Shuttered Lord & Taylor targeted for Union County redevelopment

Westfield building could become 730K sf mixed-use property

Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Richard Baker and 609 North Avenue W in Westfield, NJ (Cornell, Google Maps)
Hudson’s Bay Company CEO Richard Baker and 609 North Avenue W in Westfield, NJ (Cornell, Google Maps)

A closed Lord & Taylor in New Jersey could be tailor-made into a mixed-use development.

Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns the department store, presented a plan on Tuesday to the local council for the former Westfield retail location, reported. The project is being spearheaded by Streetworks Development, the real estate arm of HBC.

Plans call for a 730,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the Union County community. Titled One Westfield Place, the development would include 310,000 square feet of office space and 27,000 square feet of retail space.

On the residential side, there would be roughly 240 units, the vast majority of which would be for senior housing. There would be 69 market-rate units and 17 affordable units.

The project would also include two parking garages to house 450 vehicles, a landscaped town green and town square, plus improvements to the local train station. The proposal adheres to the highlights of the town’s 2019 master plan.

Lord & Taylor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2020, as the pandemic ravaged the retail sector. The Westfield store closed shortly thereafter.

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Residents will be able to get a better feel for the project next month when a preview center opens at the building, where renderings and staff will be available to address concerns.

Tuesday’s presentation was the start of a lengthy development process that could take years before the project takes shape. The public will have months to submit input about the project before the developer creates a plan with the town’s zoning and planning boards.

The process to gain approval for the project is expected to take two years.

Lord & Taylor buildings are being repurposed across the country, or demolished to make way for something new. In Florida, New York-based Keystone-Florida Property Holding proposed a 1,900-unit development on parts of the 42-acre Galleria Fort Lauderdale. A former Lord & Taylor building would be torn down as part of the plan.

— Holden Walter-Warner