An agreement has been reached that should bring a new park to a large parcel next to the Brennan Courthouse.
Late last week, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop announced that a three-acre public park will eventually be constructed at 595 Newark Avenue as part of the upcoming Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex. Plans for the new courthouse were drawn up by New York City-based Rafael Viñoly Architects and the building will rise at several Newark Avenue properties that were cleared late last year.
The new facility will replace the aging Hudson County Administration Building, which sits at the corner of Newark and Central avenues. Jersey City envisioned a park at the site under their Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan, but Hudson County owns the land and some officials had suggested the cost of the courthouse project could be offset by selling the parcel for residential development.
That option is off the table under the announced deal, as the county will turn over control of 595 Newark Avenue to Jersey City. The city will then pay for the demolition and removal of the existing structure and be responsible for building the park, a process that will commence once the new courthouse facility is completed.
“Our partnership will create a beautiful new public park for residents to enjoy as the new courthouse complex serves as a catalyst for the revitalization of Journal Square,” Tom DeGise said in a statement.
The deal regarding the new greenspace is thanks is part to the Courthouse Park Advocacy Group, a grassroots organization made up of residents of the Hilltop and Journal Square communities. The group’s founder, Laura Moss, is thankful the city and county listened to the needs to the community and found a way to work together.
“We are thrilled to see our dream of a new public park being created in the heart of Ward C become a reality,” Moss says. “This is a once in a generation opportunity and we look forward to continuing our support of this venture to create a world class green space for all residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Mayor Fulop seemed to acknowledge in a tweet that building the park could take some time, but heralded the fact that the city’s historic center will finally be getting a proper park to serve the neighborhood.
“We focus not only what we want Jersey City to be today and tomorrow, but we try very hard to execute on a vision for what the city will be in 5-10 years down the road,” Fulop stated. “This park will be a tremendous addition to Journal Square.”
The future park will be surrounded by roads that are currently being realigned for better traffic flow. As part of the new courthouse project, Central Avenue will be extended through Hoboken Avenue and re-connected with Newark Avenue, intersecting near the property that will be home to the new park.
The new judicial complex being built along Newark Avenue will house 24 courtrooms, jury assembly spaces, various county offices, and the Sheriff’s Department. Construction of the facility is expected to begin towards the end of 2020 and take about two years, so Jersey City can likely look forward to starting the process of demolishing the Administration Building and creating the park sometime in 2023.