Jersey City plans to purchase three properties to build two new police complexes that will replace the current century-old buildings at the northern and southern end of the city.
The city council will vote Wednesday to introduce three purchase orders through the purchase or condemnation of properties on Hutton and Sherman Place in Heights and West Side Avenue in Greenville for the new police complexes.
Mayor Steve Pollop told the Jersey Journal that the current police complexes in Heights and Greenville are more than 100 years old, “so it’s decades of neglect and we feel it’s time to invest in them.”
“Our plan is to continue to invest in infrastructure and public safety,” Polop said Tuesday. “We were committed to a world-class police department with the right resources and the right manpower. These advances will give us the opportunity to build something of the right size and the right resources for the city.”
Polop added that the purchase of the properties on Hutton Street and Sherman Place would provide the Northern District with a parking lot for police mobility. The new lot will allow police to stop taking parking spaces on the street from Heights residents, a long-standing damage to the neighborhood.
The new Northern District building will be on Central Avenue between Hutton Street and Sherman Place, opposite the current building – built in 1901. The new Southern District building will be at the end of West Side Avenue about a mile from the current Bergen Avenue building near Snyder High School.
Mayor Steve Polop announced in March 2021 plans for works for a new police compound in Heights, but this is the first time a new building for the Southern District has been mentioned.
“This is really the first steps in the Southern District,” Polop said. “We did not even get to the design part of this building.”
Polop said the Northern District building would likely cost between $ 20 and $ 30 million.
Jersey City Police currently has four city-wide complexes located at 191 Bergen Street, 1 Jackson St., 282 Central Ave and 207 Seventh Street.
The City Council will also consider adopting a $ 131 million improvement approval order through the issuance of $ 124 million in bonds. Under the ordinance, $ 22.8 million of the bonds will be used for “construction, restoration, restoration, improvement and repair” of northern and southern regions .
Business Director John Metro told City Council that both Hatton Street and Sherman Place properties are currently vacant lots. He said the property on West Side Avenue is a vacant gas station, “it looks like an ideal location for access to Route 440.”
“Dollars are not being spent here,” Metro said at a council meeting on Monday. “This is just the first step in the process of purchasing this property. Before we complete this ordinance we may reach an agreement with the property owners.”
Journal Square Councilman Richard Bogiano, a retired JCPD detective, asked to discuss the construction of the two new complexes in a closed session. He said there is nothing wrong with the current compound buildings, just need to maintain them.
“The Northern Province is a beautiful building, just needs to be taken care of,” Bujano said Monday. “We do not need new buildings or new police complexes.”
Heights Council member Joseph Saleh and Greenville Council member Denise Ridley disagreed with him on Monday.
“I do not think the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to trying to equip (the old building) to meet today’s standards and needs,” Saleh said on Tuesday. “This old building could be used for something else in the community.”