21ST CENTURY REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The NJEDA Board at its April 14, 2021 Board Meeting has approved the reopening of the 21st Century Redevelopment Program application window 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.
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 grant. When the NJEDA determines these dates, information will be posted on this webpage.
The application deadline for the 21st Century Redevelopment Program has expired. The NJEDA is not accepting new applications for this program at this time.
The 21st Century Redevelopment Program presents an opportunity for communities to focus on creative ideas for repurposing dormant properties in ways that contribute to the economy rather than drain valuable resources.
A number of demographic and economic trends are re-shaping where people in New Jersey live and work, with the suburbs experiencing an outmigration of jobs and population similar to those that cities have experienced.
New Jersey now has a surplus of suburban retail and office parks.
Suburban offices and shopping malls boomed during the 1980s and 1990s, when the supply of cheap land and easy access to highways were a strong attraction. These buildings are now over a quarter-century old and are outmoded and less desirable, and many are sitting empty or are underutilized. Most importantly, the real estate market has shifted, with corporations seeking locations close to transit and that attract a younger talent pool. This urban centric trend is happening nationally, with GE moving from Fairfield, CT to Boston; McDonald’s moving from Oak Brook, IL to Chicago; and Weyerhaeuser moving to Pioneer Square in Seattle from a 430-acre campus outside the city.
Many suburban municipalities that are car-based, have multiple or no town centers and are facing stagnation or even a population exodus.
Many of New Jersey’s suburban municipalities with no town centers (or multiple small “centers,”) that are car-dependent and largely made up of single-family detached homes, are at risk. These municipalities must strategically plan their land use to attract or keep young residents and employers.
Empty corporate campuses, underutilized malls and shopping centers, and vacant office buildings left behind by the 1980-1990s building boom have become a drain on many New Jersey communities. As a result, these communities are dealing with the loss of tax revenues, the costs of maintaining infrastructure and roads around these properties, and a lack of resources to solve the issues.
Local government entities face hurdles planning the retrofitting, redevelopment, and repurposing of large stranded assets.
The growing need for newer, suburban municipalities to address stranded assets adds to the needs that have existed and, in some cases, continues to exist in older cities and suburbs. To allow New Jersey to better attract economic activity and jobs, the Authority intends to offer grant funding to redevelopment agencies, municipalities, or counties to produce plans for repurposing or removing stranded assets in their communities.
By making this grant funding available to local government entities across the State, the Authority seeks to obtain economic development plans from local communities and regions with solutions and strategies for their stranded assets which may be replicable for other municipalities and regions in New Jersey.
What is the 21st Century Redevelopment Program?
The 21st Century Redevelopment Program will provide grants of up to $50,000 each to eligible redevelopment agencies, municipalities, or counties to create strategies to redevelop or regreen their stranded assets. In addition to the $50,000 in grant funding, recipients will be offered technical support provided by the Division of Policy, Planning, and Research at NJEDA and the Office of Local Planning Services at New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. These services will be limited in scope depending upon Authority/Department resources and can be defined in coordination with a consultant or professional services firm following grant approval.
Planning proposals may focus on any number of elements, including:
- Legal analysis to explore the appropriateness of designating one or more relevant properties in the community as an area in need of redevelopment.
- Determining cost-benefits of retrofitting, redeveloping or regreening the property or properties
- Driving economic growth for the locality and region
- Creating greater social, economic, and environmental sustainability
- Expanding affordable and multi-family housing
- Attracting employers and a diverse, talented workforce
- Expanding entrepreneurial opportunities and support local businesses
- Promoting walkable neighborhoods and improve accessibility and mobility
- Connecting to public transportation
- Improving livability and healthy outcomes for the local population
Only a New Jersey municipal or county government or redevelopment agency is eligible to apply to the 21st Century Redevelopment Program.
As part of the application, the municipality, county, or redevelopment agency must present a site or facility or collection of properties suffering from significant vacancies that will be the focus of the planning project. This may be a buildings, corporate campuses that were used by a single entity, buildings that are adjacent to each other, or buildings across a parking surface or structure that is dedicated for use by the buildings.
A municipality, county or redevelopment agency may only submit one application each. A proposal on behalf of a county does not preclude a municipality within that county from submitting their own proposal.
What else is required in order to be eligible?
To be considered eligible for a grant award, proposals must demonstrate ability to provide a 20 percent matching contribution of the grant amount, to be reinvested back into the planning project.
The 20 percent match can be in the form of a financial contribution, or a contribution of in-kind resources. In-kind resources are defined as non-monetary resources that will add value and help advance the planning project.
The applicant must agree to participate in at least 2 events hosted by NJEDA to share lessons learned with other New Jersey municipalities and counties facing stranded assets challenges, and share ownership of deliverables with NJEDA for the purpose of making results publicly available to foster a dynamic discussion about repurposing stranded assets and to assist other similarly situated municipalities.
The NJEDA Board at its April 14, 2021 Board Meeting has approved the reopening of the 21st Century Redevelopment Program application window in accordance with the updated parameters approved in 2019.
Application window will open May 24th, 2021.
Please see the Application instructions and forms below.
21st Century Challenge Application – Attachment A – Project Application
21st Century Attachment B – Fee Plan Budget Disbursement Schedule
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 grant. When the NJEDA determines these dates, information will be posted on this webpage
Questions can be submitted to 21stCentury@njeda.com
The subject line of the e-mail should state:
“Questions – 21st Century Redevelopment Program”Contact us