But that's what the mayor did this past Monday when he appeared before the council to encourage them to approve a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) for the construction of Berry Lane Park.
The resolution was approved by the City Council at Wednesday's meeting.
Berry Lane, located not far from the intersection of Communipaw Avenue and Garfield Avenue, is an undeveloped area that for years has been a longtime dumping ground for old tires and construction debris.
The Berry Lane Park project is outlined in the City of Jersey City Recreation Master Plan, the 150-page plan which as a whole looks at the city's 65 parks and open space areas. The plan was put together between February and October of last year by T&M Associates based in Middletown, N.J. as a preliminary draft. A final draft is expected to complete by late spring.
The project would be a new city park including a 14.7-acre citywide athletic complex with two baseball fields, a football field, and a soccer field, all synthetic turf; parking for 75 cars; and a restroom/concession building. The plan spells out an $8.1 million cost for the proposed park. This would make it one of the largest parks in the city.$8.1 million for park/complex
The approved resolution gives a license to the JCRA, an autonomous government agency, to enter onto the Berry Lane property and to allot $500,000 for the agency to employ the services of contractors and other professionals.
The JCRA has already sent out a request for proposal (RFP), an invitation for suppliers to submit proposal bidding on a specific product or service. The RFP went out to companies that specialize in landscape architecture and civil engineering.
Also, since Berry Lane is located in the Morris Canal Redevelopment Plan Area, members of the Morris Canal Coalition, which serves a watchdog over development of the area, along with other residents within the vicinity of the proposed park, will have input in the design of the park It is believed Healy is going full speed ahead with the Berry Lane Project to compensate for his decision last month to develop the city-owned 13.5 acre Reservoir 3 located off Summit Avenue as a passive park.
The city currently owns 5.6 acres that would be part of the Berry Lane project. The JCRA would be responsible for acquiring the rest of the land needed. Sidebar Downtown redevelopment plan may be amended
The City Council introduced an ordinance at its meeting that would change the Jersey Avenue Redevelopment Plan, which governs over Jersey Avenue from Tenth Street to Eighteenth Street in downtown Jersey City.
The change to the plan would break up the redevelopment area specified in the plan into three distinct areas with their own plans: the Jersey Avenue Tenth Street Redevelopment Plan, the Jersey Avenue Park Redevelopment Plan, and the Jersey Avenue Light Rail Redevelopment Plan.
The Jersey Avenue Tenth Street Redevelopment Plan includes Jersey Avenue north to south from 10th Street to 12th Street and west to east from Hoboken Avenue to Marin Boulevard.
The Jersey Avenue Park Redevelopment Plan runs from western portion of Hoboken Avenue to Jersey Avenue, and from 12th Street to a northern portion of Hoboken Avenue. And the Jersey Avenue Light Rail Redevelopment Plan extends from Jersey Avenue to Marin Boulevard and from Fourteenth Street to the Hoboken border.
Last week, the city of Hoboken announced its own redevelopment plan for the city's southern border with Jersey City (see www.hobokenreporter.com).
City Planner Bob Cotter said at the Monday caucus that the different plans would accommodate the various projects currently underway or to be built in the future, including "Van Leer Place North" and "Van Leer Place South." Both will be located on Hoboken Avenue in Jersey City and together they will total more than 900 condominium units and 446 parking spaces.
Those projects will also have 8,690 square feet of retail space, a 1-acre park, a walkway leading up Hoboken Avenue to the Heights, and a shorter walkway down to the NJ Transit Second Street Light Rail Station in Hoboken.
The projects will be built by Hoboken developers George Vallone and Danny Gans in the next five to six years, on two sections of the old Van Leer Chocolate factory property.
Site plans for those projects were approved last June by the Jersey City Planning Board and initial site work is slated for this spring. - RK Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at email@example.com