Westchester County, NY and Fairfield County, CT
The Retail Market
Fairfield County has three successful enclosed regional malls. Westfield Trumbull in Trumbull and Stamford Town Center in Stamford are in the southern portion of Fairfield County and Danbury Fair in Danbury is in the northern part of the county.
Although there is a reasonable amount of mid-size box activity surrounding Danbury Fair, it is not enough to meet all the retailer demand. This has resulted in the creation of a second regional corridor along Federal Road in the adjacent town of Brookfield. Serving the same regional trade area as Danbury Fair, and with excellent access to I-84 and Route 7, the concentration of large and mid-size boxes is significant.
Neither of the malls in Stamford or Trumbull have any significant adjacent retail typically found near most regional malls. Stamford Town Center is located in downtown Stamford and is generally surrounded by office and residential towers typically found in a downtown core. Although unusual for a mall in a suburban environment, Westfield Trumbull is nearly completely surrounded by residential neighborhoods. This lack of supporting retail surrounding these two regional malls has led to the development of the Route 1 corridor from one end of Fairfield County to the other as the location of both choice and necessity for retailers of all sizes, categories and price points that are looking to serve the affluent customers of lower Fairfield County.
Originally built around 1670 as a narrow wilderness trail that served as part of the first postal route between New York and Boston (it took travelers one month in those early years to make the trip between New York & Boston), Route 1 has been the commercial thoroughfare serving lower Fairfield County for over 350 years. As it winds its way through the affluent towns of Fairfield, Westport, Darien and Greenwich the retail is higher end and specialty oriented with some very special organic street retail. In the more urbanized cities of Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford the retail tends to be more geared toward large and mid -size boxes. Other than local grocery along with village and convenience oriented retail geared mostly to the local towns, there are no significant retail corridors in the other affluent towns in the county such as Ridgefield, Redding, New Canaan, Weston & Easton.
The biggest change in the retail market will occur in Fall of 2019 when General Growth Properties is scheduled to open The SoNo Collection, a 1,000,000 square foot enclosed regional mall anchored by Nordstrom’s and Bloomindale’s. Other community retail corridors exist in Shelton as well as at interchanges to the Merritt Parkway at High Ridge Road in the northern part of Stamford and Black Rock Turnpike in the northern part of the town of Fairfield.
Westchester County has three enclosed regional malls. Two of these malls are in the city of White Plains in the central part of the county. The Westchester, which is extremely successful, is a high end mall serving customers in the affluent surrounding towns of Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye and Harrison. The Galleria at White Plains has struggled to compete with The Westchester’s strong mix of tenants. Although the city of White Plains is an urban environment, which typically does not lend itself to supporting adjacent retail, White Plains is an exception. Box retail has been able to locate in White Plains either by the reworking of older projects such as The Source or the development of new ground up projects such as City Center that were specifically designed to accommodate large users in an urban setting.
Outside the urban core of White Plains the primary regional and community retail corridor serving the southern and central portions of the county is Route 100 that runs from downtown White Plains through Hartsdale, Scarsdale and Yonkers ending at the Cross County Parkway. Anchored on the north end by downtown White Plains and on the south end by Cross County Shopping Center, this 10 mile stretch of road, known as Central Avenue in White Plains and Central Park Avenue in all of the other towns, is similar in nature to Route 1 in Fairfield County with its eclectic mix of retail of all sizes, categories, quality and price points.
Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers, originally opened in 1954, is one of the first shopping centers built in the United States. Located at the intersection of I-87 (the Major Deegan Expressway / New York State Thruway) and the Cross County Parkway, the 250,000 cars per day that pass by the site make it one of the most prominent retail properties in the New York metro area. The 1,000,000 square foot project completed a $300 million total makeover in 2012 which solidified its’ already strong position in the market. Although the property is an open air project, it is anchored by a 400,000 square foot Macy’s with strong small shop tenants that you would expect in any successful enclosed regional mall. Given its’ close proximity and easy access to the Bronx via the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) the property is targeting a more middle class customer then The Westchester in White Plains. Also in Yonkers, 3 miles north on I-87 at the Tuckahoe Road exit is Ridge Hill, an upscale mixed use development that had a phased opening from 2011 to 2015 and features 1,300,000 square feet of open air lifestyle and anchor retail. The tenant mix at Ridge Hill is targeted more towards the affluent customer distinguishing it from the target market of Cross County Shopping Center.
