Work is underway to transform a vacant 4-story office building at 104 Corporate Park Drive in Harrison, next to the site where a Wegmans supermarket is under construction, into a pediatric specialty care center for Montefiore Health System.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Sept. 18 to formally begin the renovations to create the new 115,000-square-foot facility.
Billed as the first of its kind in the region, the center will offer specialty services such as maternal fetal medicine, sports medicine, infusions, imaging and laboratory capabilities and psychological services. The Westmed Medical Group will operate a pediatric urgent care facility at the site.
Steven M. Safyer, CEO of the Montefiore Health System, said, “When a child needs treatment for a medical problem, that child will be seen by a team of world class specialists without having to travel long distances from doctor to doctor and appointment to appointment.”
The project was designed by the architectural firm Perkins Eastman. The building will be outfitted with green building technologies such as LED lighting, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning and roofing material with a high solar reflective index. A 200-space parking garage will be built and connect with the former office building. Construction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year. The project is expected to create about 100 construction jobs and 250 permanent health care-related jobs.
Joseph Simone, president of Simone Development Cos., told the Business Journal that the pediatric specialty care center fits right in with the transformation taking place along Corporate Park Drive, which formerly was associated with office space.
“You’ve got everything from the Hyatt House to now this ambulatory children’s hospital to 430 units that are being built by Toll Brothers, to the new Wegmans supermarket, all on one block,” he said.
“People do need convenience, they do need amenities, they do need support services and I think these services were lacking in this area,” Simone said. He predicted that “a little bit” more retail will crop up and suggested that the varied development does not really affect the residents.
“We’re right off 287 and Westchester Avenue, which are really main corridors and they really don’t impact the heavily populated suburban area.” He said he thinks this is “a whole new day” in real estate. “I think the millennials are kind of looking for things that past generations may not have required so much of, and I think you’re starting to see a transition and transformation take place that is really needed. “
Simone said that right now his company has a strong emphasis on health care development. “We think it’s very important work. We find it very rewarding. This is our niche. We think we know it and do it pretty well,” he said. Simone Development is privately held and owns and manages more than 100 properties with approximately 6 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space in Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, Long Island and Connecticut.
“We always try whenever possible to repurpose first and foremost. Not only is it easier and faster and quicker, but its important to try and recycle and repurpose whenever you can,” Simone said.
Harrison Supervisor/Mayor Ron Belmont referred to the pediatric care center as “the last piece of the puzzle” for the corporate corridor.
“This building is the last building to be redeveloped. Most of the other buildings were demolished and new structures have been put up,” he told the Business Journal. “We’re excited about it because it’s also going to add to our tax base and that’s primary – it’s what people want. So, if we can spread out our tax base and boost our tax base that’s a big help. But more important it’s quality world-class health care to the youngsters of Harrison and not only Harrison but Westchester County. That’s what we’re all excited about,” Belmont said.
New York Assemblyman David Buchwald said that residents of Westchester recognize that buildings such as those along Westchester Avenue and along other corridors where businesses have predominated need to be occupied or repurposed. “It’s very different than when it’s something being built in the back of a residential neighborhood,” he told the Business Journal. “People recognize we have to have jobs here in Westchester to keep Westchester moving forward and growing and this is something that is totally keeping with the vision I think most Westchester residents have.”