Recreation and Entertainment
All roads lead to Journal Square! Always considered the “heart of Jersey City,” Journal Square has had a rich history of serving the entire city and county. The Square provides a great opportunity to secure the city’s economic future and create one of the truly great central business districts (CBDs) in the country. Beginning in early 2007 and culminating in summer 2010, the Journal Square vision plan came to life. The visionings effort was a true public/private effort, with local residents, businesspeople, anchor institutions such as Hudson County Community College/Saint Peters, and city officials working together over a three-year period to bring the plan to fruition. Adopted by the City Council in June 2010, the plan was honed at more than 30 community meetings, some large and some small, to get it right. The Journal Square plan, now the 2060 plan, has proved to be a remarkable success for the city’s CBD.
The plan, built around smart growth principles, now encompasses approximately 233 acres in the heart of the city. From the beginning, the 2060 Plan was embraced by the broad array of stakeholders that were deeply involved in the long process. The commitment to the plan can be seen not just in the award-winning Journal Squared Towers, but also with the wide range of mixed-use towers built or under construction in the Square. The heart of the 2060 plan was always about the smart transit-oriented development and transportation network that leads to the Square. The private sector had done its job by quickly sensing the potential of the Square and moving redevelopment forward at an unheard-of pace.
The plan is now in its 30th year and many of the original goals of the plan have been realized. The development of world-class, mixed-use towers has progressed at unprecedented speed. Moreover, the current development of both the historic Loews Theater and the Centre Pompidou is bringing arts and entertainment back to the Journal Square CBD. The Journal Square 2060 plan has clearly demonstrated that a shared redevelopment vision of the community and private and public sectors can lead to meaningful community renewal.
Hudson River Park extends in and along four miles of Manhattan’s shoreline from about Chambers Street to West 59th Street and includes dozens of recreational and revenue-generating piers. Participants will walk along the water’s edge from Tribeca to the Meatpacking District, exploring many of the diverse, award-winning open spaces that have been created by the Hudson River Park Trust over the last 25 years, including the Pier 26 Tide Deck, the Tribeca Boardwalk, the Gansevoort Peninsula, and Little Island. The tour will end at historic Pier 57, a mixed-use, adaptive reuse project created in partnership with RXR and Google.
With the Borden Complex, its latest state-of-the-art, multi-story, multi-tenant development, Innovo Property Group is shifting the paradigm for a new generation of users seeking space in dense metropolitan markets. The Borden Complex is a five-story, 900,000-square-foot, class A mixed-use development in Long Island City designed by KSS Architects. After its completion, expected in spring 2024, the project will be home to a 680,000-square-foot last mile distribution facility, designed for shipping to much of New York City. In addition, the space will be the home of Borden Studios, a 194,000-square-foot film and television production facility that includes sound stages, as well as office space for production crews and project executives.
Coney Island, America’s most storied amusement resort, is experiencing an enormous effort to renew and reinvigorate its vibrant and diverse beachfront community following major rezoning. What was once a vast expanse of unending entertainment at the turn of the 20th century, comprising the triad of Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, and Dreamland, Coney Island quickly became reduced to large patches of parking lots, falling from the premier entertainment destination of the world to an isolated neighborhood. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, with New Yorkers working on hybrid schedules between their home and a Manhattan office, people have been seeking more hospitable outlying neighborhoods with direct transit access for when they need it. This has resulted in a massive expansion in mixed-income housing developments for the community and renewed interest in Coney Island as an entertainment destination. In our tour we will visit a selection of these new residential projects along Surf Avenue, as well as the newly revived entertainment sites of Coney Island.