Home Construction Rose Associates on a roll: With two projects under construction, developer is...

Rose Associates on a roll: With two projects under construction, developer is ready for third

Rose Associates, the New York City-based developer that is active in Westchester with two projects having broken ground and a third getting close to moving off the drawing boards, is examining how Covid has affected tenants’ needs for amenities, apartment layouts and use of common areas.

“Where previously you saw movie rooms, screening rooms, I see less of that and more coworking space. It could be pods where you can have privacy if you need to have a phone call,” Marc Ehrlich, Rose’s chief investment officer, told the Business Journal. “We’re definitely focused on outdoor space and making sure in our new developments that the outdoor space is not relegated to just seasonal. We’re looking at putting in heaters, space heaters and making it more comfortable so it can be used more year-round.”

Rose Associates
A rendering of the 440 Hamilton Ave. project.

Ehrlich said that people now want a better life-work balance at home and Rose has factored that into its offerings. They’re also looking at technology needs in buildings, such as use of energy-efficient equipment and materials and, especially, bandwidth for internet.

“It’s also making sure you have the continuity of the bandwidth so if you’re on the phone and you’re leaving your apartment you don’t lose Wi-Fi when you’re continuing to walk through the common areas,” Ehrlich said. “Previously everyone focused on whether they had enough internet speed in their apartments. Now we’re trying to make sure that carries throughout.”

Ehrlich said that Rose Associates manages 20,000 units in the New York metro area with an ownership stake in 3,000 of those units.

Rose Associates
Ehrlich

“We manage for all sorts of individual investors and it ranges from the well-known institutional investors to other family owners. One of the things we always take great pride in is that other real estate companies and families that are active in commercial space turn to us for their residential needs,” Ehrlich said. “We believe the value of the properties exceeds $15 billion for what we have under management. It’s probably close to 20 million square feet.”

David Rose and his brother Samuel founded Rose Associates Inc. in 1928 and grew the firm to become a significant force in New York City real estate ownership, construction and management. The Rose family is known for its philanthropic support of such institutions as Lincoln Center, the New York Public Library and Yale University.

Today, Rose Associates is headed by Amy Rose, president and CEO. According to the company she is responsible for “managing the company, formulating and executing long-term strategies, sourcing new business, capital and investments, and driving the company’s focus on acquiring and adapting high-quality assets.”

Construction at 440 Hamilton Ave. Photo by Bob Rozycki

Two of Rose’s Westchester projects, 440 Hamilton Ave. in White Plains and 57 Alexander St. in Yonkers, have broken ground. The third, the planned redevelopment of the former United Hospital site in Port Chester, is under review by the village.

The former AT&T building at 440 Hamilton Ave. in White Plains is being converted to house 255 apartments and the adjacent parking lot at 32-40 Barker Ave. will have a new building with 213 apartments and a 575-space garage. A funding package recently was put into place that includes a senior construction loan of more than $134 million from Pacific Western Bank and an equity investment of more than $47 million from Square Mile Capital.

“We’re taking away basically everything in the building. The superstructure remains the same. We’re putting a new exterior on the building,” Ehrlich said about the AT&T building. “The inside of the building is already gutted out.”

Ehrlich said they found remnants on the ground floor and in the basement from the production of Steven Spielberg’s movie “The Post,” which was filmed in White Plains in 2017 with many interior scenes shot at 440 Hamilton Ave.

Rose Associates
A rendering of the 57 Alexander St. development.

In Yonkers, Rose is constructing a new apartment building on a site that formerly was home to the Altman Stage Lighting Co. at 57 Alexander St. There will be 440 apartments in the project with parking for 443 vehicles along with 25,000 square feet of open space. Public access to the Hudson River will be provided by the developer.

Ehrlich said that they have finished driving piles at the site in Yonkers and are dealing with environmental remediation and have not run into any problems.

“In under two years from now both of those buildings should be open,” Ehrlich said. “Right now, we have five active developments, three in Westchester and two in New York City. We’re committed long-term to Westchester County. We like Westchester County and I don’t think we would have set up an office there if we didn’t feel there was more that can be done.”

Rose and BedRock Real Estate Partners LLC have proposed redeveloping the former United Hospital site in Port Chester with a multifamily housing component of 775 residential units, a 120-room hotel, 18,159 square feet of street-level space for commercial, retail and restaurant uses, 1,020 parking spaces and a half-acre of open space that the multifamily buildings would surround.

United Hospital Port Chester
A rendering of the proposed United Hospital development.

Ehrlich said that in 2015, Rose Associates adopted a strategy of looking for transit-oriented development projects and was attracted to Westchester because municipalities appeared to be receptive to development and Metro-North Railroad was upgrading its service.

“We built a team focused on Westchester County and now have an office with about 10 people in White Plains,” Ehrlich said, adding that they may expand the White Plains staff.

“We’re approaching our 100th year anniversary,” Ehrlich said. “There was a period of time when we developed office buildings from Washington, D.C., to Boston, but we’re committed to the New York metro area now. We see continued growth. We do have to evolve.

“Traditionally real estate is a slower adapter but we’re constantly evaluating our portfolio, what needs to be changed, what needs to be enhanced. The last year-and-a-half has forced us to really think about how people want to live in their apartments and in their communities.”

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