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What Would You Put in the Root Building?

The Westfield planning board has approved plans for a two-story residential and retail building.

Plans for a that will include ground-level retail space as well as seven apartments above the storefronts was approved at last week's meeting of the Westfield Planning Board.

The property, formerly home to  and five other businesses that were destroyed in a  in late January, has been owned by William Root since the late 1960s and the building will bear his name. 

The proposed building could allow for six retail shops or one large space depending on the needs of interested business owners. Sherry Cronin, executive director of the , explained that the minutes from the planning board meeting need to be approved and the appeal period –typically 45 days—needs to expire "before they can pull building permits to get started." That said, it's never too early to start thinking about what you'd like to see come to town. 

So, Patch wants to know, what businesses would you most like to see fill up the space on South Avenue West and Westfield Avenue? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments! 

Denis June 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Apple Store
nice lady June 13, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Upscale indoor laser tag/shooting range black light parties for teens . Perfect drop off; no parking needed other than employees for teen parties.
Telia June 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM
A go-go bar!
Rusty Cut June 14, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Love it..the town wants an upscale, fine drinking establishment (second to a whole foods) from this post. Too bad the old guard controlling the downtown would rather see people patronize Cranford than update the dining/drinking establishments in town.
Denis June 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Something fireproof
Rationally Speaking June 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM
was it an inside job?
Rationally Speaking June 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM
.....like ferraros?
Kathy June 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I would like to see something like the old Roots which would do better now that there is an open lunch for HS. Also, a good deli that is clean and not too expensive as many places in Westfield would probablly have a lot of traffic and I sure would patronize it.
Copacabana June 15, 2012 at 07:50 AM
why not just build a bar like Ferarro's did., serve drinks like a bar while skirting the town's liquor license make it three floors with a bar on each level,
joe jefferson June 20, 2012 at 01:29 PM
SOUND STATION!!!!
John Loconsolo June 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Best comment so far!
John Smith June 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Put Sound Station in there. I like the idea that Gwendelyn had. Sound Station along with a music lounge, recording studio, music lessons, Ect. we don't need another froyo place, pizza restaurant, mexican restaurant, clothing store, or up-scale food market (Trader Joes + Gillespie's). We have plenty of that. The downtown that used to be about 5 or so years ago was very appealing to teens and school kids. Now there isn't really anywhere that appeals (coming from people that i know). In the end it is ultimately the decision of the town council and i am sure they won't care and put in another duplicate store.
joe June 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM
the sound station doesnt appeal to kids hahahaha
joe June 20, 2012 at 04:48 PM
maybe when you were a kid.. but the sound station is definitely not appeal to kids. I think an Apple store would be a great idea. I also think that we need the jolley trolley back
Kaitlyn Anness June 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Joe, you'd be surprised how many kids still shopped and still WILL shop in Sound Station. Those kids are out there, especially when they figure out Sound Station wholeheartedly supports local music. From the high school band that practices in a basement to the local bands that play to large crowds on the weekend. It isn't about age, it's about an appreciation of music and everything it is about. I was someone that was very much raised in Sound Station, Bob and Liz fostered all of our musical tastes, and have introduced me to the most amazing things. It sickens me to see that the township isn't even going to try to make this affordable for the businesses that were there. Westfield sees dollar signs in the future with big business, but their planning is poor. Fostering small business is the secret weapon of any town.
Mr.Westfield June 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
the sound station was out of date and the store was old. Do you really think the majority of kids would go downtown because the soundstation is there.. lets be real. if we want to increase kids going downtown like we used to, there needs to be something that kids appreciate now adays, not 20 years ago. Kids can go online and get music, hence why music stores are doing so horribly globally. Some things that would bring kids from ages 10-25 downtown A local pub. College kids now go to Mollys in Clark. A unique sporting goods store, especially since soccer, lacrosse, golf and are so popular in Westfield Apple store Pet Store I would take any of those things over the sound station.. if it was profitable they would open up somewhere else
