HBC | Streetworks Development’s vision is to create a successful project that supports the vibrancy and revitalization of Westfield’s Downtown and contributes to its long-term resiliency and economic growth. One Westfield Place will repurpose the former Lord & Taylor property and build across multiple vacant parcels to create new housing, Class-A office spaces, and street-level retail that is complementary to Downtown Westfield and aligned with the principles of the Town’s Master Plan. The project will create a mobility hub that will encourage alternative modes of transportation, improve pedestrian connectivity, and optimize parking options for commuters.
One Westfield Place is a mixed-use, transit-oriented development that occupies several sites along the railway. The proposed development offers a variety of housing options including 138 residential apartments and 16 townhomes for the 55 and older community, 16 non age-restricted townhomes, and 35 loft-style apartments. The proposal also includes the adaptive reuse of the iconic Lord & Taylor building, accommodating 100,000 square feet of best-in-class flexible office space, and over 13,000 square feet of street-level retail catering to office tenants and nearby residents. Along South Avenue, immediately east of the train station, two mass timber buildings will comprise 210,000 square feet of Class-A office space and 12,000 square feet of curated street-level retail.
The proposal will also create two new public open spaces on either side of the train station, The Town Square to the north and Town Green to the south. Both spaces will feature community gathering areas, ample greenery, and inviting street furniture to enhance the pedestrian experience in addition to improved vehicular circulation. Public parking will be reorganized into new structured parking facilities adjacent to the train station. Traffic improvements at main intersections and pedestrian crossings will enhance connectivity, and a mobility hub will provide alternative modes of transportation, such as bike and ride share programs, all with the intent to enhance ease of access overall.
Enhancements and modifications to the proposed mixed-use, transit-oriented development from direct community input received since beginning community engagement in 2018:
Architecture & Massing
- Changing the Clark & North residential from 34 apartments to 16 townhomes resulting in 18 fewer units reducing density
- Removing one floor of the BLVD office buildings on South Avenue
- Adjusting building facades and setbacks to respect the Town’s prevailing scale
- Splitting the office building to increase visual appeal and create a view corridor
- Setting back BLVD office facades above the street level retail
- Retaining the original Lord & Taylor building through adaptive reuse
- Eliminating the proposal to redevelop municipal parking Lot 7
- Adding a public dog run and community garden
- Proposing a bike path along NJ Transit train line (pending NJ Transit / DOT approval)
- Providing pedestrian footbridge over Route 28 at 9/11 Memorial area (pending NJ Transit / DOT approvals)
- Reconfiguring the Town Square to better accommodate vehicular and pedestrian circulation
- Adding design and programmatic elements to allow for seasonal activities within the Town Square and Town Green public open spaces
- Upgrading the pedestrian tunnel at the train station for seamless connectivity between North and South platforms
- Including covered walkways from public parking garages to train platform
Parking & Traffic
- Revising parking plan to include drop-off spaces for ride-share services
- Creating 16 on-street parking spaces on South Avenue for retail businesses
- Adding adaptive traffic signals at key intersections
- Adding traffic signal at Clark and North to mitigate existing and proposed conditions
- Implementing traffic mitigation at 11 key intersections
- Reconfiguring Quimby Street to a one-way street to allow additional on-street parking
- Optimizing parking garages to equally serve both the North and South stations
- Widening the sidewalks from Foundation Park to the 9/11 Memorial area
The proposal will create two new public open spaces on either side of the train station. Both will include generous lawn and park-like amenities, while also providing for ample train station drop off and pick up. In addition, the proposed development includes a pocket park adjacent to the Townhomes on North Avenue that will feature a dog run available to residents of the neighborhood.
HBC | Streetworks Development and the Downtown Westfield Corporation will collaborate with Dan Biederman, President of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the experts behind New York’s Bryant Park, to develop a comprehensive plan to program and strategically activate approximately 2.25 acres of green spaces and gathering areas.
The proposed development is projected to create over 2,900 jobs during construction, as well as 1,400 jobs when operational.
This proposed plan is expected to generate significant benefits for Westfield residents and property owners. Today, the properties in the proposed development generate less than $600,000 in annual taxes, including the vacant Lord & Taylor building. Once completed, the development is projected to provide over $4.6 million in annual PILOT revenue to the Town, and over $200 million over the next 30 years.
