On October 28, 2021, Jersey City, New Jersey‘s mayor, Steven M. Fulop joined the City Council, community members, and the Manhattan Building Company to cut the ribbon on a brand-new $2.5 million dollar public park filled with playgrounds, dog runs, greenery, artist works, and an amphitheater for community events.
The newly constructed Coles Park was part of the negotiation terms for the city and part of the overall Jersey Avenue Park Redevelopment Area, which also mandated that the park be completed at zero taxpayer expense.
The newly constructed 1.5-acre park, located on Coles Street between 16th and 18th Streets, has transformed vacant land located in the shadows of the Holland Tunnel where significant growth in residential and community development has been realized since Mayor Fulop took office. The tranquil greenspace was completely financed and constructed by local developer, Manhattan Building Company.
“This park is a testament to our commitment to expand open recreational space in all neighborhoods while moving development beyond the waterfront in a public/private partnership that simultaneously ensures the surrounding community benefits most,” said Mayor Fulop.
“We’re the first administration in decades to build brand new public schools and public parks at no cost to Jersey City residents. Coles Park offers more than outdoor recreational space; it includes flood mitigation, security features, over 70 tree plantings, and an amphitheater to foster community with free special events,” he added.
Coles Park includes four sections for passive use. The northwest section of the park contains an enclosed 5,000 square foot playground for varying age groups, complemented by a separate swing set play area. The northeastern section contains two separate dog runs, one for smaller dogs and one for large dogs. The park’s southeast corner consists of open green space, featuring two mature Jersey Red Oak Trees, wildflowers, sculpture artworks, and decorative lighting.
Phase II of the park project includes the completion of an oval, three-tiered amphitheater for local concerts and community events in the southwest section. The theater is designed with pervious pavers over a thick layer of clean stone to add storage volume and reduce storm runoff. Once the park is complete, Jersey City will assume park ownership for perpetuity.
The intersection and entire park have been elevated up to six feet to reach above flood elevation. The park is also designed with a bio basin to promote filtration back into the groundwater. Additionally, the entire park is crisscrossed with underdrains encapsulated in clean gravel to eliminate runoff.
“We are proud to formally announce the completion of Coles Park. This park is exactly what the residents of the neighborhood need and deserve,” Manhattan Building Company President Sandy Weiss said. “We are grateful to have a forward-thinking administration that recognizes the need for preservation of open space, especially in an urban setting.”
The opening of Coles Park aligns with the City’s commitment to protect and enhance Jersey City’s parks and open space infrastructure citywide.
Access to open park space is proven to improve residents’ mental and physical health, property values, environmental impacts, community engagement, among other significant benefits, and as part of the Fulop administration’s efforts to expand access to quality park space citywide.
Currently, citywide widespread park improvements are underway or completed utilizing $3 million in Open Space Trust funding based on community input.
Mayor Fulop has also committed $10 million to create Skyway Park, transforming a 35-year-old toxic Superfund site into over 30 acres of park space with a COVID tree grove memorial along the Hackensack River waterfront.
Photos courtesy of the office of Mayor Fulop.