Cappelli Enterprises donates $70,000 to White Plains for rental of a 24-foot artificial Christmas Tree to be displayed in Renaissance Plaza during the holidays for the next four years.
WHITE PLAINS – Christmas in September?
Not quite, but the city has received a surprise $70,000 gift for a custom, light-filled, 24-foot artificial Christmas tree to spruce up Renaissance Plaza during the holidays.
“It will be gorgeous,” said White Plains Recreation and Parks Commissioner Wayne Bass. “We decorate the live trees in the plaza with white lights, and this one, with its size and color, will really be a head turner. It will add to the excitement of the holidays.”
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The donation was made by the Ritz-Carlton and Cappelli Enterprises, developer of the Ritz, Renaissance Plaza, the City Center and Trump tower in White Plains during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Renaissance Plaza, a focal point of the downtown business district, is at Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street, across from the Ritz-Carlton.
Renaissance Plaza in White Plains. (Photo: The Journal News/file photo)
The Common Council accepted the gift last week. Officials said the donation will pay for renting a tree that will be “customized and heavily lit with multicolored LED lights and warm white lights.” The gift covers the cost of rental, installation, storage and maintenance of the tree through 2020.
A spokeswoman from Cappelli Enterprises could not be reached for comment.
The tree is to be rented from Mount Vernon-based American Christmas Inc. The company designs and installs artificial holiday trees and other decorations for building lobbies, plazas, malls, hospitals and similar large venues. Clients have included Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, Macy’s and the Empire State Building.
“We’re very excited to be working with White Plains, and I think the tree will be a beautiful addition to the city during the holidays,” said Fred Schwam, CEO of American Christmas Inc. “It’s a very kind gesture for (Cappelli Enterprises) to step up and make a donation like this.”
At 24-feet, the tree will be slightly taller than the average 20-foot height of an adult giraffe and slightly shorter than Britain’s iconic 27.5-foot double-decker buses. It will be considerably shorter than the standard-sized 36-foot utility pole and half the size of Brachiosaurus dinosaurs, which stood up to 50 feet tall.
Rockefeller Center’s famous Christmas trees usually range between 70- and 100-feet high. White Plains’ official tree, planted in Tibbets Park in 2011, is about 15-feet.
Bass said officials have not yet determined exactly where the artificial tree will be installed in the plaza, which is also the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop, which attracts more than 10,000 people downtown.
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