Hudson’s Bay Eyes Major Mixed-Use Makeover
The suburban New Jersey project would encompass office, retail and multifamily.
A shuttered Lord & Taylor building in Westfield, N.J., would be redeveloped along with several town-owned parcels as part of a proposed 731,000-square-foot mixed-use development with office, retail and housing space aimed at reinvigorating Westfield’s downtown.
Hudson’s Bay Co., the parent company of Lord & Taylor, and its real estate development arm, Streetworks Development, presented their One Westfield Place plan to the Westfield Town Council Tuesday night. The plan would be subject to Town Council approval, which could take several months.
The proposal includes:
- 100,000 square feet of flexible Class A office space through the adaptive reuse of the former Lord & Taylor building
- A mass timber building with 100,000 square feet of Class A office space and amenities;
- 27,000 square feet of street-level retail
- 154 apartments and townhomes for residents aged 55 and older
- 69 apartments for families and young professionals
- Affordable housing units in accordance with town and state requirements
- Two new public parking garages on North and South avenues to accommodate more than 450 vehicles
- Town Center and Town Square, developed north and south of the train station, that will be landscaped, green public spaces and designed to improve vehicular and pedestrian access
- Streetscape and sidewalk improvements
- Mobility hub connecting the north and south sides of the town’s train station to improve access to alternative modes of transportation including ride sharing, bike stations, storage and pickup/drop-off service locations
Working with town
HBC | Streetworks Development is the largest downtown property owner and taxpayer, according to Mayor Shelley Brindle. Brindle stated in a letter about the proposal that she had reached out to HBC as far back as 2018 when she first took office to address concerns over the shifting retail landscape. When the Lord & Taylor chain closed in 2020 following bankruptcy proceedings, the space was vacated and lent greater urgency to addressing the downtown’s challenges, Brindle wrote in the letter.
Over the past two years, Brindle said the developers pored over the town’s Master Plan Reexamination, which was approved in 2019, and met with residents, community groups, business and property owners to help guide their proposal. Brindle said the One Westfield Place plan would create a commercial hub; resolve long-standing traffic, parking and congestion challenges; provide engaged spaces for community gatherings, art and events; and provide new sources of commercial tax revenue. Calling it a historic opportunity for Westfield, Brindle said One Westfield Place could serve as a post-COVID Main Street community that prioritizes sustainability, walkability, inclusivity and affordability.
Carolina Simon, vice president of Development, HBC | Streetworks Development, said in a prepared statement they plan to continue working closely with the town and residents to ensure the development would support a vibrant downtown that strengthens the economy, is safe and walkable and addresses resident traffic, parking and congestion concerns. The team is opening a preview center at 76 Elm St. in Westfield to help educate residents about the scale and scope of the One Westfield Place proposal and get community feedback.
If approved, the project is expected to generate several million dollars per year to the town of Westfield totaling more than $200 million of additional revenue over 30 years. Those revenues would help stabilize taxes, fund public improvements and support other municipal priorities for the entire community, according to town estimates. The project would also create more than 2,900 jobs during construction and 1,700 jobs when operational.
Brindle said in her letter that a proposed PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement would be utilized to deliver the $200 million in incremental tax revenue over the next 30 years.