Aspire is a gap financing tool to support commercial, mixed use, and residential real estate development projects that replaces the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant (ERG).
- To be eligible for Aspire support, a project must:
- Demonstrate through NJEDA analysis that without the incentive award, the redevelopment project is not economically feasible.
- Demonstrate that a project financing gap exists and/or the redevelopment project will generate a below market rate of return.
- Be located in a designated “Incentive Area.”
- Include developer who has an equity participation of at least 20 percent of the total cost.
- Result in a net positive benefit to the State.
- Meet specific cost thresholds, depending on where the project is located.
Eligible Incentive Locations
The NJEDA has provided this mapping tool to assist potential applicants to determine if projects may be eligible to participate in the Aspire Program, or related “Transformative Projects.”
A project location within an incentive area does not guarantee eligibility for participation in the Program.
Most Aspire projects will be subject to a total award cap of $42 million, but residential projects also receiving LIHTC or projects located in certain economically disadvantaged locations may receive up to $60 million
Baseline tax credits available
Tax credits equal to 45 percent of project costs up to $42 million
Commercial projects in a GRM can receive tax credits up to 50 percent of project costs in project support.
Newly constructed residential projects that are also utilizing four percent LIHTCs can receive tax credits up to 60 percent of project costs
Projects using LIHTC or any other project in a Qualified Incentive Tract (QIT), GRM, or municipality with an Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI) distress score of at least 50, can receive tax credits up to $60 million
FISCAL AND RESIDENT PROTECTIONS
To demonstrate local support for the project, the developer must have letter of support for project from governing body of municipality and must enter into a Community Benefits Agreement or a Redevelopment Agreement with the municipality.
NJEDA is currently accepting applications for the Aspire program.
Consultation with Aspire program staff prior to beginning work on an application is advised because completing the application will require focused time and attention on the applicant’s part; because Aspire program eligibility rules are nuanced; and because application fees are non-refundable.
A sample application is available here for interested parties to review prior to contacting NJEDA staff and completing the online application. Aspire program rules are also available here for review.
If you are interested in applying for the Aspire Program, please contact an Aspire Program team member at Aspire@njeda.com
Projects utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
Total Project Costs of $50 million or less (Non-LIHTC)
Total Project Costs of greater than $50 million (Non-LIHTC)
Phased Project (Non-Transformative)
Annual Servicing Fee
* Applicant is responsible for the full amount of direct costs of due diligence, including, but not limited to, debarment/disqualification reviews or other analyses by a third party retained by the Authority, if the Authority deems such retention to be necessary.
** All fees are non-refundable.