NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A cathedral of concrete and steel on a plot of land in downtown New Brunswick is on its way to becoming a public park.
Workers began knocking down the shuttered Wolfson Parking Deck last month, a county official said shortly after the delayed project kicked off. The demolition is but the first phase in a county-led drive to turn the parcel into a public park in the heart of the Hub City’s commercial district, on Neilson Street, between Bayard and Liberty streets.
Details of the 50,000-square-foot park aren’t yet set in stone, according to the city. Local officials will seek input from members of the public this spring regarding what, exactly, should take the place of the Wolfson deck.
For now, crews are expected to be busy tearing down the structure until the end of June.
During that time, parking will be suspended on one side of each of the following roads: Liberty Street; Neilson Street near Bayard Street; and Bayard Street between Neilson and George streets, according to the city.
Motorists may continue to drive those roads during demolition.
Surrounding sidewalks are also closed. They’ll be renovated and reopened once Wolfson is demolished, according to the city.
Middlesex County bought the Wolfson Deck from the city around two years ago for more than $4 million, according to reports.
Mayor Jim Cahill said during a presentation for business leaders last month that the county would fund the lion’s share of Wolfson’s transformation into a public park.
It’s unclear how much the overhaul may cost. A spokesperson for the county hasn’t responded to a request for information on the project from TAPinto New Brunswick.
When the project is complete—the timeline is also unclear—Cahill said it will provide a “green space” in one of the busiest spots in New Brunswick. He touted its benefits to office workers and residents alike.
The city will operate the finished park.
Some business owners have expressed concern about parking issues downtown, especially with the shuttering of the Wolfson and Ferren decks. City officials have pointed to New Brunswick’s eight parking garages near the city center as possible alternatives.