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After torrential downpours we weathered over the 4th of July weekend and this past week, the waters have finally receded and the sun has returned.
July 6 was the first day that passed without a Covid 19 death in NJ since the start of the pandemic; and on that day only 124 new cases were reported statewide. The two-shot vaccination regime continues to prove highly effective against the new variants, including Delta. And where vaccinated folks do turn up positive – the chances of serious illness, hospitalization, or death are remote.
Despite post pandemic supply chain issues, material shortages, and price spikes, businesses have readjusted their prices to reflect a normalization, all sectors have been posting positions available, and new projects to Westwood’s downtown are making slow, but steady, progress. While things may look status quo from the outside, businesses beyond the plate glass are in the process of changing, growing, and becoming.
New businesses by owners new to Westwood have opened in the past few months including Fitrition Juice Bar (119 Westwood Ave) and Mi Fior Latin Cafe (57 Kinderkamack Road). Existing Westwood business owners have opened second business ventures at Luxe XII Lifestyle (31 Westwood Ave) and Mexicana (425 Broadway), doubling down on their faith in the strength of Westwood's CBD.
We look forward to the openings of Moxie Salon (162 Westwood Ave) and Bourbon Street Beignet (301 Westwood Ave), to the relocation of one business formerly just beyond the bounds of the Central Business District on to a main corridor, and the pending renovation and expanded offerings of yet another Westwood business later this summer. Exciting things are happening.
The familiar façade of L&N Grand is still intact, but as the pictures below demonstrate, its interior transformation into 5 Dimes Brewery is well under way. The steel reinforcement is in place, rough floors, framing, and cement blockwork are installed. A permit has been pulled for façade work to begin and to prepare for the brewing vessels to be delivered. The owner is hoping to open in the late fall.
The NY Sports Club site on Jefferson Ave is reimagined into a mixed-use redevelopment. A smaller personal training facility will return to an expanded structure which will feature 28 apartments (including 5 affordable units, in furtherance of the Borough’s Affordable Housing obligation.) The site is just across the southern border of the Central Business District and features plenty of onsite parking. The residential use footsteps from our local restaurants and bars, retail and service uses offers the mutually supportive, functional symbiosis that land use planners are always seeking to achieve.
Owners of the "5 Corners Building," the single-story building with the blue awnings on the corner of Westwood Avenue and Kinderkamack, are currently in front of the Zoning Board seeking to add a second level. If approved, the mixed-use redevelopment will add six market rate and one affordable residential unit - again, counting towards the borough's "unmet need" obligation per the terms of our Fair Share Housing, court approved settlement.
The long vacant Jos. A Banks building is currently under contract for sale and is in the due diligence phase. No news yet as to what uses are planned for the site.
The projects in progress are consistent with a long and successful tradition of Westwood’s Master Planning.
They will add new ratable value and functional, desirable uses in a way that does not blow up the scale of our streetscape and the modest intensity that makes shopping, visiting, and dining in The Hub a uniquely walkable and vibrant experience!