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Sound Shore to Build New Medical Office Building in New Rochelle

The project would put tax exempt property back on the tax rolls and possibly provide overnight parking for the neighborhood.

New Rochelle's could have a new medical office building with the added benefit of alleviating neighborhood parking problems.

The hospital is partnering with Landmark Healthcare facilities to construct a five-story Class "A" medical office and ambulatory services building and a four-level parking structure that would accommodate 530 vehicles.

The cost of the project is estimated at $51.6 million of which the office building costs are $35.7 million.

John R. Spicer, president and CEO of Sound Shore and Anthony Lampasona, president and COO of Landmark, presented their plan for the new building at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

"Our intent is to try to build an office building on the campus that is state of the art," Spicer said.

He said the practice of medicine is continually changing and the hospital felt it was important to offer physicians a high-quality, well-constructed facility "that they themselves could invest in and feel comfortable for them to expand their businesses."

Lampasona said both the office building and the parking structure would be built over surface parking lots. The office building, located along Washington Avenue, would be approximately 100,000 square feet, about half of which Sound Shore would lease. The balance would be leased by private physician practices.

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The building would be connected to the hospital on the first and second floors and would be designed to meet LEED Silver environmental standards. The hospital's leased area would be contain a maternity center and a diagnostic imaging center.

There would be retail spaces on the first floor, with potential users including a restaurant, pharmacy and medical equipment supply.

Lampasona said 80 percent of space in the building is currently under a non-binding letter of intent, including the hospital's portion. When the building is fully built, Landmark will offer the lessees a 30 percent ownership, effectively reducing their cost of occupancy.

"And it also keeps physicians invested in the hospital," he said.

At present, the hospital's property where the proposed office building will be sited is tax exempt. When the for-profit Landmark corporation takes it over, it will once again be on the city's tax rolls.

The parking structure, which will be owned by the hospital, will be built along Glover Johnson Place and will contain reserved physician parking and the required parking for the office building. 

Not only will the structure accommodate the long-term parking needs of the hospital, Lampasona said, the garage could provide an overnight parking solution for the adjacent residential neighborhood.

He said the estimated revenue from the parking, based on current rates, could cover the garage's operating costs of $1.7 million.

The council will vote at its June 19 legislative meeting whether to establish a local development corporation so the hospital can obtain federal bonding at lower interest rates. The corporation would be made up of members of the already established New Rochelle Industrial Development Agency

Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth said the city would have no obligation for the financing because of the creation of the local development corporation.

Councilman Albert Tarantino, R-District 2, said he and others have been looking for an economic engine for the downtown area and this could be it.

"I'm excited about this project," he said. "We talked about the need for this type of product for the medical profession."

Lampasona said he would like to break ground on the facility in December with the doors opening one year later, depending on receiving the necessary environmental and planning board approvals.

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