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Hoboken opens new gym

City expands recreation basketball

Mayor Ravi Bhalla cut the ribbon on the city's second gym on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla, elected officials, and members of the Hoboken community celebrated the official grand opening of a new field-house-style gym at Seventh and Jackson streets on Jan. 8.

The gym is part of the city’s newest resiliency park on Hoboken’s west side at Seventh and Jackson streets, which opened in June and includes an open field and children’s play structures.

The new 6,835-square-foot gym is now open for recreational basketball and other activities, according to the city.

This new facility is Hoboken’s second city-run gym; the first is the downtown Multi-Service Center. The city says it has has increased the number of children participating in recreation basketball by 16 percent, from 694 in 2019 to 832 participants in 2020.

According to a press release from the city, the new gym allows the city’s recreation department to add an additional division for girls in grades 5-8 with three extra teams, and expand the total number of teams in grades 3 and 4 from 20 to 28.

“I am incredibly thrilled Hoboken now has another state-of-the-art recreation facility with the opening of our newest gymnasium,” said Mayor Bhalla. “We are striving every day to improve our recreation programming for residents of all ages, and the new facility has already resulted in more children participating in basketball leagues than ever before. Taken together with the new resiliency park and open lawn right next door, we are making major quality of life investments in Western Hoboken for our residents. Thank you to the many community partners, and especially [former] Mayor Zimmer and Larry Bijou for helping make this occasion possible.”

While the recreation department will be using the gym for basketball programming, residents can access the facility during open hours.

Open gym times for adults are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m.

No reservation is necessary. The gym will be open on a first-come, first-serve basis. According to the city, additional gym time for children will be added in the coming weeks once the final schedule of programming is finalized for the winter.

“It’s incredible that we now have another indoor recreation facility in the City of Hoboken,” said Councilman Mike Russo who represents the 3rd Ward. “This gym provides space for city run programs as well as open gym space for our residents. What’s even more amazing is that it is right here in the 3rd Ward for everyone to enjoy.”

Developer give back

The park had to be constructed as part of a 30-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement between the city and Bijou Properties, developers of the 700 Jackson Street Development Project near the Monroe Center.

The agreement saved the developer approximately $118 million that it would have had to pay in standard property taxes.

The 14-story development, 7 Seventy House at 770 Jackson St., is composed of 424 rental units and approximately 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

“Thank you to Mayor Bhalla and his team for moving this important project to completion,” said former Mayor Zimmer. “I’m extremely proud of my administration’s role in ensuring that new development projects include significant neighborhood benefits. This gymnasium will provide much-needed play space for important community groups like the Jubilee Center as well as for Hobokenites of all ages.”

“The public gymnasium and basketball court are much-needed community amenities, and we’re excited for the official opening of these world-class facilities,” said Managing Partner of Bijou Properties Larry Bijou. “As a Hoboken-based company, we take a civic-minded approach to every development project. This means working closely with the city and local community to ensure its needs are met. That was certainly the case at the award-winning 7 Seventy House, and the end result was this state-of-the-art, 6,835 square-foot gym, as well as the accompanying two-acre resiliency park.”

The park includes underground flood infrastructure to withhold up to 450,000 gallons of rainwater, which is expected to help minimize flooding in the area.

Later this year, as part of the agreement with the city, the developers will open the second phase of the city’s open space plan, a one-acre public plaza with step seating and tilted lawn panel, play sculpture, and room to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets.

To rent the gym, email recreation@hobokennj.gov.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.


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