The City of Westfield today announced that construction will commence on this week on a public improvement project at the vacant parcel at 56-88 Elm Street to more effectively host community events and improve access to public parking to better serve the Downtown area. The project, funded through the City’s APRA allocation, will at times limit access to the 1.6-acre parcel which currently serves as municipal parking.
The City has contracted with Jack Goncalves & Sons, Inc. of Ludlow to construct the project, which will include a lawn panel and public stage for concerts and civic events and 94 parking spaces. The City envisions concerts, arts and cultural festivals, food trucks, beer gardens, movie nights, and other civic activities will utilize the long-vacant space, attracting additional economic activity to the neighborhood.
“For 36 years, the City has attempted no less than five times to attract mixed-use private development to the site without success,” Mayor McCabe said. “With the cooperation of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority and guided by the principles set forth in the Elm Street Urban Renewal Plan, I am pleased this critical property will be improved to better serve the needs of Westfield residents and downtown businesses,” he added.
The project construction will commence over the next week, and construction is expected to cause disruption to the Elm Street Gravel Lot at times through this Spring and early summer. The City, through the Office of Community Development, will provide updates as available throughout the project, which is anticipated to extend through July 2023.
“This exciting project promises to bring significant improvement, both aesthetically and functionally, to our downtown,” Community Development Director and Parking Clerk Peter Miller said. “Certainly we are sensitive to the short-term challenges the project presents, and we are committed to providing as much information and notice as possible when limitations will be placed on our ability to use the Gravel Lot this summer,” he continued.
Alternative parking arrangements are available in municipal lots across downtown, including the Franklin Street Lot, Reader Lots accessed from Church Street and School Street, Central Street Lot, and Thomas Street Lot.
Individuals and businesses interested in receiving regular email updates on the project are requested to contact Peter Miller at (413) 572-6246 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the project information distribution list. Updates will also be distributed through the City of Westfield- Office of Community Development Facebook page.