WESTFIELD- The Westfield Redevelopment Authority (WRA) Nov. 12 will begin reviewing the two bids it received from developers for the Elm Street Urban Renewal Project (URP) and set the schedule for deciding on a company.
Domus Inc. and Arch Communities LLC are the two companies that will be reviewed to be the developers for the project planned at the site of the J.J. Newberry’s Department Store building. Domus is based in Westfield while Arch is based in Needham,.
“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to review both of these proposals,” said Community Development Director Peter Miller.
He said that the WRA will go over what direction they will be taking in the next month and a half. They will need to assign two or three members of the board to be on a scoring committee that will evaluate the two developers for their predetermined criteria, using a point system.
In December, Miller will recommend a public interview of the two applicants and they will aim to pick one to head the project in January. The Elm Street development would take place on a 1.6 acre parcel of land in proximity to the PVTA station. Multiple proposals have been considered regarding what kind of building will be constructed on the parcel, the most notable one being of a mixed-used building that would include both residential and commercial units.
It was specified during the Sept. 4 WRA meeting that the project would not become section 8 housing. However, By rule, 25 percent of the livable units in the building have to be affordable by somebody making 100 percent of a median income.
The J.J. Newberry’s building was on that plot of land until 1986 when a fire destroyed much of the building beyond repair, forcing it to be demolished. It has remained vacant, being used as a municipal parking lot in the meantime.
The WRA members said in September that they are seeking proposals from developers with “a demonstrated expertise and track record in the development of multi-use buildings and complex real estate development projects in an urban environment.”