WESTFIELD, NJ — Gallery U Boutique, an art space and boutique on South Avenue in Downtown Westfield, will relocate at the end of the summer due to ongoing parking issues, Executive Director Robert Greco said.
Gallery U is an extension of Universal Institute, a rehabilitation facility that services adults with traumatic brain injuries. Clients from UI work in the gallery and live in the apartments above it.
“We’ve owned the entire building for five years and there’s been no accommodations made,” Greco said. “There’s no handicapped parking and it’s not accessible. We have to go out to move our cars every four hours.”
Gallery U employees have repeatedly tried to speak to town officials about the issue throughout the last five years, according to Greco. Following his announcement Wednesday, Mayor Shelley Brindle set up a meeting with Gallery U for Thursday afternoon, which Greco said is “a little too late.”
“Westfield has a terrible reputation in terms of parking and the people in the parking department,” Greco said. “We hear it repeatedly. I’m happy that the new mayor is making an effort and will hopefully make changes for whoever comes for the future.”
Gallery U moved to Westfield from Montclair in 2013. After the lease ends, the gallery will move back to Montclair and assist those employees in finding new housing, according to Greco.
“We’re moving the whole operation,” Greco said. “Everyone will stay with us.”