Economic Development

Economic Development and investment are bustling in Fanwood….

Downtown Revelopment
Commercial Corridor
Business Retention and Attraction

Economic Development Liaison: Elizabeth Jeffery, lizjeffery@verizon.net

Downtown Redevelopment Area – Block 64

Station Square, Lots 17 thru 20

Station Square at Fanwood LLC was designated developer on March 20, 2016 for the construction of a residential project on the property located at the corner of La Grande Ave and Second Street. The project entails 28 market rate rental units and 7 affordable housing rental units for a total of 35 residential units. There are 14 two bedroom units and 14 three bedroom units in the market rate buildings and there are 2 one bedroom flats and 5 two bedroom units in the Affordable building. Site Plan approval was received on August 31, 2016. Construction is expected to commence in spring 2017.

Fanwood Crossing- Lots 4, 5, 6

Fanwood Pharmacy and Kessler Rehabilitation center and Joli Visage are open in Fanwood Crossing.

Elite continues to seek retail tenants particularly restaurants and other eateries for their vacant South Avenue retail space.

Ponzio Tract, Lot 22

On April 27, Jobar Realty Company, Inc. received site plan approval for construction of a three unit residential building with 2,900 sq ft. of commercial space on the first floor at 35 Second Street. The existing structure has been demolished. The draft Redevelopment Agreement is finalized. Building Permits have been filed. Construction is expected to commence in spring 2017. 

Frank’s Auto Body

Franks Auto Body received site plan approval on July 27, 2016. The improvements include a 945 sf one story addition for the creation of a new third bay for auto repair. The site work includes redesign of the parking area and the elimination of the two driveways closest to the corner of Martine and La Grande Aves. It also includes a small landscaped area at the corner and a 5 foot sidewalk along La Grande Ave. Frank’s will also be providing an easement to the Borough at the rear of the property to allow for completion and enhancement of the pedestrian connection from La Grande Ave to the Borough parking area. On July 1, Rocko’s opened in the Double Dipper space.

Martine Ave

Retail: The Corner Store space has been newly leased to The Fanwood Grille. The Grille is expected to be open in January.

Public Plaza Expansion

The Borough has begun to advance the planning for an expansion of the plaza area next to Mara’s. The project will include the expansion of the current paver area to continue behind all of the Martine Ave stores and connect to La Grande Ave.  The project will essentially create one long public plaza along the westerly side of the Borough parking area. The Borough approved a contract with Najarian Associates to design, bid and oversee the project. Construction plans are in progress. The project will begin this spring.

Commercial Corridor

A significant portion of the Commercial Corridor has been declared an Area in Need of Rehabilitation. This will enhance the Borough’s efforts to garner investment and encourage improvements to the properties located in the CCD.

264-268 South Ave (China Moon Strip Mall)

The new building facade comprised of hearty plank and brick has been completed. A sidewalk cafe space in the front of China Moon and Ginger Sushi will also be created.

200 South Ave.

Sheelen’s Crossing Pub & Bistro is fully staffed and open. 

105 South Ave. Block 55, Lot 12

Demolition of the former A&P building has been completed. The owners are developing plans for the site. Other developers have also expressed interest.

15 South Ave, Block 55, Lot 2

The former Sun Tavern site has been leased to Lightbridge Academy. Lightbridge Academy is a preschool and child care facility. Lightbridge received Site Plan approval on May 25, 2016 and has filed for building permits. Construction is expected to commence in early 2017. 

1 South Ave, Block 55, Lot 1

Young’s Paint has been contracted for sale to a developer- Empire properties. Empire plans to demolish the existing structure and building retail with housing above on this site. Empire Properties expects to submit site plans soon.

Business Retention and Attraction

There will be several forthcoming initiatives for Fanwood’s business retention and expansion program.

Strategic Plan – a fresh strategic plan is evolving for Fanwood. The strategic plan includes steps to improve the success of existing businesses, especially downtown retailers, through better Borough services to businesses, better marketing and local business public relations, and better overall communication. A newly created Business Liaison position, served by Liz Jeffery has served to reconnect and establish collaboration with and between the Fanwood businesses.

Quarterly Business Roundtables hosted by the Borough have also been a part of that new collaboration.

The next Business Roundtable will be held in March.

Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC)

Active coordination has been ongoing with the GWACC. The GWACC will hold two town wide events in Fanwood in 2017, Ladies night in June and Fan Jam in La Grande Park in July. They will also be hosting a Fanwood Speaker Series. The GWACC has established a Fanwood business Committee to work on Fanwood initiatives.

Enhanced Public relation and communications with Fanwood businesses will be ongoing.