WESTFIELD, NJ — Hampered initially by the morning’s snow and equipment issues, crews began razing the Trader Joe’s building in Downtown Westfield around 3 p.m. Friday. Elm Street remains closed to pedestrians and traffic in front of the store.

Trader Joe’s has said that it intends to reopen at that location.

“This clears the way for a new and improved Trader Joe’s,” Downtown Westfield Executive Director Sherry Cronin said at the site.

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“It’s very sad to see Trader Joe’s being demolished. We want them to rebuild as soon as possible,” Cronin said. “Our downtown economy has already been affected by their temporary closing. Foot traffic has been dramatically affected. We will look forward to seeing their plans and construction of their new, improved store.”

Steve Freedman, the town of Westfield’s building inspector and construction official, said last week he expected that at least three quarters of the building that housed Trader Joe’s would need to be razed, “but it could be more.”

Just how much of the building will need to come down will be determined as it is demolished, he said.

TAP into Westfield will continue to update this story.