As part of a successful effort to keep PepsiCo in Westchester, County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced on Oct. 26 that the county's Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has approved a series of incentives that will help the iconic company renovate its worldwide headquarters in Purchase and preserve 1,100 local jobs.
The project is also expected to spur the creation of 1,250 construction jobs.
Since becoming county executive in 2010, Astorino has made economic development one of the cornerstones of his policies.
"As a global company, PepsiCo can locate its headquarters anywhere in the world," Astorino said. "We have worked hard to keep PepsiCo in Westchester by creating a positive business environment. The fact that the company has decided to reinvest in Westchester is a sign of faith in the county's future, a shot in the arm to the local economy, and the extension of a 50-year relationship that's been a model of civic-corporate partnerships. Many thanks to everyone at PepsiCo for their confidence in Westchester."
For its part, the IDA acted on Friday to grant PepsiCo an exemption from 7.35 percent sales tax on qualified purchases for the duration of the construction process.
The renovation will involve the complete redevelopment of 420,000 square feet of office space, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013. Existing employees will be relocated to temporary space in PepsiCo's Somers facility and in an additional location in lower Westchester.
"After more than 40 years with minimal renovations, our worldwide headquarters requires updating to meet the future needs of the company," said Rich Delaney, senior vice president, operations, PepsiCo. "This project will modernize our headquarters in ways that increase operating efficiency, create a more connected and collaborative work environment for employees, and enable PepsiCo to continue to attract great talent to the company. We greatly appreciate the work of Governor Cuomo, County Executive Astorino and all of the state and local officials who continue to make Westchester County a great place for doing business."
Gov. Cuomo said: "By working to keep PepsiCo in New York, we are saving over one thousand local jobs that are critical to the long term strength of the Westchester economy. With the additional creation of over one thousand construction jobs, this project will provide an immediate boost to the local economy while allowing PepsiCo to maintain its strong presence as one of New York's biggest employers for years to come."
Laurence Gottlieb, director of Economic Development for Westchester County, said the PepsiCo project will generate an economic ripple throughout the county and region. "The scale of this renovation and commitment to stay in the county delivers a clear and powerful message of long-term stability, continuity and opportunity for growth to the many Westchester-based businesses dependent upon PepsiCo for their livelihood. Today's announcement will have positive economic consequences for decades to come."
Stephen Hunt, chairman of the IDA, called today's developments "a historic moment for the Westchester County IDA." He added: "This is a significant re-investment into the county by PepsiCo and represents the largest capital investment and one of the biggest job producers to come before the board in over a decade."
PepsiCo relocated its worldwide headquarters from New York City to Purchase in 1970. The facility has been operational for 42 years with minimal renovations. The project will enable the company to:
- Increase the capacity of the facility by up to 15 percent.
- Upgrade outdated technology, bandwidth and telephony infrastructure in ways that allow the company to remain competitive and enable better virtual connections with colleagues and partners around the world.
- Reduce energy usage by 22 percent, water usage by 57 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent by replacing older infrastructure systems with modern solutions that enable the facility to operate more efficiently. PepsiCo will target LEED certification for the renovated facility.
- Create a more collaborative and innovative work environment for PepsiCo employees.
- Significantly increase training and meeting capabilities.
- Provide better access to natural daylight.