Jersey City officials cut the ribbon on the new Exchange Place Plaza this morning, which includes silver bollards for traffic safety, CCTV surveillance, new traffic patterns, and new lighting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We’re proud to have added more green space and landscaping to the plaza. We’ve also appropriately treated the Katyn Memorial, including adding seating, cleaning the base of the memorial, and appropriately lighting it – which has never been done before,” explained Exchange Place Alliance Director of Development and Operations Martin Schmid.
Council President Joyce Watterman, who is the council representative on the Exchange Place Alliance’s Board of Directors, praised their working relationship with the city to get to this point.
“Now even though we had plenty of pushbacks, I remember sitting at council meetings at 2 or 3 in the morning concerning this area here, but now I’m here on this day and I’m excited about this day where people can gather, the statue is still being visible – which is beautiful – and families can come here and just enjoy one another.”
Ward E Councilman James Solomon, who represents the area, said his children had already given the playground their personal stamps of approval and expressed appreciation for everyone who helped make this happen, which Mayor Steven Fulop also mentioned.
“There’s not another city in the world that has an asset like this waterfront across from New York City, and for a long time – we are talking about decades – this place, if you came here, was neglected, it was nothing special,” Fulop stated.
“Those people deserve a ton of credit for their leadership in saying that it can be better than what it was and every step of the way over the last six years there’s been opposition. We’re actually still in litigation today over this plaza, one group wants us to turn back the clock and take some of this stuff down. I think any reasonable person would say that today it looks great.”
A lawsuit filed in June 2022 seeking to halt the Exchange Place Redevelopment Plan is still pending in Hudson County Superior Court, though it remains unclear what would happen if the plaintiffs win since the plaza is now completed.