Parking, Pedestrian Crossing Modifications In Store for Garden State Plaza
Westfield Garden State Plaza may next seek approvals from the Planning Board for additional modifications involving adding more parking and improving pedestrian crosswalks.
Westfield Garden State Plaza has just begun a $130 million project to remodel one of its parking decks and add 50,000 square feet of retail space and is now taking further steps towards additional modifications designed to mainly further improve pedestrian safety and parking.
Westfield representatives went before the Planning Board last week for a conceptual review of plans the global shopping center group may take next.
Parking and how it can further be improved was one of the main focuses of the review as Westfield is looking to bank and reserve areas for future parking spaces.
Currently there are 10,504 parking spaces. The parking garage next to Nieman Marcus is currently being reconstructed into a five-level state of the art deck with park assist technology adding 200 more spaces, according to Lisa Hermann, senior director of marketing.
Project engineer William Page presented a plan to add a traffic signal at the pedestrian walkway near the Lord & Taylor which was met with some reserve by some planning board members concerned the light could cause additional traffic as cars would likely be backed up by the light. Page explained this would not be the case as the signal would be synced to work with other traffic signals to keep the flow of vehicles moving.
Planning Board members suggested Westfield consider adding pedestrian bridge at some point in the future to further ensure safety.
Steve Roche, the general manager of Westfield, spoke briefly about an additional 16,474 square feet of retail space they may propose in a future application in order to meet the needs of current tenants who are looking to expand further.
Like the existing 50,000 square feet of retail Westfield is currently adding as part of the current project, this additional proposed space would also be done within the mall's existing footprint.
The project currently under construction was approved by the Planning Board back in 2009. The new parking deck is expected to be completed by November of this year. It's expected that stores in the new addition would open sometime in 2014, according to Hermann.