Route 6 serves as the regional retail corridor for the northern portion of Westchester County. At the geographic center of this Route 6 corridor, Jefferson Valley Mall is the third enclosed regional mall in the county and is located in Yorktown Heights at the approximate intersection of Route 6 and the Taconic State Parkway. Although small by enclosed regional mall standards at only 540,000 square feet, the mall continues to be successful due to the high income demographics of the trade area and lack of any nearby competition. There is very little complementary retail surrounding the mall. The largest concentration of large and mid-size boxes is located 4 miles west of Jefferson Valley Mall on Route 6 in Cortland Town Center. There is a third pocket of retail along Route 6, 3.5 miles east of Jefferson Valley Mall, at the intersection with Route 118, but that retail is less regional in nature.
Grocery stores operating in Fairfield and Westchester Counties include Stop & Shop, Big Y, Stew Leonard’s, Aldi, Fairway, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Shop Rite, Price Right, Save-A-Lot, and Best Market.
Fairfield and Westchester counties benefit from being the suburban office market for New York City. With excellent access to Manhattan by train when needed and some of the most appealing residential areas in the country to live, these two counties have grown in large part due to the exodus of many firms from Manhattan looking for a less stressful lifestyle for both senior executives and their employees.
No industry has been more prolific in their expansion into these two counties then the financial services industry. Fairfield County alone is the home to over 200 hedge funds and is second only to NYC in terms of the total dollar amount of assets under management (AUM). The other sector which is a mainstay is that of corporate headquarters locations. Whether it is a U.S. based company that has its world headquarters here or an internationally based company with its North American headquarters, the idea of having easy access to Manhattan but in a more suburban environment, with larger floor plates and lower occupancy cost is very appealing.
It is not just the financial services sector that is choosing Fairfield and Westchester for their corporate headquarters but companies from a diverse range of industries including Master Card, Pepsi, Pepperidge Farm, Fuji Film, IBM, Mott’s, Heineken, Consumer Reports and Nestle Waters to mention only some of the most recognizable names. Although there are significant companies located throughout both counties, the largest concentration of office space in Fairfield County is in downtown Stamford and in Westchester County it is in the I-287 corridor from the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown to Elmsford, White Plains, Purchase and Rye. It may seem obvious, but it is important to mention, that with this strong core of financial services firms and corporate headquarter companies, the amount of outside employment necessary to support these businesses is significant. Nowhere is this more evident than in the amount of lawyers and accountants that are needed to support such a sophisticated economic base.
Area colleges and enrollment
|Mercy College||Dobbs Ferry, NY||11,000|
|Sacred Heart University||Fairfield, CT||8,500|
|Western Connecticut State University||Danbury, CT||6,600|
|University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport, CT||5,700|
|Fairfield University||Fairfield, CT||5,100|
|The College of New Rochelle||New Rochelle, NY||4,800|
|State University of New York at Purchase||Harrison, NY||4,200|
|Iona College||New Rochelle, NY||4,100|
|Pace University||Pleasantville, NY||3,300|
|Manhattanville College||Harrison, NY||2,700|
|Sarah Lawrence College||Bronxville, NY||1,700|
|New York Medical College||Valhalla, NY||1,500|
|University of Connecticut – Stamford||Stamford, CT||1,300|
|Concordia College||Bronxville, NY||1,000|
|Pace Law School||White Plains, NY||500|
|Touro College of Dental||Valhalla, NY||400|
|Medicine at New York Medical College|
|Sikorsky Aircraft||HQ – Helicopters||Stratford/Trumbull/Shelton, CT
|Regeneron Pharmaceuticals||HQ – Biotech||Tarrytown, NY|
|Boehringer Ingelheim||HQ – U.S. – Biotech||Ridgefield/Danbury, CT
|Mastercard||HQ – Credit and Debit Card Services||Purchase, NY
|Pitney Bowes||HQ – Technology – Shipping/Mailing, E-commerce, Data Management, Location Intelligence, Digital Communication||Stamford/Danbury/Shelton, CT
|Purdue Pharma||HQ – Biotech||Stamford, CT
|Bridgewater Associates||Hedge Fund||Westport, CT
|Gartner||HQ – Technology Research and Consulting||Stamford, CT
|Swiss Re America||HQ – U.S. – Reinsurance||Armonk, NY
