Morton’s The Steakhouse by summer will relocate its downtown White Plains restaurant to City Center, where it will lease storefront space on Mamaroneck Avenue vacated more than three years ago by the popular Legal Sea Foods.
The lease deal for 8,000 square feet of space at 5 Mamaroneck Ave. was announced by City Center’s owner, Kite Realty Group Trust in Indianapolis, which recently completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 600,000-square-foot retail, restaurant and cinema complex it acquired in 2014 in a $2.1 billion merger with Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust Inc. of suburban Chicago. The landlord said the new Morton’s location is scheduled to open by midyear.
The upscale steakhouse chain will move from its ground-floor space at 9 Maple Ave. in The Source at White Plains, a 240,000-square-foot retail and office building at the corner of Bloomingdale Road and Maple Avenue, where Danone North America in 2018 will move its headquarters from the town of Greenburgh.
The White Plains Common Council this month approved a zoning amendment to allow Danone NA to open a food laboratory in the building’s street-level retail space, where shoppers and pedestrians can view the production of small yogurt samples. The Morton’s restaurant space will be the site of Danone’s food laboratory and cafeteria, according to “Real Estate in Depth,” the trade publication of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
Kite Realty also announced that Blaze Pizza, an artisanal-pizza franchise chain based in Pasadena, California, recently signed a lease at City Center and is scheduled to open there this fall.
The announced lease deal with Morton’s came one year after the city’s Common Council, at the urging of City Center’s owner, passed an ordinance to allow valet parking service by permit-holding operators in specific downtown areas. The council last February approved the city’s first designated valet drop-off area on the Mamaroneck Avenue block that fronts City Center.
Legal Sea Foods closed its City Center restaurant in late 2013 after city officials banned downtown valet parking service. Mayor Thomas Roach last year described the prior service as unregulated and chaotic, leaving some diners and other downtown visitors with parking tickets for illegal street parking by valet attendants.
A Legal Sea Foods executive at the time of the closing said the city’s elimination of valet parking made operating at the Mamaroneck Avenue location “untenable.”
An attorney for Kite Realty told the council last year that restored valet service was essential to the company’s improvements project at City Center in order to attract more upscale restaurants to the complex.
Kite Realty said today that public valet parking will be added soon at City Center.
Kite Realty Group Trust was represented on the Morton’s lease by RHYS, a commercial real estate firm based in Stamford. RHYS Executive Vice President and Principal Jason Wuchiski, Vice President Tyler Lyman and Senior Associate Ryan Stranko were the sole brokers in the deal.