High-quality office space can contribute significantly to a local economy through construction and permanent job creation, property tax generation, public service demands that are only modest, and daytime activity to complement residential lifestyle patterns. While the regional office market as a whole is still struggling with high vacancy rates, the market for medical offices is much stronger. So when the leadership of Sound Shore Medical Center (SSMC) came to the City Council this week to propose a new medical office building, they were very well-received.

SSMC’s proposal features a 100,000 square foot class A office structure immediately adjacent to the Hospital’s main entrance on Glover Johnson Place, as well as a 530-space, 4-level parking garage across the street. In addition to private medical offices, the building would house new Labor & Delivery, Maternity, and Diagnostic Imaging facilities for SSMC — a big shot in the arm for one of New Rochelle’s most important institutions. You can find additional details and preliminary renderings in this presentation.

In order to assist with the project, the City Council will approve the creation of a Local Development Corporation (LDC), an entity that makes it possible for the proposed garage to access certain forms of financing. To be clear, however, the City would not incur any financial risk or obligation, and the building itself is expected to pay full property taxes.

As with any substantial project, several reviews and procedural steps must occur before a shovel can be placed in the ground, but this proposal has been greeted with general enthusiasm, and the builders have set an ambitious timetable that envisions construction beginning by the end of this year.