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WPCNR Daily Mirror. By John F. Bailey. June 19, 2002. 3:30 PM E.D.T.:A touch of class from Long Island’s Gold Coast arrived in White Plains Wednesday morning when Louis Fortunoff and two generations of his family presented a ground-breaking ceremony on the former Saks Fifth Avenue site for “The Source at White Plains,” the new Fortunoff complex about to rise at the corner of Bloomingdale Road and Maple Avenue.
TWO GENERATIONS OF FORTUNOFFS officially join the White Plains Family at the official groundbreaking for The Source at White Plains Wednesday. Louis Fortunoff is at far left, his sister Andrea, architect of the project is to his left.All Photos by WPCNR
Mr. Fortunoff, in comments to WPCNR said he has “more interest (from potential retail tenants) than we have space,” and said he expected the complex to be fully rented when it is scheduled to open in fall of 2003, or 480 days from today, as his cousin, Isidore Mayrock said.
Mr. Fortunoff made his remarks to an assemblage of suited and stylish men and women enjoying an elegant buffet, under a great white tent, being served by tuxedoed servants and chefs, more suited to the mansion lawns of legendary West Egg, than a bluff above a busy construction site.
LOUIS FORTUNOFF PRAISES DELFINO EFFORT: Mayor Joseph Delfino, to Mr. Fortunoff’s right, Andy Spano, County Executive, right, and Isidore Mayrock of Fortunoff’s at Wednesdays’ Ground-Breaking.
$92 Million Project. 700 New Jobs. $9 million A Year in Sales Taxes.
Mr. Fortunoff welcomed Mayor Joseph Delfino and County Executive Andy Spano, saying “The Source at White Plains” was the culmination of a 20 year dream of bringing Fortunoffs to Westchester. He acknowledged that the September 11 attack, there was some doubt that the project would continue, but he said his $92 million project is “my family’s small contribution to that (recovery) effort.”
FLOOR PLAN OF NEW COMPLEX: The Source at White Plains will feature street level retail with four floors of Fortunoffs rising above it. Louis Fortunoff said he is in ongoing negotiations with prospective tenants at the present time and has more interest in the complex than he has space to rent.
Mayor Delfino “Walks the Walk as Well As Talks the Talk”
Mr. Fortunoff said “without White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino’s leadership, energy, commitment and vision we would not be standing here today…He walks the walk as well as talks the talk. As a retailer with five existing stores I can truthfully say that Joe Delfino has written the book on how a community can effectively create positive and sustained economic growth.”
Isidore Mayrock, Mr. Fortunoff’s cousin, said in his remarks, “We felt so confident about White Plains when we began discussions with the Mayor over the future of Fortunoff in Westchester. Some suggested we go to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., or Atlanta. But here in White Plains we found a City Hall that focused on solutions. We found professionals who anticipated our needs and resolved our questions in a manner that reflected how we do business.”
Mayor Delfino Praises Mr. Fortunoff’s Father.
Mayor Delfino, taking the podium, said, “This is a great day. I want this to be the most successful store in the family. Your father would be proud.” Delfino praised Mr. Fortunoff’s father’s “belief in the retail business,” and promised to help Mr. Fortunoff make this store the “finest retail complex in Westchester County.”
COMMON COUNCIL DEDICATION PRAISED. The Mayor and the Common Council, including former Councilpersons Larry Delgado and Pauline Oliva pitch in to shovel a ceremonial shovel of dirt. The Mayor praised the Council which included Mr. Delgado and Ms. Oliva for their support of the project and long hours in reviewing and seeing the benefits of the project to the city.
County Executive Praises Working Relationship with The Mayor.
County Executive Andy Spano, in his remarks, said, “I can’t wait for Joe’s (Delfino’s) Renaissance Triangle, at the center of Westchester County. Having Joe as a partner has been great. We’ve been working well together for twenty years now.”
Mr. Spano furnished support for the Fortunoff project through the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.
TOUCH OF CLASS: Guests at the ground-breaking enjoyed a sumptuous buffet of culinary delights, served by tuxedo-clad servants, and elegant chefs reminiscent of a 1920s Gold Coast party, setting a new standard in ground-breaking refreshments.
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