WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield Planning Board heard a proposal for a three-story mixed-use development on South Avenue at Westfield Avenue at its meeting Monday night.
“Circle Plaza of Westfield,” located near the traffic circle and across the street from the train station, would contain 30 apartments on the upper floors, with retail or commercial use on the first floor. It would include 13 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units and one one-bedroom unit. Five of the units would be "affordable," with the other 25 to be rented at market rate.
Sixty-two parking spaces (55 of which would be on the first floor, hidden under the building) would be included.
Much of the proposed design, including the total number of units and number of bedrooms in those units, is pre-determined as part of the town’s affordable housing settlement. The site, where a dry cleaning service once stood, is an “overlay” zone created as a result of that settlement that allows property owners to develop multi-family housing there.
Members of the planning board said that details about the building’s design offered by architect Roger Winkle Monday night were too sketchy for them to approve the project yet. Some of what is seen in the renderings provided to them (pictured above) is different from what is shown in the plans.
“What you’re seeing tonight is you see different concepts, different alternatives. We say, ‘what here would you like?’” the builder’s attorney, Phil Morin, told the planning board.
The planning board recommended that the builder sit down with the town’s site plan review committee and architectural review board, then come back to the planning board at its next meeting on Aug. 6 with more concrete plans.
Several members suggested looking around town for inspiration.
“It needs to look like our town and feel like our town, and right now it doesn’t,” Mayor Shelley Brindle, who sits on the planning board, said.