LeFrak making plans to make pickleball into permanent amenity in Newport

Some may feel the pickleball craze is just a fad. LeFrak doesn’t.

The famed Jersey City developer not only has transformed a plaza space in the heart of Newport City into pop-up pickleball courts that are free and open to the entire community, company officials said they are planning to build permanent pickleball courts in the neighborhood in the near future, given the positive reaction to the pop-up.

LeFrak, witnessing the ever-growing pickleball obsession across the nation, saw an opportunity to make Newport’s Elephant Park plaza space — home to the beloved Newport Skates outdoor ice rink in the winter — more useful for Newport residents and visitors in the warm weather.

The courts have proven incredibly popular with the community. Free and first-come, first-serve, they’re a hub of activity on summer evenings.

LeFrak officials feel the transformation of this space speaks to LeFrak’s long-term commitment to the Newport community and how — at a time when so many developers are battling with how to re-create spaces into places where people actually want to spend time — LeFrak isn’t afraid to embrace change and rethink its initial plans.