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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Essex County Moves Forward With Cedar Grove Park Plans


Cedar Grove, New Jersey: A new community center is planned for Western Essex County, and officials are planning to name it in honor of a local leader.

According to a public legal notice, the new 5,000 square foot community center at Essex County Cedar Grove Park will be called the Essex County Robert O'Toole Community Center should an ordinance be passed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. O'Toole is the former mayor of Cedar Grove.

The park will be developed at the site of the former Essex County Hospital Center along Fairview Avenue near the Verona border. The hospital has been abandoned for approximately a decade ever since a new facility was built along Grove Avenue. Cedar Grove Park will be 77 acres, and will feature lighted walking paths, bocce courts, and a playground, in addition to the community center. Another part of the site will contain townhouses.

The former Essex County Hospital Center is not the only abandoned medical facility in the region that is being torn down to make way for parkland. The State of New Jersey recently demolished the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, Morris County. The site will become part of the Central Park of Morris County. In addition, the former Essex County Isolation Hospital in Belleville is being converted into apartments, and a vocational technical school is being built at the site of the former United Hospital in Newark.

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