WESTFIELD, NJ — A groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday marked the beginning of work on Westfield’s first transit-oriented residential building at 333 Central Avenue, 1/10th of a mile from the Westfield train station. Westfield town officials joined the Hampshire companies along with JV partner Claremont Properties and project investment advisor Circle Squared Alternative Investments to mark the occasion.

The building will consist of 70 one- and two-bedroom units, with more than 120 parking spaces. Stephen Sciaretta, executive vice president of Claremont Construction Group, said he expected the project to be completed by the first quarter of 2017.

Mayor Andy Skibitsky spoke about the intersection of Central Avenue and South Avenue’s role as the “gateway into Westfield” and how the project will benefit all of Westfield:

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Norman Feinstein of The Hampshire Companies, an investment firm, agreed that the development will bring more people to Downtown Westfield’s stores and restaurants, improving the quality of life here.

“This will be a tremendous project. It’s going to be a beautiful residential building,” Feinstein said.

Architect Dean Marchetto of Marchetto Higins Stieve called the project  “an architect’s dream.” Here, he explained to those at the groundbreaking how the building is designed to fit in with Westfield’s existing architecture:

Jeffrey Sica, president and chair of Circle Squared Alternative Investments, spoke of the investors’ excitement about the project.

“What I’ve always known about Westfield is it’s the town everyone wanted to live in,” he said.

The site lies within the town’s “affordable housing, multi-family zone” and there will be nine affordable housing units among the 70 in the complex, which will fit the Council on Affordable Housing definitions ranging from “very low” to “moderate” in price range.

Units will range from 700 - 1,550-square-feet, with select units featuring a den and a private terrace, according to Claremont properties. Amenities that all renters will enjoy include hardwood floors throughout, 9’ ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and spacious walk-in closets.

Other amenities will include secure and covered parking, a lounge with a wet bar for entertaining, a state-of-the art gym with a yoga room, a roof top lounge and ample additional storage units located on each floor.