WESTFIELD, NJ — Rebuilding of Westfield’s Trader Joe’s, which was mostly demolished in February after its roof collapsed in a winter storm, will likely begin at the end of next month, according to Alison Mochizuki, national director of public relations for Trader Joe’s.
“The landlord is slated to begin construction mid to late May of this year,” Mochizki told TAP into Westfield. “We intend to reopen in this location. Understanding the time it will take to reopen is a work-in-progress, as we determine what needs to be done. As soon as we have a realistic timeframe, we will share our plans.”
The absence of this anchor store continues to affect Downtown Westfield businesses negatively, according to Downtown Westfield Corporation Executive Director Sherry Cronin.
“Foot traffic has been measurably different since Trader Joe’s hasn’t been around,” Cronin said.
Westfield’s Trader Joe’s is more than a staple grocery store for locals — it attracts visitors to Downtown Westfeld from as far away as Staten Island and down the shore, especially because it is one of two Trader Joe’s in New Jersey that sells alcohol, Cronin explained. The other is in Princeton.
“You can just tell by the occupancy in the parking lots … A lot of the businesses he have told me that foot traffic is really down,” Cronin said. “We miss them and we can’t wait for them to get back.”
In the meantime, with the Westfield Trader Joe's closed, the Millburn Trader Joe's location has had significantly more customers, sometimes causing long lines and difficulty finding a parking space at the store.