The new office buildings will bring a meaningful daytime population of workers who, according to national consulting firm AKRF, will spend approximately $5.94 million annually at local Westfield businesses. The net reduction in retail from 143,000 square feet to less than 28,000 square feet will complement existing downtown retail offerings and better activate North and South Avenues. The proposed apartments are designed to provide multiple housing options for those who want to remain in town as their lifestyles and housing needs evolve.
Other proposed improvements for Westfield residents include increased connectivity, walkability, and safety such as improved connections to bike paths, improved pedestrian crosswalks and signalization, and streetscape and sidewalk improvements that buffer pedestrians from vehicles and traffic. Enhanced open public gathering areas are proposed for community activities and events. These spaces will be designed in consultation with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the firm responsible for creating New York City’s Bryant Park. The implementation of a state-of-the-art mobility hub will improve access to alternative modes of transportation including ridesharing, bike parking, scooters, public transit, and pick-up/drop-off locations.
Source: Westfield Redevelopment Economic and Fiscal Impact Study, AKRF, Inc., (December 21, 2022)
We are still in the community outreach stage at this time, but we are hoping to secure approvals in 2023 which would allow us to commence construction in 2024. After we have gathered feedback from residents and other stakeholders and have the support of the town’s elected officials, we will be able to offer more details about the expected timeline for approvals and construction.
For decades, we have been committed to the environmental, social, and governance components of our developments. Our primary sustainability goal is to minimize the impact on Westfield’s infrastructure and its environment. The proposed development reduces heat island effect by 50% and reduces storm water runoff by 30% through green roofs and the reduction of impervious surfaces. The proposed buildings focus on occupant well-being, energy and water conservation and reuse, and building materials that take less energy and resources to produce. While the adaptive reuse of the existing Lord & Taylor building saves thousands of metric tons of carbon emissions and new material; the use of a mass timber structure for the Class-A office building along South Avenue embodies a highly eco-conscious construction practice, and provides tenants and visitors with a warm, comfortable work environment. Our buildings will also incorporate innovative decarbonization strategies, as well as design and build to Green Building Standards, such as LEED Silver equivalence, WELL v2, and Passive House principles.
The community will benefit from the addition of new and improved green spaces and streetscapes, as well as pedestrian-friendly infrastructure that encourages carbon-efficient modes of transportation. See HBC | Streetworks Development’s full ESG Policy.
HBC | Streetworks Development is committed to maintaining Westfield’s charm and town character and will ensure the architectural designs for each structure are complementary to the existing environment. Our firm has a successful track record of tailoring each individual development to the specific needs of each unique community and all architecture designs will be subject to the Town’s approval processes.
A large portion of the project is focused on the restoration and reuse of existing landmarks, such as the historic firehouse, Lord & Taylor building, and train station, into the reimagined Downtown. There is no new ground-up development in Westfield’s traditional Downtown. We are only building on existing parking lots and will not be demolishing any existing buildings. We are committed to engaging with the community through our Preview Center and in other public forums to gather feedback that will guide the development and ensure it reflects both the Town’s current character and a cohesive vision for its future.
We believe our buildings should complement the fabric and sensibility of the Town’s existing architecture and are committed to improving the experience from the pedestrian point of view. All of the proposed buildings take into consideration the predominant height of existing buildings in Westfield, which is 40’-45’. The proposed street walls fall within this height range, and anything above that height is set back from the street. Buildings are broken down vertically to create distinct volumes that correspond to the sizes, scales, and rhythms of existing buildings in town. Each building is also carefully considered in its particular context. At the South Avenue office, for example, the building is proposed to include single-story retail along South Avenue with the office set back above and generous sidewalks ranging from 16′-24′ wide. This configuration responds to the existing predominantly single-story commercial and retail architecture on the south side of the street with the intent of making the South Avenue corridor feel pleasant to occupy and traverse.
Similar attention has been given to the proposed buildings on the Lord & Taylor site. Both the new residential buildings on the south side of North Avenue and the townhouses on the north side are set generously back from the street – approximately 40′ and 20′ respectively – aligning the proposed front yards with those of the residences to the west. This will create an experience of continuity and comfort, with the proposed buildings stitching together the residential neighborhoods to the west and Downtown Westfield to the east.
