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Deals & Dealmakers

Time for a suburban shake-up, Simone tells developers

The transformation of the suburban real estate market and its economy over the next 20 years will entail repurposing office space with a smart combination of healthcare uses, residential and light retail, according to Joseph Simone, president and CEO of Simone Development Companies

Speaking at the Business Council of Westchester’s First Niagara Bank Leadership Conversations Series, Simone said Westchester must modernize its antiquated office parks — particularly along the I-287 corridor — and repurpose existing buildings to reflect significant shifts and consolidations in the healthcare industry; changing housing needs for young professionals that are near public transportation and advances in new technologies.

“The suburbs are going to be repurposed for other, higher and better uses,” Simone said. “Things have to be done way more efficiently.”

Simone’s remarks were part of 45-minute interview between Simone and Business Council CEO Marsha Gordon. Topics discussed included Simone’s role in creating with the first “bedless” hospital with Montefiore Health Systems; his company’s plans to transform the Boyce Thompson property in Yonkers and the explosive growth of New York City’s outer boroughs creating opportunities for Westchester’s urban centers, notably Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and White Plains, all towns “where young people are going to live. But you have to provide public transportation,” according to Simone.

Under Simone’s leadership, the company has been in the forefront of partnering with major healthcare providers to create turnkey ambulatory medical facilities in the New York metropolitan area.

In Westchester, Simone recently completed a medical office building for WESTMED Medical Group at the Purchase Professional Park — the first new office building to be built on the I-287 corridor in more than 25 years.

Earlier this month broke ground on a project that will transform the former Boyce Thompson horticultural complex in Yonkers into a modern mixed-use development featuring professional offices, medical space, retail stores, bank and restaurants.

Simone cited significant changes and monumental shifts that are happening in the healthcare industry that are creating a need for more efficient systems. The great news, he added, is that these changes are going to create new jobs and opportunities, and necessitate colleges and universities train students for careers in healthcare. He said these advances will reverberate into throughout the economy.

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