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Westfield moves historic building, clears way for downtown revitalization

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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 10, 2024

WESTFIELD — Westfield's oldest building now has a new address after crews lifted it up and moved it down the street.

The 187-year-old building, affectionately called the Green Building for its color, was hauled away from the corner of Main and Union streets on Wednesday.

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It will temporarily remain on the adjoining lot but will eventually move beside the Westfield Playhouse and Westfield City Hall. State Road 32 will expand over its former footprint.

Crews planned to move the building Tuesday, but it was pushed back due to weather.

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Westfield mayor Scott Willis said the move represents a new chapter for the city's historic downtown.

"Change is inevitable. You either grow or you're stagnant and you die," Willis said. "Westfield's downtown has been going in the wrong direction."

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The building relocation and road expansion is happening while the Union Square development, which features a six-story apartment building and a parking garage, is already under construction.

Bryan Kercheval owns Jan's Village Pizza, which is located next to where the Green Building stood. He's excited for the progress but worries some businesses downtown will not survive the construction.

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"We're all trying to do as much as we can to let people know we're open," Kercheval said. "If we have to leave downtown Westfield, does it make sense? Where will we go next? For now, we're staying the course, absolutely."

Willis said Westfield plans to support the business owners through this tough time.

"We actually have a meeting scheduled later this month to collaborate on how we can help them," Willis said. "For the next year and a half, this is going to be a difficult area to get through."

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Willis is confident the new downtown plans and the new home for the Green Building will be worth it for Westfield's future.

"The generations coming out of college right now are not looking for large yards and sprawl," Willis said. "They're looking for walkability and destinations. We're going to create that here in downtown."