WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Folks in Westfield Wednesday night had a chance to learn what's in store for an eyesore in the downtown.
Mayor Dan Knapik said the topic of what to do with the site, which used to be home to the five and dime store J.J. Newberry's, has been talked about and shelved many times over the last several years, and he's excited for the project to finally move forward.
Wednesday night Westfield City Advancement Officer Jeff Daley talked about timelines for the project and the progress they've made over the past 8 months.
The HDR consultants were presented the results of a redevelopment study and talked about some different scenarios for what could go up on this key lot of land in Westfield's downtown.
Town leaders want to turn the old J.J. Newberry's site on Elm Street into a commercial development with a PVTA project and a parking garage.
They'd like to model the retail component after something like Thorne's in Northampton, with a marketplace and restaurants, and office space and housing.
Mayor Dan Knapik told 22News, "It's time. Elm Street sees 30-35 thousand car trips a day and it's still the heart of any community. Any community that's successful has a connection to their downtown. The citizens of Westfield deserve a top notch project and that's what we're going to do."
Knapik admitted the project is going to take some time, but before they can take advantage of grant money they need to have viable plans in place.
Alisa Arroyo of Westfield told 22news she's proud of how far the downtown has come, and she looks forward to more improvements. "Something that helps revitalize Westfield because it looks beautiful as it is, the new downtown, the rotary looks great; anything that brings more business to Westfield and a lot of foot traffic."
The meeting started at 6:30 Wednesday night at South Middle School and was open to the public to ask questions.