With the recent change in administration and the emphasis on volunteering, it’s a great time to remind Westfield residents of the opportunity to be a part of the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC). The DWC, a New Jersey and nationally designated Main Street Community since 1993, is dedicated to promoting Downtown Westfield as a preferred destination. The DWC is committed to strengthening the downtown Special Improvement District as the center of community life and preserving the rich architectural legacy of the downtown area. The DWC utilizes the Main Street Four-Point Approach® methodology (Design, Economic Development, Organization and Promotions) for strengthening the local economy and protecting the historic buildings.
Downtown Westfield has many stakeholders with over 460 businesses and 220 properties within the Special Improvement District. While the funding is derived solely from the property owners, business owners, residents, shoppers, diners, and visitors benefit from the work of the DWC through the work of four committees:
DESIGN - Enhancing with Design
The Design Committee partners with building owners and tenants to improve their facades, through improvements to signage or awnings or to restore historic storefronts. Almost 200 facades have been improved utilizing the Design Committee’s design services and the DWC’s Facade Renovation Incentive Grant program.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Strengthening the Economic Base
The Economic Development Committee focuses its attention on attracting and retaining businesses and providing market and demographic data to prospective new businesses. The committee’s work includes the publication of literature about operating a business in Westfield and administration of surveys and studies on issues such as parking, shopper preferences and tenant mix in the district.
ORGANIZATION Sharing a Vision - Promoting Westfield as a preferred destination
DWC Staff: Sherry Cronin, Executive Director; Beth Brenner, Assistant Executive Director and Jamie Lemberg, Digital & Social Marketing. 2017 DWC Volunteer Board of Directors: Dominick Verdic, Chairman & Property Owner; Alan DeRose, Vice-President & Property Owner; Steve Silverman, Treasurer & Resident; Lisa Bertone, Secretary & Business Operator; Frank D. Isoldi, Business Operator; Shawn Hanna, Resident; Stephanie Walsh, Mayor’s Appointee; Jim Gildea, Town Administrator; and Sam Della Fera, Town Council Liaison.
PROMOTIONS Staging Popular Events
The DWC Promotions Committee is responsible for planning and implementing popular events such as the “Sweet Sounds Downtown” Jazz Festival; Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza; Sidewalk Sale Days; Girls’ Night Out; “Welcome Home to Westfield” holiday events; and Trick or Treat Downtown & Halloween Costume Contest. These events and activities bring thousands of people to shop, dine and enjoy downtown. The DWC staff produces professional publications and web-based information with a consistent branding strategy. The DWC plans, executes and promotes popular events in the downtown and markets Westfield as a preferred destination through many forms of media. The DWC also produces press releases, brochures, and an annual Destination Westfield Shopping and Dining Directory with an 80,000 copy and print distribution. WestfieldToday.com has been enhanced and is updated daily. The monthly e-newsletter, Westfield Today, is currently distributed to over 19,000 emails.
The DWC has a dedicated staff and many volunteers working to enhance the downtown Special Improvement District. All meetings are open to the public and published on the website www.WestfieldToday.com. The DWC office is located at 105 Elm Street, Lower Level. Each committee has regularly scheduled meetings and occasional ad-hoc meetings.