DWC Briefed on Upcoming Events and Promotions.
A look at issues in the downtown agency.
This week's Downtown Westfield Corporation board meeting included about changes to current businesses, new businesses and promotions past and present.
These included grant proposals for several downtown establishments, evaluation of Restaurant Week, planning for this summer's 5k Pizza Race and discussions of stores that are scheduled to open in downtown Westfield.
The DWC voted on two proposed grants for changes to downtown establishments. The first was for Turning Point, a national breakfast and lunch spot. This establishment will be moving into the spot which was previously occupied by Bombay on Central Avenue, and which has been empty for nearly two and a half years. The Turning Point has five other stores in New Jersey and has been the focus of buzz in the downtown community over the last few months.
DWC Executive Director Sherry Cronin expressed confidence that this establishment would bring traffic to Westfield. She thinks it will be a destination store much like Trader Joe's and Lord and Taylor. Changes include a façade renovation, moving the doors to a different location, and installing accordion style windows. This store will receive a $500 grant to complete their proposed work.
The other grant proposal was for changes to Sole. Sole, an Italian shoe store, moved to the intersection of East Broad Street and Elm Street last fall and has been recognized as a local store occupying a visible downtown location. The story has been working to improve the outside of their storefront. It is a multi-phased plan which starts with putting in awnings and a vinyl sign. The Sole management plans to recover the awnings with a striped fabric that uses colors that are inside the store. This would have an effect of lighting up the storefront.
The grant that the DWC voted on was $1,000 to be put towards the awnings (but not the sign). Sole officials will most likely have to come apply for further grants to finish their proposed work.
The DWC then discussed promotions. Restaurant Week was deemed to be mostly a success by downtown officials, with participation numbers increasing and Cronin's office hearing positive feedback from restaurant owners. However, some businesses found the pricing difficult to abide by. This time around the DWC included a contest to win a gift card to the restaurant you were eating at and a $10 parking card.
The DWC continued their planning of the 5k Pizza Run. The agency havs recently received a platinum sponsorship of $10,000 from Trinitas Hospital. Registrations for the popular race have started to come in and Cronin briefed board members that marketing materials have been produced.
The downtown agency has received a poster signed by members of the Broadway show, The Addams Family. Charles Addams lived in Westfield and there is usually an event centered on him in October. However, since they have this poster there will now be a small event in April as well. Art students in Westfield schools have decorated the letters A-D-D-A-M-S. These letters are large and mobile and will be part of a ceremony on April 5th with the poster and a member of the cast of the show. The DWC also hopes to be able to display the letters at the train station in October.