New waterfront park, playground opens in Jersey City (updated)

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 19, 2023

New waterfront park, playground opens in Jersey City (updated)

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 19, 2023

During a May 18 ceremony on the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City, officials cut the ribbon on a new park and playground adjacent to Grundy Pier.

The project, a partnership between the Exchange Place Alliance Special Improvement District (SID) and the City of Jersey City, features an innovative playground that is fully accessible for children with disabilities, filling a void along the waterfront for kids ages 2 to 12 of all abilities.

The $550,000 project was funded through an investment by the Exchange Place Alliance.

The playground is made of environmentally friendly materials that can be recycled when no longer in use and features a unique piece of equipment that has the capacity for 60 children to play at once. It also includes a smaller unit and several freestanding pieces of equipment, new benches and stroller parking.

Officials say this Giant XL playground is a unique attraction in Jersey City, and a first in that particular area, that is intended to draw children and their parents from throughout the city and surrounding communities.

“To replace concrete planters with a terrific playground open to the entire community is the latest addition to a totally public accessible waterfront walkway,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who spoke at the ribbon cutting. “As a parent of young children, I’m excited to be here with them, especially with these spectacular views.”

“We are so excited to welcome children and their parents to this playground,” said Elizabeth Cain, executive director of the Alliance. “It’s our latest improvement to the neighborhood with the new Plaza to reopen in the very near future. We look forward to continuing our mission to improve the waterfront district for all to enjoy.”

Fulop, who is also a 2025 gubernatorial candidate, caught up with NJBIZ after the event.

He stressed that governments have limited resources, so these types of public-private partnerships are essential to continue building the city with more resources and better facilities.

“It’s really important to engage the private sector in a thoughtful way,” Fulop told NJBIZ. “And this new playground that looks directly on the waterfront speaks to our priorities about using and energizing the waterfront for children. And it’s going to be an asset for decades to come for the city. We’re really proud of it.”

The Jersey City mayor said that making the playground accessible for children with disabilities was essential.

“We’ve really tried to make sure that all of the playgrounds and parks that we’re building out speak to the fact that we have a lot of different types of children from a lot of different types of backgrounds in Jersey City,” Fulop explained. “And we want to make sure that they’re accessible for all those people. Having recreational equipment for children with disabilities is a priority for us. And as we build out more and more playgrounds, we’re going to continue to do that.”

He said projects like this speak to his administration’s achievements leading Jersey City over the last 10 years, something he hopes to replicate on the statewide level.

“Our track record has been finding thoughtful ways to engage the business community, the private sector here, and partner in ways to build up Jersey City,” said Fulop.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 10:32 a.m. ET May 19, 2023, to correct that the project was funded through an investment by the Exchange Place Alliance.