A rendering of 333 Central Ave. in Westfield, a project being developed by The Hampshire Cos. and Claremont Cos., with Circle Squared Alternative Investments serving as project investment adviser. — Courtesy: Marchetto Higgins Stieve
By Joshua Burd
The developers of the first modern, transit-oriented multifamily project in Westfield say they’re on track to open the doors of the 70-unit building by this spring.
For the joint venture behind the luxury rental community, there’s no overstating the anticipation for delivering a project in one of the state’s most well-known, well-established downtowns.
“It’s a pristine location, and they’re very adamant about the quality of projects that they let into their town,” said Jeff Sica, president and chief investment officer of Circle Squared Alternative Investments. “So we think they’re going to be very proud of this one, and we’re happy to be part of it.”
Sica’s Morristown-based firm is a project investment adviser for 333 Central Ave., which is being developed by The Hampshire Cos. and Claremont Cos. The team is approaching the final stages of construction and has launched a full-fledged marketing effort for the four-story, 126,340-square-foot community of one- and two-bedroom units.
Move-ins could come as soon as late April or early May, the developers said.
Located two blocks from the town’s NJ Transit station, the project is the first of its kind in Westfield, a popular town of a little more than 30,000. It’s also a rare opportunity in New Jersey: In recent years, developers have increasingly sought to identify opportunities in emerging downtowns, but Westfield’s main business district is already well-established with its restaurants and a wealth of national and local retailers.
That’s not lost on the development team.
“It embodies everything that today’s renters are looking for with easy access to mass transit and Westfield’s vibrant downtown, which offers the convenience of great dining and retail options just a short walk from their doorstep,” said Norman Feinstein, vice chairman of The Hampshire Cos. “333 Central Avenue preserves the character that makes Westfield such a special place to live while drawing from its vibrant culture to create a community that complements all that Westfield has to offer.
“We’ve received a lot of interest in this project and are looking forward to bringing it to market.”
Feinstein said the high barrier to entry in Westfield only adds to the appeal of the project, noting that local officials were “extremely cooperative and receptive (to the developers’ plans) and they’ve been great partners to work with.”
Sica said the project has drawn interest from the firm’s own clients. They include prospective renters who may be looking to sell their homes but want to stay in the community, which could make up a large swath of the tenant base alongside young commuters.
“One of the reasons we went in is that it’s the most underserved community of its kind in the state of New Jersey,” Sica said. “And you still have such a strategically put-together town center. This is for people who want to be near something, want to be close to transit and want to have the ability to not always have to drive somewhere.”
Plans for the project, designed by Marchetto Higgins Stieve, also call for structured parking, a lounge and fitness facilities.