HBC Looks To Keep Redeveloping Former Lord & Taylor Sites, Now in New Jersey | One Westfield Place

HBC Looks To Keep Redeveloping Former Lord & Taylor Sites, Now in New Jersey

September 21, 2022

HBC, owner of the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue chains, is taking on the redevelopment of yet another former Lord & Taylor location as vacant big-box stores across the nation continue to be transformed for nonretail uses.

Toronto-based HBC and its Streetworks Development division have proposed the adaptive reuse of a Lord & Taylor site at 609 North Ave. and adjacent parcels, in Westfield, New Jersey, into a 731,000-square-foot mixed-use project, One Westfield Place. Westfield is an affluent commuter suburb about 25 miles from New York City.

The planned redevelopment represents HBC’s latest effort to revitalize and repurpose former stores of the now-defunct Lord & Taylor chain. In July, HBC said it was turning three former Lord & Taylor stores — totaling 360,000 square feet — in the Boston area into state-of-the-art space for life science, a commercial real estate sector where there’s strong demand, particularly in the research-and-development hub of Cambridge.

The demise and downsizing of many retailers during the peak of the pandemic created vacant anchor spaces at some malls and other locations, and landlords and developers are finding new uses for those former stores. That ranges from HBC’s unusual tack in Boston, creating life-science space, to fitness clubs, supermarkets, apartments, healthcare facilities, offices and even industrial use.

HBC’s proposed multiphase redevelopment in Westfield includes: 

  • A 100,000 square feet of next-generation, flexible Class A office space through the adaptive reuse of the former Lord & Taylor building. 
  • A state-of-the-art mass timber building that offers 210,000 square feet of Class A office and amenities. 
  • A total of 27,000 square feet of street-level retail across the development. 
  • Some 154 apartments and townhouses targeted to 55-and-older residents. 
  • A total of 69 apartments catering to families and young professionals. 
  • Affordable housing units planned in accordance with housing requirements in both Westfield and the state of New Jersey. 
  • Two new parking garages for public use on North and South avenues that can accommodate over 450 vehicles. 
  • A landscaped Town Green and Town Square, north and south of the train station. 
  • Streetscape and sidewalk improvements, including the beautification of Quimby Street. 
  • A mobility hub connecting the north and south sides of the train station that will feature ride-hailing, bike stations, storage, and pickup/drop-off service locations.

The particular Lord & Taylor that HBC is repurposing was actually a stand-alone store, not a mall anchor. In addition to that site, HBC will incorporate several town-owned parcels in the proposed redevelopment. 

HBC claims its proposal will: reinvigorate Westfield’s downtown; repurpose underutilized buildings and properties; optimize parking; create new housing and commercial spaces; and improve pedestrian connectivity between residential neighborhoods and downtown. 

HBC is looking to create a site that will “complement the unique charm and character” of Westfield and serve as a model for suburban downtowns, Executive Chairman and CEO Richard Baker said in a statement. 

HBC had once been the owner of the Lord & Taylor department store chain, but Le Tote purchased the retailer from it for a reported $100 million in 2019. Le Tote filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020 during the height of the pandemic leading to the chain’s liquidation. Lord & Taylor’s demise and shuttering of its 38 stores left a vastamount of space vacant in malls.

In Westfield, HBC and Streetworks Development — in concert with the DowntownWestfield Corp. — plan to collaborate with Dan Biederman, president of BiedermanRedevelopment Ventures, the experts behind New York’s Bryant Park, “to develop acomprehensive plan to strategically activate and program events and activities in publicspaces and gathering areas,” according to HBC.

The redevelopment is expected to generate several million dollars annually for Westfield,for a total of over $200 million in additional revenue over 30 years. The project will alsocreate over 2,900 jobs during construction, as well as 1,700 jobs when operational,according to HBC.

The plans for One Westfield Place are subject to approval by the Town Council, a processthat will take place in the coming months following the completion of public input. Tohelp educate residents about the project and solicit community feedback, HBC isopening a preview center located at 76 Elm St. in downtown Westfield.

HBC wholly owns Hudson’s Bay, the operating company for Hudson’s Bay’s brick-and-mortar stores, as well as SFA, the entity that operates Saks Fifth Avenue’s physicallocations, and O5, the operating company for Saks Off 5th stores.