North Bergen Plans to Build a New Community Center and Park

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North Bergen Community Center 1231 Jfk Boulevard
New community center and library, 1231 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen. Rendering via the Township of North Bergen.

North Bergen is moving forward on plans to build new spaces for both outdoor and indoor recreation. The Hudson County township is in the process of developing a new park and a community center in the downtown neighborhood near the Union City border.

A legal notice from Hudson County shows that the community center is being proposed for 1231 John F. Kennedy Boulevard at the southwest corner of 13th Street. Not only is the facility expected to include traditional community center amenities like fitness areas, classrooms, a basketball court, and a field, but there are also plans for a library branch and computer lab on the premises, according to the notice. The library inside the community center is expected to replace the nearby Kennedy Branch of the North Bergen Free Public Library, according to the township. Parking is expected to be provided on the grounds.

The site used to be home to a store called Kennedy Furniture until a massive fire destroyed the building in 2016. The municipal government of North Bergen bought the property last year and is looking to receive Green Acres funding from Trenton in connection with the plans for the community center.

Meanwhile, just a half-mile away, the township’s proposed park is slated to be built at 1811 Paterson Plank Road across the street from where the Wyndham Garden hotel is being constructed. The park is expected to include a “children’s spray area” along with playgrounds, a gazebo, and a parking lot with nine spaces, according to the notice.

The site, which sits on the western slope of the Palisades overlooking the Meadowlands, the suburbs, and the Watchung Mountains, used to contain the Paterson Plank Road Car Wash. Hudson County acquired the premises in 2015 for nearly $1.75 million and the former car wash was torn down less than two years later to make way for the park, which has been in the works for several years. A sign posted outside the property mentions that the project is receiving funding from the Hudson County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust. Bids for the construction of the new park were due last month to the township.

Both matters were scheduled to be heard during the Hudson County Planning Board’s meeting on February 19.

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