Big changes could be in store for Westfield, specifically for the Lord & Taylor department store building.
Streetworks Development, the real estate development arm of Hudson’s Bay Co., announced plans Sept. 20 for One Westfield Place: a “reimagined” 730,000-square-foot mixed-use development that would transform the former department store property, which it owns, while also incorporating several of its other owned parcels in the Union County municipality.
According to the company, the plan, which was presented to the Westfield town council on Sept. 20, would invigorate Westfield’s downtown by repurposing the underutilized building and properties, optimizing parking, creating new commercial and housing spaces, improving access from residential neighborhoods to downtown for pedestrians, and incorporating a “mobility hub” with alternative modes of transportation around the city’s train station.
“Driven by our Master Plan, and with a commitment to maintaining Westfield’s historical character, HBC | Streetworks Development is proposing a downtown for the future – one that is more people-centric than car-centric – with a focus on sustainability, safe streets, and improved infrastructure,” said Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle in a statement. “This innovative proposal presents us with a unique opportunity to address our long-standing traffic, parking, and congestion challenges; provide much-needed spaces for community gathering, art, and events; and bring in unprecedented new sources of tax revenue to the town that will mitigate the tax burden of our residents for generations to come.”
One Westfield Place would include:
- 100,000 square feet of next-generation, flexible Class A office space (through the adaptive reuse of the former Lord & Taylor building)
- 210,000 square feet of Class A office and amenities space housed in a state-of-the-art, mass timber building
- 27,000 square feet of street-level retail
- 154 high-quality residential apartments and townhomes targeted to residents 55 and older
- 69 residential apartments catering to families and young professionals
- Affordable housing units planned in accordance with both Westfield’s and New Jersey’s housing requirements
- Two new, public parking garages on North Avenue and South Avenue that can accommodate more than 450 vehicles
- Designed and landscaped green, public spaces – Town Green and Town Square – located to the north and south of the train station, with trees, seasonal planters, water features, and improved pedestrian and vehicular access
- Comprehensive streetscape and sidewalk improvements, including the beautification of Quimby Street
- A mobility hub connecting the north and south sides of the train station to improve access to alternative modes of transportation, featuring ride sharing, bike stations and storage, and pickup/drop-off service locations
According to HBC | Streetworks, as envisioned the project would generate more than $200 million in additional revenues for Westfield over three decades.
It would also create 2,900 jobs, the developer said, for the construction phase and 1,700 positions once the development is complete.
“HBC has more than 350 years of experience in reinvention and revitalization. As the long-term holder of many iconic retail brands, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks OFF 5TH, we understand the responsibility we hold to repurpose and bring life to the former Lord & Taylor site in Westfield,” said HBC Governor, Executive Chairman and CEO Richard Baker. “One Westfield Place, will be welcoming, distinct, and authentic, with increased walkability, pedestrian access to open spaces, tree-lined sidewalks, picturesque main streets, and buildings expertly designed to complement the unique charm and character of the Town.
“The revitalization of Downtown Westfield will serve as a model of suburban downtowns for years to come,” he added.
HBC | Streetworks Development Vice President of Development Carolina Simon said the company has been active in the city for the past three years, familiarizing itself with the community and with the improvements residents and stakeholders say are needed—work that will continue as the process moves along. According to the company, its One Westfield Place plan takes into consideration the 12 guiding principals outlined in Westfield’s Master Plan Reexamination that was adopted in 2019.
Beyond activating spaces in the city, HBC | Streetworks Development said it will collaborate with the Downtown Westfield Corp. and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures President Dan Biederman – the brains behind New York City’s Bryant Park – to plan program events and activities in public spaces to activate the community.
The project plan is expansive. HBC | Streetworks Development will open a location at 76 Elm St. in the city’s downtown to promote One Westfield Place, receive community feedback, and educate residents about the work’s size and scope. One Westfield Place is subject to approval by the Westfield Town Council.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10:30 a.m. ET on Sept. 23, 2022, to include HBC’s full company name, Hudson’s Bay Co.