A new ownership group is bringing a new strategy to One Gateway Plaza, the 40,000-square-foot glass office building at the southern end of the village of Port Chester.
Port Chester Gateway LLC, a company affiliated with Edmond DeLaurentis Jr. of DeLaurentis Management Corp. and James K. Coleman of Houlihan-Parnes Realtors LLC, bought the 55 S. Main St. office building earlier this summer for $4.25 million.
The four-story building has been undergoing renovations since. DeLaurentis met the Business Journal for an interview at the site on Aug. 30, as painting crews smoothed over the building’s white facade.
“We’re bringing it back to a Class A building,” DeLaurentis said. “We think this is a fantastic location. It is the gateway to Port Chester and we’re very excited about making our mark in Port Chester.”
That means redoing all the parking lots, restoring the building’s facade and improving landscaping. The building’s lobby and common areas will be repainted and a new LED directory screen will guide visitors from the main lobby. A small coffee and sandwich shop is in the works as well.
Earlier this year, it wasn’t clear the property would remain an office building at all. The previous ownership presented plans to the village Board of Trustees in January to sell the property to a self-storage company. The former ownership group told the board that the late-1980s era building was no longer viable, in part because of parking spaces it lost when the Waterfront at Port Chester shopping center went up in the early 2000s, as well general office trends pushing office landlords toward residential and other uses.
The idea of self-storage in the village’s downtown received an icy reception from trustees at the meeting. Asked about the former plans, DeLaurentis described the new ownership’s confidence in the building’s viability as office space.
He cited the property’s proximity to the Metro-North Railroad station, as well as Interstate 95. And while there are office buildings nearby in Rye and Rye Brook, he said it’s the only large office building within Port Chester’s village limits.
“We like being in the middle of all this action,” DeLaurentis said. “Being in a downtown location is something we think is important to people today.”
“For Port Chester, we’re a sure bet for being responsible, maintaining the property and making it vital,” he said.
The building is a home to a number of nonprofit and governmental organizations, including offices of the Westchester County Department of Health, Family Services of Westchester and ARC of Westchester, along with other small companies.
DeLaurentis said the building should be able to attract tenants from a range of industries. There’s about 3,300 square feet available in the building now, DeLaurentis said, but a planned tenant downsizing will soon leave the building with about 11,000 square feet available.
DeLaurentis’ real estate investment and management company includes a mix of commercial and residential properties focused in Westchester County. Last year, the Business Journal reported the company’s $3.6 million purchase of 280 Mamaroneck Ave., an approximately 27,000-square-foot, three-story office building in White Plains.
The new One Gateway ownership group also bought an approximately 18,000-square-foot vacant lot across the street, 108 S. Main St. The lot is used for auxiliary parking. While plan are still fluid, DeLaurentis said the group will likely pursue a mixed retail and apartment building on the site.
“We have the opportunity to really change this gateway into something meaningful, something vibrant,” DeLaurentis said.