Kaitlyn Anness June 20, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I disagree, I don't think Westfield needs any more chain stores, especially any in that area. The parking situation is unrealistic, especially if they are going to put apartments there. I agree that we need a new bar, but I don't agree with pushing out small business owners for fancier stuff. Westfield is no longer a warm place to be for businesses. And you're right, Sound Station will open again. Because all of those kids that allegedly don't shop there anymore, helped raise almost $20,000 to make sure we have our local music shop back.
Mr.Westfield June 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
give me a break. honestly. sound station was frequented by a very small clique of people in westfield. lets not pretend that that place will attract kids coming downtown. I agree that it should be put somewhere but if we are asking what we want to come to westfield, I dont think anybody is jumping up and down for the sound station. we do not need chain stores but the sound station is not the answer. where in westfield can you get lacrosse, soccer and golf equipment? Parking is a different story. Its actually unbelievable that we have not put a parking deck in Westfield. It does not need to be mosterous and ugly, but it can be a good looking building with a place to park... westfield is a warm place for business.. not sure where your comments are coming from.
Mr.Westfield June 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
i agree with you joe.. you know what your talking about
westfieldfriend June 20, 2012 at 09:36 PM
A sports store is already going to be opening on South Ave next to the paint store where the old medical supply place used to be. I believe it's called Pegasus.
M June 21, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Mr.Westfield - I assume your name is a joke? You have no idea what Westfield really is if you think that the Sound Station is a bad idea. Lots of people are jumping up and down for the Sound Station, in fact. Please know your facts before ranting so inappropriately.
harry June 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM
@KA Yes, Westfield is gradually turning into an outdoor shopping mall complete with food court. Unfortunately the sad truth is the rental rates are prohibitively high for a small business to make a go of it. Giving the majority of residents what they want seems to be what is taking place. The are voting with dollars by shopping at these large chain stores and food franchaises. Most of the restaurants, I find, are not what I would term a good value. And it is understandible with the rents being so high. The transformation that has taken place in Westfield since I have lived here(15 yrs) is away from practical goods and services for the residents to this mall like business environment. Not what I agree with, but the forces in place have spoken.
What needs to be put there is a giant catapult to launch Sherry Cronin and the rest of the Westfield mafia crooks on the executive board (I crack up every time i see executive board...) into a giant field so they can splatter all over the place. They are what is wrong with Westfield. As for the Sound Station not appealing to kids. Any of you idiots that spew your garbage and hate have no clue what or who the Sound Station appeals to. Of course they appeal to kids. They appeal to everyone who loves music and the arts. They appeal to the local music crowd. They appeal to the main steam pop crowd. They appeal to the hip hop crowd. They appeal to the jazz crowd, the ska & punk crowd, the metal crowd, the rare and difficult underground music collector crowd, the I'm looking for something so different I need an EXPERT HONEST OPINION FOR SOMETHING KICK ASS TO LISTEN to crowd. So go back to iTunes and buy your generic crappy music and get off of this forum. Oh by the way. They appeal to the generic crappy music crowd too...... /endrant.
South Westfielder June 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
If you want to know why small stores cannot operate ask Norman Greco and his wife.
Su Zi June 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Sound Station WAS profitable and IS reopening, and you just sound like some computer nerd that likes sports & partying. Where the pets come in - who knows - maybe you have an affinity for snakes.
Mike P June 22, 2012 at 01:58 AM
If you don't think sound station appeals to the kids, sound station is like wu tang, its for the children. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go listen to some more Rod Stewart because you're just a stuffed shirt. Just because you do not appreciate good music and only listen to music in the form of 104.3 on your 5 minute ride home from the train station does not mean there isn't an appeal for a store that provides something infinitely better than your itunes recommended list. Sound Station is for people looking for more than the download, they're looking for culture, they're looking for a scene, they're looking for local concerts, and their looking for something that you can't possibly find anywhere else. There is a reason Sound Station survived more than one economic down turn and a less than favorable music market, and it saddens me that so many people cannot appreciate the contributions it has made to Westfield.
westfield101 June 22, 2012 at 03:20 PM
hipsters... relax over there. shouldnt you be occupying something?
westfield101 June 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
sound station = culture hahahaha.. great culture
westfield101 June 22, 2012 at 03:23 PM
its funny that you call them westfield mafia crooks. if you dont like what goes on in town, why do you live there?
jason June 22, 2012 at 05:52 PM
i totally agree. sound station may get some people going to it, but if it was so popular and profitable, why would they need to raise money to get a new building? Also dont hate on people because they get music on itunes. Thats what happens now adays whether you like it or not. What should go there is a good pub/bar.

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