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About The City

Main Street In White Plains
Government
Mayor Joseph M. Delfino (Rep)

Area
City 23.3 km² (10.8 sq mi)
Land 25.7 km² (10.4 sq mi)
Water 5.1 km² (2.3 sq mi)

Population (2000)
City 53,077
Density 2,062.5/km² (5,341.9/sq mi)

Zip Codes
10601, 10603, 10604, 10605, 10606, 10607; PO Box Only: 10602, 10610
Early in the 20th century, White Plains' downtown area developed into a dominant suburban shopping district and featured branch stores of many famous New York-based department and specialty stores. Some of these retail locations were the first large scale suburban stores built in America, and ushered in the eventual post-World War II building boom. With the construction of the parkways and expressways in the 1940s and 1960s, White Plains' role as a destination retail location was only enhanced. Among some of these early stores were such storied names as B. Altman & Co., Rogers Peet, Saks Fifth Avenue, Alexander's, Macy's, Wallach's and a short-lived branch of Bergdorf Goodman, which was later converted to sister chain, Neiman Marcus, in 1981.

During the late 1960s, the city of White Plains developed an extensive urban renewal plan for residential, commercial and mixed-use redevelopment that effectively called for the demolition of its entire central business district from the Bronx River Parkway east to Mamaroneck Avenue. By 1978, the massive urban renewal program centered around the construction of the Westchester County Courthouse (1974), the Westchester One office building (1975), the Galleria at White Plains mall (1978), and a number of other office towers, retail centers and smaller commercial buildings. Within a generation, the original village-like character of downtown White Plains was altered into becoming one of America's first and most dynamic edge cities.

At the time of its construction, the Westchester One building was the largest office building between New York City and Albany, and west to Hartford.

Beginning in the 1950s, many major corporations based in New York City relocated all or part of their headquarters operations to White Plains and other nearby locations. These included General Foods, PepsiCo, Hitachi USA, IBM, Nestle, Snapple and Heineken USA. At the height of the 1980s at least 50 Fortune 500 corporations called Westchester County and nearby Fairfield County, CT home, but with the corporate mergers and downsizing of the 1990s many of these companies either reduced their operations in White Plains or left the area completely.

At the Arts Exchange Building, the headquarters of the Westchester Arts Council, artists, emerging cultural organizations and new creative businesses are developing and flourishing. Since March 1999, this vibrant community resource, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has served as an artist's venue for exhibition and performance, a classroom, conference center, film house, banquet hall and proud symbol of the revitalization of downtown White Plains.

The construction of the Galleria at White Plains mall in the 1970s ushered in a new era of downtown retail and office development, but by the early 1990s, economic development had stagnated, hampered by a deep recession and the overbuilding of the commercial real estate markets. For a time, White Plains had the dubious distinction of having one of the highest office vacancy rates in the Northeast. Consolidation within the retail industry led to the closing of many of downtown's original department and specialty stores as well. After its bankruptcy, the B. Altman store closed in 1989 and was eventually demolished to make way for the massive upscale retail mall, The Westchester, which opened in 1995 with anchors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. A freestanding branch of Macy's, one of downtown's original retail anchors, was relocated two blocks away to The Galleria mall by its parent company, Federated Department Stores, replacing the location of sister retailer, Abraham & Straus when these two store divisions were merged in 1995. In early 2002, the Saks Fifth Avenue location was also closed and demolished; it was replaced in 2004 with the large retail complex called The Source at White Plains, featuring the high-end jewelery and home goods store Fortunoff's, and local outlets of the upscale restaurants Morton's of Chicago, The Cheescake Factory, and the gourmet supermarket chain Whole Foods Markets.

Other major projects were completed in the late 1990s and early 2000s that have dramatically altered further the urban character of downtown White Plains. A new courthouse for the Southern District of New York was opened in 1998 and several large scale office properties in and near downtown, including the former General Foods headquarters building, were retrofitted and leased to accommodate smaller businesses. The landmark Macy's store on Main Street remained vacant for several years until it was also later demolished to make way for the massive City Center White Plains complex. This large mixed-use development features two 35-story apartment and condominium towers, 600,000 square foot (60,000 m²) of retail, restaurant and entertainment space and new parking facilities. Aside from the Arts Exchange building (which used to be a bank), another bank next to the City Center was renovated to become Zanaro's, a Westchester-award-winning Italian restaurant. City Center's opening in 2003 marked the beginning of a new downtown development renaissance, and with the improving economy and healthy office leasing activity, White Plains entered the new millennium as the leading retail and office center in Westchester County.

White Plains is widely know throughout Westchester County for its bar scene. Mamaroneck Avenue and East Post Road are home to several highly trafficked watering holes, including The Black Bear Saloon, Lazy Boy Tavern, and the Thirsty Turtle.

In 2005, construction began on a second large parcel in the downtown area. The project, dubbed Renaissance Square, will feature two residential and hotel towers, each 40 stories tall, featuring a luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel and more than 400 condominium units. The expected opening date of the first tower is early 2008, at which time White Plains will once again boast the highest building between both New York City and Albany. (This title is currently held by the under-construction 39-story Trump Plaza in nearby New Rochelle, which in 2006 surpassed White Plains' 35-story Trump Tower, which was completed in 2005.)

Beginning in 2000, the city's permanent population experienced a growth spurt as additional apartment buildings were constructed. An infusion of urban professionals, drawn by the city's relatively moderate housing costs and close commuting distance to midtown Manhattan (35 minutes by express train) gave the city a cosmopolitan atmosphere. However, in large part because of its proximity to New York, the cost of living in White Plains, although lower than that of New York City itself, is by some measures among the highest in the nation.
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Westchester County Airport

(Based On 1 Ratings)

240 Airport Rd
White Plains, NY 10604

 

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