Westfield City Councilor Joe Edwards honored with park naming at Lantern Commons Development


Westfield City Councilor Joe Edwards, a lifelong resident of the city, was honored Aug. 21 in a ceremony at the future Lantern Commons mixed-use development site at the intersection of 161st Street and Westfield Boulevard. The developer of the 60-acre project, Front Street Partners, announced the naming of the forthcoming park within Lantern Commons as Joe Edwards Plaza.

Family, colleagues and friends gathered for the surprise announcement, during which Edwards expressed his gratitude, stating, “I’m not sure I deserve this, but I am honored. My heart is in this city, and this is where I will die. I will always think of Westfield with great fondness.”

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From left, Mike Johns, Westfield City Council President. Joe Edwards, and his wife, Jo Ann Edwards. (Photo courtesy of the city of Westfield)

Edwards’s grandparents were once landowners of the property that is now occupied by Lantern Commons. Joe Edwards Plaza is slated to be a Pocket Park, covering up to 1.25 acres. Westfield Mayor-Elect Scott Willis, in conjunction with councilor Scott Frei, collaborated with developers to make the park a reality.

“This piece of land is more than just a public park,” City Council President Mike Johns stated. “As I think about the park, I don’t think of it as a gift to Joe. I think of it as a gift from Joe to future residents.”

Joe Edwards, a Republican, represents residents in Council District 3 but is not seeking reelection. He also served on the Westfield Town Council from 1980 until 1991.