set in place. Thompson said Cappelli is rolling out the towers in sequence with the North Tower going up first and the second Tower to follow.
The price for the Halpern block of $16 million according to Thompson is $1 million less than Cappelli paid for the Macy’s property ($17 Million) when he purchased it from Tishman-Speyer in 2001, and proceeded to create the City Center, which was approved by the Common Council September 5, 2002.