Longtime Nets complex in Meadowlands to become YMCA facility

Longtime Nets complex in Meadowlands to become YMCA facility 150 150 DMR Architects

Meadowlands YMCA Rendering

A rendering of the Meadowlands Area YMCA.

by Joshua Burd

The former New Jersey Nets headquarters in East Rutherford has been given a second life as the future home of the Meadowlands Area YMCA, a project that’s now underway after local leaders gathered Thursday for a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Located at 390 Murray Hill Parkway, the facility is set to include a new 83,200-square-foot community center that encompasses the existing gymnasium and its two NBA-grade basketball courts, according to a news release. Plans also call for a day care center, wellness center and a host of other health- and community-oriented features.

The building is slated to open in early 2017 after the $9 million project, the news release said. The work is being funded by dozens of community leaders and supporters, including New York Giants CEO and President John Mara.

Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects has designed the facility, which will serve as the local YMCA chapter’s first centralized home since its founding in 1920. It will serve more than 23,000 area residents.

“Groundbreaking doesn’t just describe the event, it describes the kinds of programs and services that we will be providing to the community once we’re open,” Jane A. Egan, CEO of the Meadowlands Area YMCA, said in a prepared statement. “It will be thrilling to watch our plans become a reality, and we can’t wait to welcome members to the new building next year.”

The project also serves to repurpose the former headquarters and practice facility of what are now the Brooklyn Nets, which began playing in the New York City borough in 2012, but kept its offices in East Rutherford. It was only this past February when the team completed its move to Sunset Park, finally shifting its basketball operations and practices out of East Rutherford.

Plans for the new YMCA facility also call for exercise and dance studios, plus a teen and senior center, theater, rock-climbing wall, technology labs, multipurpose classrooms and meeting space, and a physical therapy practice. The Mara Family Daycare Center, named in honor of the Giants CEO, will be a centerpiece of the new building.

The ceremonial start of construction at the facility was marked Thursday by representatives from the YMCA, who were joined by Bergen County Executive James Tedesco and state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).

“The process of bringing our services under one roof has brought out the best in our staff and the community,” said Ron Simoncini, chairman of the Meadowlands Area YMCA’s board of directors. “We are very grateful for the generosity of community and business leaders that have helped us make our former president, Dennis Maycher’s dream a reality.”

This article originally appeared on NJBiz.