Jersey City’s Next Green Oasis: Preliminary Plans for Courthouse Park Revealed

595 Newark Avenue Journal Square Jersey City
The Administration Building at 595 Newark Avenue will be torn down and turned into public greenspace. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

An effort that will finally bring a large-scale park to the Journal Square neighborhood will be revving up this year as Jersey City is hoping to finalize plans for a new greenspace in the summer months.

City officials recently held a community meeting to reveal plans for what will become Courthouse Park. The endeavor dates to 2019 when Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced that a 3.4-acre public park would eventually be constructed at 595 Newark Avenue.

Courthouse Park Journal Square 2
Rendering of the planned Courthouse Park. Image courtesy of SWA Group.

The land is currently home to the aging Hudson County Administration Building, which will be rendered obsolete as part of the upcoming Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex. That $345 million project is in the final phases of construction and will see a new facility built for courthouse matters across the street.

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Site plan. Image courtesy of SWA Group.

When that project wraps up, the county will turn over control of 595 Newark Avenue to Jersey City, who will then pay for the demolition and removal of the existing structure. The city will be responsible for building the park, but the county will be responsible for the park’s daily upkeep under the agreement.

The proposed park, which will occupy land next to the historic Brennan Courthouse, will displace court workers who utilize the current surface parking lot into new garage in the Guarini complex. The county could still utilize the garage that currently exists underneath the park even with the greenspace, according to officials.

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Image courtesy of SWA Group.

The plan presented at the meeting was designed by Dallas-based SWA Group. It envisions re-imaging the existing powerhouse at the property into a café space complete with restrooms while creating a series of walking paths throughout the property.

The amenities scattered throughout the proposed Courthouse Park include an outdoor gym, a children’s play area, a dog run, and a picnic forest. The space can easily be converted into a winter market, ice skating space, farmer’s market, or food festival to serve the needs of the community.

The deal regarding the new greenspace is thanks in part to the Courthouse Park Advocacy Group, a grassroots organization made up of residents of the Hilltop and Journal Square communities. Jersey City officials say they have earmarked almost $15 million in capital bond proceeds for the project.

Residents are invited to complete a survey about what they want to see at the park over the coming month. The next meeting regarding the project will be a “community workshop” and will be held sometime in June.

Jersey City’s estimated timeline for the project calls for finalizing plans for the park by July 2024, with the potential demolition of the Administration Building to take place the following year.


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