BCW study: White Plains has appeal for young adults, but more affordable housing needed

A study released last week by the Business Council of Westchester and its Westchester Coalition for Business Development looked into one of the most critical questions facing county businesses: Why are young adults leaving en masse?

The answer is that, while areas such as White Plains, Katonah, Purchase, Scarsdale, Rye, Port Chester and Yonkers all have unique characteristics that make them strong candidates for young professionals, the cost of living is simply too high to justify living in Westchester instead of living in NYC.

(See Bureau Chief John Golden’s article here on Westfair Online.)

Kudos to both the Business Council and the Westchester County Association for making multi-use developments and the re-development of some of the county’s defunct commercial office space as affordable housing units priorities as part of their respective economic development initiatives. Now, the challenge is convincing property owners, developers, and municipal zoning boards of the validity of their conclusions.

It is now up to economic development advocates to work alongside all of the crucial parties to implement a strategy that can yield action, and not just studies and words of encouragement.

Friday Roundup: U.S. adds 103K jobs; Aureon Biosciences folds; State approves Memorial Sloan-Kettering project

TGIF. It is a beautiful Friday, the weekend is shaping up to be a great one, and Alex Rodriguez made it two consecutive seasons in which he has ended the New York Yankees’ playoff run with a strike-out. On to the news!

Driving the day: The U.S. economy added 103,000 non-farm jobs in September, exceeding nearly every analysts’ projections. That said, the employment rate held steady at a discouraging 9.1 percent. T.D. Bank senior economist James Marple said, “This was definitely a good report and a repudiation of the most strident calls that the U.S. has already slipped into recession. Nonetheless, we should hold off on breaking out the champagne.” Marple also predicted that the U.S. GDP grew at a rate of two to two and a half percent for the third quarter of this year (which would be an improvement over the second quarter, but still far below pre-recession levels).

Some notes of importance:

  • The employment numbers were buoyed by the return to work of approximately 45,000 striking Verizon employees.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised last month’s job data up by 57,000 (from initial estimates of zero job growth), another positive.
  • Including the above revisions, the last two months have averaged job growth of 80,000 per month.
  • Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi said on MSNBC this morning that the economy needs to add between 125,000 and 150,000 jobs each month if we are to see the unemployment rate drop.

**New York State will release the state’s unemployment data for September on Oct. 20th.

They Said It: “I think we’re in as much a psychological slump as a real economic slump.” – Eleanor Clift, at Business Council of Westchester’s 2011 Annual Dinner, held last night at the Hilton Rye Town.  

Headlines:

> Yonkers biotech company Aureon Biosciences unexpectedly closed last Tuesday, according to documents filed with the N.Y. Department of Labor. Founded in 2002, Aureon was a founding member of “N.Y. BioHud Valley,” a public-private campaign aimed at promoting the Hudson Valley as a hub for biotechnology research and development. With the closing, the company’s 95 employees were laid off. More on Aureon Biosciences closing coming soon at WestfairOnline.com.

> Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s plan to build a $143 million, 114,000-square-foot cancer treatment center at 500 Westchester Ave. in Harrison was approved yesterday by the N.Y. Public Health and Health Planning Council, clearing the last major hurdle for the project.