HBC | Streetworks Development currently owns 7.3 acres of land in Downtown Westfield, putting it in a unique position to create an overall development plan on the combined sites that maximizes public benefits to the community. As the largest landowner and commercial taxpayer in Downtown Westfield, we are committed and well positioned to invest in the redevelopments of our properties and participate in the long-term vision for Westfield. As part of our proposal, HBC | Streetworks Development will be paying fair market value for the private development rights on town-owned parcels which will be confirmed by third party experts engaged by the Town.
Over the past three years, we have engaged with the Town of Westfield to hear directly from community stakeholders and residents. We take pride in our 40-year reputation as the “listening developer” and look forward to continuing that tradition by engaging in community dialogue at our Preview Center located at 76 Elm Street.
Over the past 25 years, we have found our method of engaging residents through transparent outreach and sincere listening produces positive and lasting results for the communities we develop. These results are evident in our past projects in cities like Bethesda, San Jose, West Hartford, where they continue to be successful and have become vital parts of the community for years and even decades after they were completed.
We are extremely proud of our work on Blue Back Square – a 450,000-square-foot, mixed-use development in West Hartford, Connecticut. As a suburban community with a vibrant downtown, West Hartford shares many similarities to Westfield. The project transformed a formerly dilapidated and underutilized site of similar magnitude to the Lord & Taylor building, out of which we created a dynamic mix of residential, retail, and new parking structures that have both preserved and added to the community’s unique, historic character over the years.
As the owner of the Lord & Taylor building, we are the largest landowner and taxpayer in the downtown area. Westfield’s success is our success. We are lucky to have the opportunity to work with a town like Westfield, and we are taking great care to focus on creating a development that complements the Town’s existing character. We have honed our proposal and plans to ensure they are calibrated and suited for Westfield.
Demand for ‘age-restricted’ housing for those 55 and older is growing every single year, but only a small number of residential units are being built specifically for this group providing them the best option to continue to live in their communities once they have sold their single family home. Approximately 75% of all proposed units in the development will be for the 55 and older community. Based on 2010 and 2020 Census data, approximately 800 residents ages 55 to 75 have left Westfield, indicating the need for mature residential communities. We see this as an excellent opportunity to provide spacious units with onsite amenities and specialty services for 55 and older residents in Westfield.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Census
Yes, all proposed residential housing complies with the State of New Jersey’s Fair Share Housing Act requirements. We are proposing a total of 205 residential units throughout the development, 172 of which will be market rate and 33 will be affordable housing.
Approximately 75% of the proposed residences are planned for the 55 and older community, so One Westfield Place is projected to have a minimal impact on Westfield’s school system. The remaining units are targeted to young professionals, and are not expected to create a meaningful change in the number of school-aged children. Based on NJDOE data, Westfield elementary and middle school enrollment has declined over the past 8 years, and the high school has only seen an increase of 12 students during that time.
Using the Bloustein-Rutgers calculator, the proposed development would add approximately 11 new students total.
Sources: NJODE; NJ Department of Education
All buildings will meet ADA Requirements and conform to local code.
The mobility hub supports and encourages alternative modes of transportation to and from the train station. It integrates bike parking and storage, public transit options, ample pick-up and drop-off areas, and enhanced connections in and around either side of the train station. It is designed to be flexible to adapt to future transportation innovations. This creates a safe, convenient, and well-planned environment that will enhance transit-related services and pedestrian connectivity for the Town of Westfield.
A healthy balance between pedestrians and vehicles is critical to a successful downtown development. Proposed improvements will increase pedestrian connectivity and safety including new paths and walkways, improved crosswalks and signalization, and streetscapes that buffer traffic. The implementation of a state-of-the-art mobility hub will improve access to alternative modes of transportation including ridesharing, bike parking, scooters, public transit, and pick-up/drop-off locations.
Using expert analysis from parking, urban design, planning, and traffic consultants, One Westfield Place will incorporate various traffic improvements to mitigate congestion, optimize circulation, and enhance pedestrian safety and connectivity. Additionally, the implementation of a mobility hub will provide transit alternatives at and around the train station and will enable safe and well-planned options for residents and visitors seeking alternatives to using their vehicles. The proposed traffic improvements seek to upgrade overall traffic management and mitigate the impacts from the new development as well as some preexisting conditions.
We have studied 18 intersections within and beyond our project boundaries and are proposing mitigation measures and upgrades at 11 key intersections including signal improvements, timing adjustments, lane enhancements, and upgraded road striping. A few examples of intersections we are targeting include E Broad Street & Prospect Street; North Avenue & Elm Street; North Avenue & Clark Street; North Avenue and E Broad Street. All of our proposed improvements will be vetted by the Town’s consultant and NJDOT.
