First planned for the 1999 Morris Canal Redevelopment Plan, Berry Lane Park has transformed more than 17 acres of former rail yards, junk yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities, and warehouses in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Jersey City into a park with ballfields, playing courts, and passive recreation areas.
The property was compromised of 12 individually owned lots, with varying degrees of contamination. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) partnered with the City of Jersey City to acquire the properties from the former property owners using a variety of state, county, and local funding sources.
One of the biggest hurdles that needed to be overcome was associated with obtaining the funding for the $32 million project. With each phase of the project, design, assessment, acquisition, remediation, and redevelopment, the JCRA partnered with a variety of funders at the local, state, and federal levels. With no funding source being too small, the JCRA was able to cobble together the funding for every stage of the project. Funding for the project is a mosaic of over 28 different funding sources, and counting.
Since the project’s inception, a clear phasing plan enabled each stage to be realized. When complete, the project will result in an almost 9% increase of usable open space in Jersey City. This long-term project would not have been possible without community support and vision, committed partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, and a creative aggressive approach to identifying all potential funding sources to make the project work.
A ribbon cutting is scheduled for June 25, 2016, a celebration of almost two decades of hard work and vision.