Wilson Kimball, commissioner of the Yonkers Department of Planning and Development, at a Business Council of Westchester event in Tarrytown. (Photo credit: The Journal News).

By Mark Lungariello | The Journal News

Developer Robert Weisz told business owners that if Westchester County communities want their economies to thrive, they’ll have to accept taller buildings and allow for greater density in their zoning codes.

“We need busy downtowns,” Weisz, of the Rye Brook-based RPW, said Tuesday during a panel discussion hosted by the Business Council of Westchester in Tarrytown.

Walkable downtowns and mixed-use buildings will entice 20- to 30-year-olds to stay local or move in from other areas, Weisz said. With many growth industries including tech, media and health care hiring workers in their 20s, businesses will follow where the millennial generation goes, he said.

The panel was part of an event called “Threading the Needle for Economic Growth,” which focused on the need for an influx of young professionals and outlined the difficulties developers and businesses face in navigating Westchester.

Audience member Alexander Roberts, executive director of fair housing group Community Housing Innovations, said a recent poll from the National Association of Home Builders showed 75 percent of millennials would eventually like to buy a single-family detached home. Roberts said developers should focus not only on multi-unit housing developments but the large price tag of most of its single-family options.

“The housing stock in Westchester is just not what millennials need,” he said.

Read the complete story in The Journal News.