SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield City Council has approved a special permit for the redevelopment of the Eastfield Mall, which is set to close for good this summer.
On Monday night, the Council approved a special permit for Onyx Springfield Crossing to redevelop the property at 1655 Boston Road. Onyx, which is based in Needham, plans to build a more contemporary retail and commercial development at the mall site.
Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman told 22News, “The redevelopment of the Eastfield Mall into a more modern setting is really going to be essential for the future economic vitality of the Boston Road corridor.”
The approval of the special permit to developer Onyx Partners gave the green light for the redevelopment process to continue. While looking forward to the future, Lederman says current tenants cannot be overlooked.
“What we want to see is that the City of Springfield, specifically the Department of Economic Development step up, not only with the technical assistance that is necessary but also with the financial support,” said Lederman.
Specifically, he’s calling for small business development grants. In the meantime, a couple of local corporations are offering assistance to the current tenants who have until July to find a new space. One of those corporations is Latino Economic Development Corporation (LatinoEDC).
Director Andrew Melendez told 22News, “This is a community, so if we’re displacing a community, this is a strong example state-wide of what do we do when we displace a downtown community, a mall, no matter what these are, families that are working hard to support their lives every single day.”
The Economic Development council has been onsite meeting with tenants to address their needs.
The special permit will be officially signed later this week, additional permits will be needed as the process moves forward.
The Eastfield Mall opened in the 1960s and was the first indoor shopping center in western Massachusetts.