What Would You Put in Place of Talbots?

The sizable space at 217 North Ave. West is vacant. What would you like to see there?

Westfield, let's pretend you're at the drawing board and all ideas are on the table. In a modern take on town planning, each week we'll present a new vacant building and ask you to tell us what you think would be the best use of the space.

Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts people most to sleep.

If you had your way, what would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community?

In our first installment, let's look at the space that was previously occupied by Talbots, located at 217 North Ave. W. We've all seen the lonely spot and thought to ourselves, "I'd love it if somebody opened..." (This is where we need you to fill in the blank.)

So vote in our poll and tell us why you chose what you did in the comments.

John Loconsolo January 31, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Craft beer is not about getting inebriated. People that drink beer to get drunk can stick to any of the major label swill that is out there.
Ted January 31, 2012 at 07:21 PM
while it's fun to talk about what we'd like to see in that location, it would be great to see properties like that (and certain ones along South Ave near train station) redeveloped for mixed use, with retail on ground floor and office/residential on second and maybe third floors. this would add valuable foot traffic, boost ratables, improve the town's look -- esp. along south ave. -- and promote economic development.
harry February 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I am giving up the ghost on this one. I did not mean to offend you in anyway JL, in fact I think it is a good suggestion. The links you provided, while I have never been to those establishments,(I don't drink that much) strike me as fitting to the direction westfield has taken in the past decade or so. I guess I am in the minority, so it seems by the posts, that my preference would be to have a smaller, vested business, preferably family run, that might be around for a couple of generations. A craft brew pub certainly is something that westfield does not have presently and is a far better addition than another mexican restaurant. I don't know about you, but one craft brewed beer or ale certainly takes the edge off and I wouldn't drive home after one. Cheers!
John Loconsolo February 01, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Ron, no offense taken. Truth be told, I have not lived in Westfield for about 8 years at this point, but my parents still live there. Since I only live about 30 min north and work in nearby Linden, I do come to town often. So it would be nice to see Westfield get a nice brewpub to go out to when I do come visit my parents or get together with friends who still live in the area. I really think that the bank building on the corner of North Avenue and Elm Street (across from State Farm) would have been a perfect location for a brew pub type of place.
harry February 01, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Yes, JL, the bank would be perfect for a really great brew pub, I completely agree. It is mystifying to me how some properties in westfield(and others towns too), like the bank on elm and broad and the bank on north and elm(about 10 years it stood vacant until it was divided up), stay vacant for so long. It certainly detracts from the downtown to see such landmark type buildings stay empty year after year. The bank on elm and broad could be a showcase rather than eyesore. I don't pretend to know the economics of it all, but it certainly would be nice if the owners of the vacant building might open it up to the community to display art produced by our area school children or some other beneficial endeavor while waiting for tenant to rent the space.


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