By: Richard L. Smith
The Honorable Mayor Steven M. Fulop joined Hudson County lawmakers and the Courthouse Park Advocacy Group to announce significant strides toward developing the three-acre Courthouse Park, the first large public park to be built in Journal Square, as part of the area's overall renaissance currently underway.
Jersey City Spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione to RLS Media that the move is a part of the City's commitment to incorporating community input throughout the design process, the first of several community meetings will be held in-person and online tonight at 7 p.m. inside the County Annex Building located at 567 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City.
According to Courthouse Park Advocacy Group, Jersey City's Journal Square neighborhood is one of the most underserved communities in Hudson County regarding accessible public green space.
"We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change that by working together as a community to build a new park."
As part of the Fulop Administration's broader efforts to significantly improve parks and public spaces citywide, Spokeswoman Wallace-Scalcione the City joined the community over the past five years to strongly advocate for the County-owned, a 3-acre lot along Newark Avenue to be preserved as an open park space for the public to enjoy, especially since there are no other parks in the surrounding area.
"We're not only working to improve Jersey City's parks system, but we're also taking it a step further by finding innovative ways to create new parks and preserve open space in the rapidly growing urban core of Jersey City," said Mayor Fulop.
"This much-needed Courthouse Park in the heart of Journal Square is another important piece to our broader efforts in reviving Journal Square, attracting residents, visitors, shoppers, and key investments, stimulating Jersey City's economy, and ultimately helping to maintain affordability and flat taxes."
Spokeswoman Wallace-Scalcione said from the preservation of the iconic Loew's Theatre to the upcoming Centre Pompidou at Jersey City, to the recently announced Museum of Jersey City History at Apple Tree House, to the expansion of Hudson County College alongside critical private development, under Mayor Fulop's leadership, Journal Square will soon serve as the heart of Jersey City once again for generations to come.
When work started on the Hudson County Justice Complex, the County planned to demolish and rebuild 595 Newark Avenue, the Administrative Services Building behind the historic County Courthouse.
Spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione noted that after years of negotiations between the Fulop Administration and Hudson County officials, plans are now progressing after an agreement was reached where the City handles the design and build-out for what will become a County park.
Earlier this year, Jersey City allocated $15 million to build the park, with community input incorporated throughout the process.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement new park infrastructure in one of the most densely-populated cities in the country. Through a community-centered process, we will be prioritizing the needs of the residents who live directly adjacent to the area and have not had easy access to a park for decades while also advancing a world-class design that is in alignment with our citywide goals of sustainability, resilience, transportation equity, innovation, and smart growth," concluded Barkha Patel, Director of Jersey City's Department of Infrastructure.
Spokeswoman Wallace-Scalcione said all community members are invited to attend tonight's meeting and provide their input on how Courthouse Park can benefit the surrounding neighborhood.
The meeting will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. inside the Hudson County Annex Building at 567 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City. The meeting is also available virtually by clicking here.