“The 21st Century Redevelopment Program will play an important role in Governor Murphy’s plan for a stronger, fairer recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing resources to help municipalities repurpose dormant office spaces and industrial parks into valuable community assets,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “This has always been necessary, but it is an even better opportunity now as communities adjust to the post-pandemic future of work and the changes in demand for office and retail space that will come with it.”
The Board action today paves the way for the NJEDA to resume administering the 21st Century Redevelopment Program in accordance with the updated parameters approved in 2019. As such, the program will make grants of up to $50,000 available to help municipalities, counties, and redevelopment agencies develop plans to repurpose vacant properties into productive economic assets. Potential uses of the grant funding include, but are not limited to:
- Legal analysis to explore designating one or more relevant properties in the community as an “area in need of redevelopment.”
- Stakeholder engagement and facilitation to identify community desires and needs.
- Identification of appropriate funding sources to support community led re-use of one or more properties.
- Cataloging relevant retail and office properties in a community and identifying priority sites when considering community needs.
- Economic analysis relating to the feasibility of various redevelopment and/or reuse scenarios.
- Land-use planning identifying the most suitable re-use scenarios.
Grant recipients will also be required to participate in at least two events hosted by the NJEDA to foster a dynamic discussion about repurposing stranded assets and provide guidance to communities facing similar challenges.
The NJEDA will use a competitive application process to award 21st Century Redevelopment Program grants. Applicants will have 45 days from the date the application launches to submit proposals. Once all applications are received, staff will evaluate and score them competitively, with the fifteen highest scoring applications recommended to the Board for grants.
More information about the 21st Century Redevelopment Program, including detailed eligibility and application scoring criteria, is available at https://www.njeda.com/21stcentury/.