HBC | Streetworks Development is working with one of the nation’s premier planning and design consultants, Kimley-Horn, and has conducted an independent traffic impact study. The findings will be reviewed and signed off on by the Town’s experts, as well as the County and New Jersey Department of Transportation. To view traffic report please click here:
One Westfield Place Traffic Analysis Memo
The Town is committed to replacing commuter parking at a 1:1 ratio. Two proposed parking garages, which will be owned and operated by the Town, will provide 500 parking stalls on what are now surface parking lots. In addition, approximately 542 parking stalls located in the mass timber building’s below-grade parking garage will be available to the public after operating hours and on weekends, making the total parking available greater than what exists today.
According to NJ Transit, in a post-Covid environment commuter ridership remains at 70% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels. In the event there is a substantial change in commuter demand, the Town and its technical consultants have contingency plans that can be implemented to augment the supply within the network of downtown municipal lots. In addition to the proposed garages, the Town intends to provide additional public parking with surface lots.
Source: NJ Transit
All of the proposed private uses include parking sufficient to accommodate workers, tenants, and visitors without disrupting the surrounding area. The proposed Lord & Taylor residential buildings and office building will share 530 parking stalls located in podium and below grade garages. The mass timber office buildings will accommodate 542 parking stalls in above and below grade parking garages. The Clark & North residences will accommodate 32 stalls in a podium garage. The Townhomes will accommodate 26 above grade stalls, as well as 20 shared surface stalls. Residential parking demand is projected at 1.5 spaces per unit. Parking facilities will always be clean, well lit, and bright for safety and comfort.
We remain bullish on new suburban office product that is well positioned and built to meet the needs of companies today. Downtown Westfield does not have any Class-A office space inventory and the demand for Class-A office space featuring onsite amenities in suburban downtown locations remains strong. To mitigate risk to the Town and HBC | Streetworks Development, we will not break ground and start construction of the two new office buildings without sufficient pre-leasing in place.
Our proposed development will bring unique commercial and retail offerings to Westfield that should complement, rather than compete with existing business. The proposed office space in Westfield and the small retail component will drive new foot traffic to the area during the day. The rental housing units will create even more demand and customers for downtown businesses on nights and weekends. Analysis shows that local businesses in Westfield will capture 9% of residents’ total household income. Once fully tenanted, new residents will spend approximately $8.5 million annually at local Westfield businesses.
Westfield’s business district comprises 517,355 square feet of retail space within 1.6 million total square feet of space. The Lord & Taylor store operated a retail business of 143,000 square feet when it was open. The proposed development contemplates less than 28,000 square feet of street retail, a net reduction that represents less than 4% of the proposed development and less than 6% of the total retail spaces comprised in the business district.
Sources: Westfield Redevelopment Economic and Fiscal Impact Study, AKRF, Inc., (June 29, 2022); TapInto.net
We plan to incorporate restaurants as a core component of commercial tenants within the development. The liquor license we already purchased from a private seller will allow us to attract a best-in-class food and beverage purveyor that will appeal to Westfield residents and visitors to the town.
A PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program is an incentive tool municipalities have to encourage commercial and residential real estate development and investment. PILOT agreements between municipalities and property owners have enabled towns with areas in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation to incentivize developers to redevelop key sections of the communities and provide meaningful public improvements that otherwise would not be fiscally possible. Instead of property taxes, property owners make an annual payment to the municipality in lieu of taxes. In New Jersey, the Town of Westfield will receive 95% of PILOT proceeds.
The PILOT program will fund significant public improvements without increasing taxes to residents and property owners and is expected to generate over $200 million in proceeds for the Town of Westfield over 30 years. Proposed public improvements include two municipal parking garages; a new mobility hub; programmed green spaces, including the Town Square and Town Green; significant streetscape enhancements; traffic improvements; upgraded storm water infrastructure; and the further beautification of Quimby Street.
Without the proposed PILOT this level of investment and public improvement would not be possible. It is expected to deliver a diverse mix of uses and public spaces that requires close cooperation with local officials, which the PILOT program will enable. Additionally, the PILOT is projected to provide the Town with over $200 million in revenue over 30 years, which will provide ample resources for the Town.