More than a dozen cleanup activities by the Journal Square Restoration Corporation are under way this spring, including the placement of new flowers and landscaping, gum removal, and 25 new litter containers.
And of course, the cleanup efforts are only a way to present the square's assets in the best possible light. The real substance of Journal Square has long been its vital commercial and cultural life.
The traditional turning on of the Plaza Fountain is right around the corner, along with weekly musical entertainment - Wednesdays starting May 1 - and the annual Farmers Market in the Square - Wednesdays starting July 1.
With a major transportation center, Hudson County Community College, and many businesses and residences, more than 55,000 people live and work in the Journal Square district. And more than a fair share of them have taken a personal interest in making sure the square strengthens its economic and cultural contributions to the city and throughout the region.
The Friends of the Loews is another such group, having spent years working to restore the Loews Jersey Theatre to its former splendor and programming film revivals and other cultural events.
The Magnolia Avenue and Journal Square West neighborhood associations also plan their own cleanup programs, along with cookouts and local service programs.
But the biggest news in Journal Square's revitalization is what watchers expect will be the first step in the redevelopment of nearly an entire block, from the Hotel on the Square down to the Transportation Center.
City officials report that the demolition of the buildings - brought about in part by the scrutiny of code officials concerned about the properties' deteriorating conditions - will open the way for a massive effort to breathe new life into the square.
Many choices still need to be made regarding the properties, but the immense potential of Journal Square is already apparent. With the nearly-completed construction of 12 stories of apartments and 21,000 square feet of retail space at the former site of the State Theater, and the new five-story Hudson County Culinary Institute, recent developments are proof that Journal Square will soon be able to put its best face forward as the heart of Jersey City.
For more information on Journal Square, visit www.thenewjournalsquare.com.