The first half of a new resiliency park at Seventh and Jackson streets is now open to the public after Mayor Ravi Bhalla, former Mayor Dawn Zimmer, elected officials, and members of the public celebrated the grand opening on Saturday, June 29.
By incorporating green infrastructure and underground detention systems to capture more than 450,000 gallons of storm water runoff, the resiliency park is designed to help prevent flooding in the neighborhood.
It’s the second of three resiliency parks for western Hoboken, including the Southwest Park, which opened in 2017, and the Northwest Park, which will begin construction this fall.
The new park features playground equipment, one acre of open lawn space, seating, and a new field-house style gym with a basketball court.
The gym is temporarily closed because the contractor needs to complete striping of the basketball court, according to city spokesperson Vijay Chaudhuri, who said once the gym is open for regular use, hours of operation will be posted.
The first phase of the park had to be constructed as part of a 30-year PILOT agreement between the city and the developers of the 700 Jackson Street Development Project near the Monroe Center. It had to be completed before the building could receive its certificate of occupancy.
The agreement saves the developer approximately $118 million that it would have had to pay in standard property taxes.
“To think, we the community of the 3rd Ward fought from the potential relocation of the Municipal works garage to this site, to now seeing what we have accomplished by stopping that relocation and negotiating this beautiful park, gymnasium, and playground,” said Third Ward Councilman Michael Russo.
Rent and recreation
The 14-story rental building, called 7 Seventy House, is being developed by Bijou Properties and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation. It includes approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, an on-site parking garage, and 424 residential units, including 42 of affordable housing.
It’s scheduled to open this summer, featuring a fitness center, zen garden, pool, and children’s playroom for residents.
For members of the public, the second phase of the park will begin construction by the end of the year. It will include a one-acre public plaza, which will feature step seating with a tilted lawn panel for passive use; a play sculpture; and a plaza designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets in front of the property.
The park will also offer a shade structure, which will be transferred from the Northwest Popup Park when construction begins on the permanent Northwest Park this fall.
According to a press release from the city, the city is committed to acquiring, building out, and upgrading more than nine acres of open space and parks, including the five-acre Northwest Park, one-acre Southwest Park expansion at Block 10, the new 7th and Jackson Park, and the recently renovated Madison Street Park.