Westfield City Council to consider fund transfer for downtown development


An ordinance that would move $12.9 million of unencumbered funds from the City of Westfield general fund to the infrastructure improvement fund was introduced for a first reading and public hearing before the city council June 24.

Director of Economic Development Jenelle Fairman explained the intention of the transfer to city leaders. The funds will be used toward several multi-million-dollar development plans for downtown Westfield, including the ‘Quaint Core’ — the block bordered by Park, Jersey, Poplar and Mill streets — and Park & Poplar — the area where the Midland Trace Trail borders Park and Poplar streets.

“We are aiming to preserve the character that we have on this central block, then also provide development along Jersey Street and additional development along Park Street,” Fairman said. “As we all know, there is a lack of parking in downtown, and we are focused on the redevelopment commission on developing more parking. On a short-term standpoint, we are working on the acquisition, demolition and grading for some temporary parking that will be located on a couple of surface lots on Park Street and the Midland Trace Trail. We’ll be working on a longer timeline on some parking garages located in that north block along Jersey Street and also south of the Midland Trace Trail.”

Fairman said initial plans for Park & Poplar include a 550-space parking garage, up to 60,000 square feet of office and commercial space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, a boutique hotel and 250 family units

On Jersey Street, planning is underway for mixed-used development — currently in the concept phase — including a 525-space parking garage, 36,000 square feet of commercial and office space, 50,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 172 family unit dwellings and a pedestrian plaza.

Fairman said the transfer will ultimately put money into the hands of the Downtown Westfield Community Development Corp. for those projects. Formed in 2024, the DWCDC is a nonprofit organization that supports strategic projects that promote the development of downtown Westfield.

No comments were made during the public hearing.

The ordinance will return to council this month for adoption.

Councilors also approved a resolution for a grant agreement June 24 to allow a one-time grant of $5.8 million to the DWCDC to provide financial assistance for construction, rehabilitation and/or repair of commercial property related to those projects.