In a square mile City with more families choosing to stay and raise a family, keeping up with the demand for recreation activities is critical.  While we’ve successfully added more open space the past eight years, we have more to do to add indoor recreation space. That’s why today I’m glad to share with you our first major policy initiative exploring the addition of multi-use recreational facilities in Hoboken.

As Mayor, one of my top priorities will be to immediately engage residents in a community process to create a new, comprehensive recreation facilities plan. This plan will examine a complete renovation of our multi-service center to create a brand new, state of the art multi-use facility.  Students from Stevens have explored this very concept, and their senior project proposed a new, expanded, six-story building that would more than triple the amount of recreation space currently available at the center.

A new recreation plan will also include exploring more community space in the acre of land adjacent to our new Northwest Park land, as well as a potential partnership with the former YMCA at 13th and Washington Streets to rehabilitate that facility. Together, new multi-service space would allow for amenities such as additional gym space, a multi-sport indoor turf field, a renovated senior center, and two popular amenities that I am strongly in favor of – a community pool and indoor ice skating rink.  Additional ideas I’ve heard proposed by residents that I’d like to explore include a new teen center, an additional Hoboken Library branch, dance studio, renovated meeting space, and utilization of the roofs of new City facilities to include cost-effective activities.

With more recreational space, it is my vision that Hoboken can finally host its own summer camp for kids.  As someone with two young children, I know how important having an affordable and local option for children during the summer months is for parents.

Like you, I’m eager for residents of all ages to enjoy access to more multi-user recreational space while we continue on the fiscally responsible path we’ve taken over the past eight years. The comprehensive recreation facilities plan will chart an affordable and cost-effective way forward, employing realistic budget estimates and exploring alternative revenues, all of which will be thoroughly vetted and presented to the community.

For more on my policy platform related to recreation space, click here. Please feel free to email me and let me know your suggestions!  I look forward to staying in touch.

Thanks,

Councilman Ravi Bhalla