Earlier this week, Hudson TV attended Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s press conference and ground breaking ceremony for the city’s new, Public Safety Headquarters in the Bergen-Lafayette section along MLK Boulevard.
Here is the official press release, which provides more specific details on the $120 million project:
Mayor Fulop Breaks Ground on New Public Safety Headquarters
Jersey City is Moving Forward with Comprehensive Plan for Extensive Municipal Complex on South Side of JC; Plan brings Thousands of Jobs to MLK Drive
Jersey City – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joined City Council and community members on Wednesday, September 16th, to officially break ground on Jersey City’s first-ever, all-encompassing Public Safety Headquarters. The groundbreaking for the 11-story building on MLK Drive will be the fourth building to be built as part of the municipal complex vision that Mayor Fulop launched in 2015 set for the Jackson Square campus. The municipal complex is the latest step in the Mayor’s overall goal of bringing investment and jobs back to Bergen-Lafayette.
The $120 million Public Safety HQ will be the latest part of the $200 million investment that Jersey City has made to complete the new offices that have been constructed at Jackson Square to be the new home for Health and Human Services Offices, Housing Preservation Offices, HEDC, JC Employment and Training, and now Public Safety. Construction for the new Public Safety HQ is expected to be completed in 2022.
“When I took office, the City of Jersey City was renting office space in random separate buildings along the waterfront. It made very little sense,” said Mayor Fulop. “I decided that we can do better. So, we started to build a municipal complex on the south side of the City that would be state-of-the-art, it would be near mass transit to be easily accessible to everyone in the City, it would have all City services in one place, and it would bring thousands of jobs to an area that needs the investment. That is exactly what we have achieved,” Mayor Fulop concluded.
The Public Safety building will be the tallest within the new Civic Center, with 11 floors of municipal offices, conference rooms, and a Communications Center which includes 9-1-1 Dispatch. Jersey City’s first-ever, Police and Fire Recruitment Center, will also be established in conjunction with a brand new police and fire museum, designed for educational school visits to provide students with information about both departments and empower Jersey City’s youth to consider a future career as a first responder.
The 120,000 square foot building will also be the new home of the City’s Community Court and Parking Enforcement Division. All of Jersey City’s Police and Fire operations and leadership personnel will be relocated including Fire Prevention, Parking Enforcement, Special Investigations Unit, Gun Permits, Records Room, Traffic Programming, City Command, and more. The JCPD offices will also produce a constant cycle of police presence 24/7.
“This is a win for Ward F residents and the City at large,” said Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson. “I worked closely with the Mayor to get this done because I knew it will have a positive impact for decades to come for Ward F. This investment will reinvigorate our area to boost the local economy and help push crime further down.”
“Relocating our dispatch operations will rework our 9-1-1 call system to eliminate steps, resulting in faster emergency services and response times where every second counts,” said Public Safety Director James Shea. “We continue to examine and identify ways we can improve upon our crime reduction strategies – which has resulted in historical decreases in crime and nationally recognized emergency response times – and we expect these newly streamlined operations to contribute even more.”
“We are very proud to be partners with a City that has great leadership and vision from its Mayor to the Council and Administration,” said Eric Moore, President of Brandywine Financial Services. “As a company policy, we pride ourselves in delivering these projects on time, and in fact delivered two of the projects ahead of schedule. In addition, it was very important to us personally to have met minority participation requirements in all three phases.”
The City will save $350,000 per year on rent for the current Police Department Headquarters in Journal Square. The City will also be able to sell Fire Headquarters, South Street Fire Union Offices, and the Gong Club for a total estimated revenue of $30 million. At the same time, these properties will go back on the tax rolls every year, not only for the City budget but also contributing to the school budget.
“With every Jackson Square building we start construction on, we’re expanding upon the Administration’s pledge to keep moving development to the areas most in need of economic revitalization,” said Council President Joyce Watterman.
Phase 1 of the Jackson Square Hub opened in the Fall of 2018, with the first 2 new buildings already open including the City’s newly established Division of Affordable Housing, the Department of Housing, Economic, Development, and Commerce offices as well as Health and Human Services.
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