Many ongoing projects have taken place on the Avenue to improve infrastructure and aesthetics, including creating a 400-seat ampitheatre, building small pocket parks, and improving store facades and local roadways.
The renovations began around 2005, and have since given way to new interest in the Park Avenue area.
Starting with the local scenery, the Weehawken and Union City town councils invested in beautifying Park Avenue's public space with green lawn, shrubbery, and plant life.
According to Union City Commissioner of Public Affairs Lucio Fernandez, a thorough campaign to improve the quality of life in Union City is already underway.
To create a "small town feel," Union City built War Memorial Plaza, a park on 46th and Park Avenue, which was dedicated last Memorial Day to the veterans of foreign wars.
In addition to over 60 new trees and newly paved sidewalks along Park Avenue, Union City is creating a 400-seat outdoor ampitheatre on the corner of 39st Street and Park Avenue, scheduled to open next spring.
The theatre will be funded by Green Acres, a grant program funding parks and recreational facilities.
The theatre will have full dressing rooms, modern lighting systems, and in accordance to ADA codes, an elevator. And for extended winter use, the audience's seats are even heated. "Our hope is to make the theatre available to local students and to the local theatre groups as well," Fernandez said.
In addition, Weehawken has thoroughly renovated Water Tower Park Plaza with a $500,000 grant from the State of New Jersey and the adjacent Garden Park with a $350,000 grant from Green Acres.
"We live in one of the densest counties in the nation," Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said. "People want open space."
According to Turner, the new parks are the first non-recreational parks opened in Weehawken in 40 years.
With all the new work Fernandez said, "Park Avenue is really turning into a park."
Karl Halligan, owner of Park Avenue Bar and Grill at 3417 Park Ave. in Union City, has seen improvements on Park Avenue in the last two or three years.
"Development on both sides of the Avenue has certainly brought a better image than was perceived before," Halligan said, "even the street lighting with the winter months coming helps, and the redoing of the pavement."
With close to 45,000 customers passing through the establishment each year, Halligan appreciates the renovations.
"Customers see that it's not a dilapidated area, but a very modern and renovated city" he said.
Talking to his customers, Halligan knows the renovations are bringing in business.
"I've heard nothing but positive remarks from customers," Halligan said, "who are pleased that the towns are making Park Avenue a priority."
For more information on the renovations please visit the town's websites: www.weehawken-nj.us; www.ucnj.com; or, spend a day in one of the newly renovated Park Avenue parks.