Having won the American Main Street Award in 2004 and the American in Bloom award in 2010, the town of Westfield was one of the first communities to be selected into the Main Street New Jersey program.
With 25 municipalities participating in the program, the ultimate goal is to help municipalities improve their appearance, economy and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources.
“We’re all about leveraging local assets,” said Jef Buehler, State Coordinator of Main Street New Jersey.
“From 1190 to 2011, state officials say the Main Street New Jersey program has leveraged more than $1 billion in private investment, and an additional $228 million in public investment. Officials claim it has fostered the net creation of more than 8,000 full time jobs.”
Because of its commitment to community involvement and detail, Westfield is considered a model of downtown revitalization.
“In the past 11 years, there has been more than 80 million dollars privately invested in Westfield,” said Executive Director of Downtown Westfield Corporation Sherry Cronin.
“To operate a town successfully, you can’t make a one time investment,” she continued. “It takes a lot of effort all the time. You’ve got to be working with business owners, shops and restaurants to help them ... and at the same time, work with the property owners to keep up their investment and, of course, show a return on their investment.”
The Downtown Westfield Corporation is committed to the success of their business and property owners. Currently, there is over 1.4 million square feet of rental space in the downtown district. Over 52% of that space is occupied by retail, restaurants, cinema and hotel tenants. The remainder square footage is occupied by office/professional and residential tenants.
The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC) utilizes the Main Street Four Point Approach of: Methodology of Design, Economic Development, Organization and Promotion for strengthening the local economy and protection of the town’s historic buildings.
A preferred destination, Westfield and the Downtown Westfield Corporation are committed to strengthening the Downtown Special Improvement District as the center of community life while preserving the rich architectural legacy of the downtown area.
Residents and visitors are truly aware of its presence. Starting in the early morning with Sherry Cronin watering the flowers to friends and families wandering downtown for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack to all of the kids stopping by for a yogurt, cup of gelato or ice cream, a slice or two of pizza or simply a soft drink, the town of Westfield thrives on its residents and visitors, with a strong commitment to family and friends working together for the good of the entire community.
I say it all the time: “Welcome Home to Westfield!”
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