|Bic Coporation||HQ – U.S. – Corporate Offices – Pens, Razors, Lighters||Shelton, CT
|PepsiCo||HQ- Corporate Offices- Soft Drinks & Snack Foods||Purchase, NY
|Unilever||R&D and Corporate Offices – Consumer Products||Trumbull/Shelton, CT
|IBM||HQ – Information Technology||Armonk, NY
|Ampacet||HQ – Additives for Thermoplastic Coloring||Tarrytown, NY
|RBS||Financial Services||Stamford, CT
|Pepsi Beverages Co.||Corporate Offices – Soft Drinks||White Plains, NY
|UBS||Financial Services||Stamford, CT
|ASML||Computer Chip Lithography Equipment||Wilton, CT|
|Indeed.com||Online Job Recruitment||Stamford, CT
|Diageo North America||HQ – Alcoholic Beverages||Norwalk, CT
|Dianon Systems||HQ – Anatomic Pathology Testing||Shelton, CT
|Pop Displays||Retail Fixtures and Displays||Yonkers, NY
|United Healthcare||Health Insurance||Trumbull, CT
|Synchrony Financial||HQ – Consumer Financial Services||Stamford, CT
|UTC Aerospace||Manufacturing – Aerospace and Defense Products||Danbury, CT
|PepsiCo||Global Beverage R&D Facility||Mount Pleasant, NY
|Henkel North American Consumer Goods||HQ – North America – Laundry, Home Care and Beauty Care Products||Stamford, CT
|New York Life||Financial Services||White Plains, NY
|Nestle Waters North America||HQ – Bottled Water & Iced Tea||Stamford, CT
|Ashcroft||HQ – Industrial Measurement Instruments||Stratford, CT
|NBC Sports Group||HQ – Sports Media||Stamford, CT
|Dannon||HQ – North America – Corporate Offices – R&D||White Plains, NY|
|Consumer Reports||HQ – Magazine Publisher – Consumer Product Testing||Yonkers, NY
|Ethan Allen||HQ – Corporate Offices – Furniture Retailers||Danbury, CT
|Pepperidge Farm||HQ – Corporate Offices – Bakery Products||Norwalk, CT
|Duracell||HQ – Batteries||Bethel, CT
|Cooper Surgical||HQ – Biomed – Surgical Devices||Trumbull, CT
|FujiFilm North America||HQ – North America – Photographic Technologies and Equipment||Valhalla, NY
|Amscan||HQ – Party Goods and Accessories – Wholesale and Retail||Elmsford, NY
|Combe||HQ – Personal Care Products||White Plains, NY
|Sisley Cosmetics USA||HQ – Beauty and Skincare Products||Purchase, NY
|Taro Pharmaceuticals||Biotech||Hawthrone, NY
|ITT||HQ – Corporate Offices – Diversfield Manufacturer||White Plains, NY
|Heineken USA||HQ – Beer Importer||White Plains, NY
|Xerox||HQ – Document Technology||Norwalk, CT
|Gerald Group||Commodities Trading||Stamford, CT
|Dooney & Bourke||HQ – Multi Channel Retailer – Leather Handbags and Accessories||Norwalk, CT|
|Xylem||HQ – Water Technology||Rye Brook, NY
The Gold Coast
The area known as the Gold Coast is in Fairfield County and runs along the coastline of Long Island Sound from Greenwich, CT at the Westchester County border to Fairfield, CT at its’ border with the city of Bridgeport, CT. The area is well known for being a NYC stronghold for Manhattan executives and their families, dating back to the original titans of industry.
From Madison Avenue to Wall Street, media moguls, hedge funds and more, Fairfield County’s “Gold Coast” is home to some of the world’s most prominent business executives due to its proximity to Manhattan, its quintessential New England neighborhoods, and top tier education systems. Consistently ranked as some of the wealthiest towns in the U. S., Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Fairfield, New Canaan, Easton, Ridgefield, Weston and Wilton are the towns that come to mind when you think of Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Well known for their beautiful New England architecture, vibrant town centers, waterfront estates, world renowned golf courses, yacht clubs and marinas, these are some of the most prestigious towns in the country.
Fairfield County is also home to the largest concentration of hedge funds in the U.S., with over 200 hedge funds operating in the county, including three of the country’s largest. This is well depicted by the popular Showtime series “Billions”, based upon a fictitious Westport based hedge fund, it provides a drama-injected glimpse into the ambitious, powerful world of the hedge fund industry, while also providing viewers with many beautiful shots of Fairfield, Westchester and Rockland Counties. Take a walk down Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich or Main Street in Westport on any beautiful day; or drive the exclusive residential neighborhoods flush with beautiful estates; or take a boat ride along the coast of Long Island Sound to view the beauty of the waterfront homes and you will understand why it is called The Gold Coast.
|Westchester County, NY & Fairfield County, CT Population
|Westchester County, NY||976,000|
|Fairfield County, CT||948,000|
|Westchester County, NY
|Fairfield County, CT|