Bergen Square in Journal Square Undergoes Major Revitalization
JERSEY CITY, NJ – In a significant move towards urban development, Mayor Steven M. Fulop, accompanied by City Council members and the Department of Infrastructure, announced the groundbreaking of the Bergen Square revitalization project. This initiative, located in the burgeoning area of Journal Square, is set to underscore Jersey City’s profound historical significance.
Mayor Fulop emphasized, “The Journal Square area is an important part of Jersey City’s history and is undergoing an unprecedented renaissance to become one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, and visit in the region. This new Bergen Square revitalization project will be a key part of that progress and will help to ensure that Jersey City remains a thriving and vibrant community for years to come.”
Chris Bernardo, Administrator of the Journal Square Special Improvement District (SID), shared the enthusiasm, stating, “We’re thrilled with the public investment being made in Bergen Square. The planned improvements will highlight the area’s historical significance while establishing a vibrant and accessible urban space for customers, residents, and visitors to enjoy.”
Among the slated improvements, Bergen Square will see:
- A relocation of PS 11’s school bus area for enhanced safety.
- A transformation of parking lots into a 5,400 sq. ft. pedestrian plaza and park.
- New trees and green infrastructure for multifaceted benefits.
- Upgraded public bus stops with new amenities.
- An addition of 14 parking spaces on Academy Street, which will also transition to a one-way street.
- A raised intersection at Bergen Avenue and Academy Street for pedestrian safety.
- Design elements reflecting the area’s rich history, including traditional Lenni Lenape designs and a nod to the historic well from the mid-1800s.
- A new protected cycle track.
James Dievler, Ph.D., Chairman of the Journal Square Community Association History Committee, remarked, “Since 1660, Bergen Square has been the site of community exchange and cross-cultural interaction. It is wonderful to see it as such again, both in the public consciousness through events such as Bergen Square Day and now through this momentous groundbreaking for the new Bergen Square Plaza.”
Barkha Patel, Director of the Department of Infrastructure, concluded by highlighting Bergen Square’s historical roots, “Bergen Square was the first permanent European settlement in New Jersey. Our collective vision for Bergen Square is to create usable outdoor public space in the heart of our community with an important emphasis on the area’s historical significance that helped shape our nation.”
The legacy of Bergen Square traces back to ancient times, serving as a pivotal junction for the Leni Lenape Native American people for over a millennium. Established in 1660, it remains New Jersey’s oldest continuously inhabited European settlement.
Stay tuned to Hudson County News for more updates on this transformative project.