A proposal that would have paved the way for a Goodwill store in the Bridgewater Marketplace development has been withdrawn.
KRG Bridgewater LLC, a subsidiary of Kite Realty Group Trust, had submitted the request as part of a plan to redesign part of the shopping center on the northwest corner of 146th Street and Gray Road.
The plan included constructing a 14,200-square-foot building north of the existing Walgreens along Gray Road and remodeling the multi-tenant building west of Market Center Drive to accommodate a 14,600-square-foot Goodwill store.
Discount stores like Goodwill are allowed under the existing zoning, but the footprint is limited to 10,000 square feet.
The proposed Goodwill would have taken about 50 percent to 60 percent of the space in the building. A donation drop-off area and truck dock would have been added to the north side of the structure.
Some of the existing tenants, such as the Local Eatery & Pub, would have been relocated to the new building closer to Gray Road. Los Toros, Classic Cleaners and The Original Pancake House would have remained, according to site plans submitted to the city.
During a presentation given to residents in December, Kite representatives said the development has struggled with vacancies because the majority of the space is not prominently on the corner of 146th Street and Gray Road, and the retail center lacks an anchor tenant.
According to Kite’s second-quarter report, less than 43 percent of the space is leased.
Mark Jenkins, vice president of development for Kite Realty, told residents that the company had a similar issue at the Geist Pavilion shopping center at 116th Street and Olio Road, but leasing activity increased after a Goodwill opened there.
Six residents spoke against the request at the public hearing in December, citing concerns of higher traffic and desire for smaller shops, as initially planned.
Several residents also questioned why Goodwill would need to open a store at that location when it has stores nearby, like the one at 151st Street and Greyhound Pass and State Road 32 and Carey Road.
Jenkins said at the December meeting that Bridgewater Marketplace serves a different trade area, so they expect the Goodwill store to be successful.
The Goodwill store would have created 23 to 28 jobs.
The proposal had been pending before the Westfield Plan Commission since the public hearing in December, but is listed as withdrawn on the agenda for Monday night’s meeting.
Representatives for Kite and the city of Westfield did not immediately respond to IBJ’s questions on why the request has been withdrawn.