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ATLANTIC CITY REVITALIZATION GRANT PROGRAM


Applications are now open.

The Atlantic City Revitalization Grant program is a pilot program awarding grants between $1M and $10M for capital projects that address and improve the communities and neighborhoods within Atlantic City.

PROGRAM DETAILS

This Program will facilitate Atlantic City’s effective utilization of allocated funds for community-driven capital projects. The Program is a pilot grant program that will utilize $26 million of ARP funding which will be deposited into ERF.  ERF will authorize a grant as listed under N.J.S.A 34:1B-7.13(a)(12) for:

“a fund to provide grants or competition prizes, either directly or through a not-for-profit entity, that is consistent with economic development priorities as defined by the authority’s board, where funds have been specifically allocated to the economic recovery fund for this purpose, including but not limited to an appropriation or transfer from another government entity.”

Governor Murphy’s economic plan, “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey,” identifies several economic development priorities, including “investing in communities to build world-class cities, towns, and infrastructure statewide.” The Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program will address this priority as this grant will help support more capital projects throughout Atlantic City and will be focused on ensuring that communities are directly supported by ensuring the project addresses the negative impact of COVID-19 and contributes to Atlantic City’s revitalization. These capital projects must directly support Atlantic City neighborhoods and communities and include either public infrastructure improvements that support the completion of the project, capital construction projects that renovate or restore a vacant or partially vacant (at time of application and up to approval) building, or new construction projects that aim to increase the downtown vitality, public space utilization, foot traffic, and overall economic prosperity in Atlantic City.

The goal of this Program is to proactively address the negative economic impacts of the pandemic by investing in projects that demonstrate an ability to cultivate the environment and neighborhoods necessary to attract and retain a local workforce, enable business creation and tourism, enhance downtown vitality through small business support efforts, support clean and safe initiatives, address food insecurity issues, and buttress social impact supports for the community at large. Administered by the Authority, this Program will support real estate development, specifically capital projects (each, a “Project”) in the form of Grants, to support rehabilitation or new construction, as well as other development costs associated with a maximum award of $10 million in grant funding to one Project.  This will then meet the requirement of “Investing in Communities” by providing funding to activate underutilized properties for community focused investments and to activate projects that will catalyze new business sectors in NJ, support communities, and improve the business community within Atlantic City. This grant will improve investment in communities by working to activate underutilized, distressed, or vacant land for projects in order to promote equitable economic growth and community wealth building in Atlantic City.   

ELIGIBILITY

Eligible Applicants

For-profit or non-profit entities responsible for overseeing a real estate development project and coordinating the activities related to the project, including, but not limited to, project design, project financing, and permitting and local approvals, are eligible to apply (each, an “Applicant” or “Developer Entity”).

A real estate holding company or other special purpose entity that exists solely to own property or a real estate project is not eligible.

Any city, State, or county entity and any state colleges or universities are not eligible to apply for any support from the Program.

Eligible Projects and Restrictions

  • New construction for a commercial end use that addresses a community need listed in the “Local impact considerations” described below (100% residential is not eligible but mixed-used construction is eligible; must have at least 20% of the total square footage of the building dedicated to a commercial use).
  • Renovation or restoration of a vacant or partially vacant building in need of repair (if the project consists of vacant space or partially vacant it would have to be at time of application and up to approval).
  • Addresses a “Local impact consideration” as identified below and within Atlantic City.
  • Projects may include public infrastructure improvements that are necessary to complement or complete the Project.
  • All Project costs (soft and hard construction costs – no operating costs) can be included and may include predevelopment projects costs associated to the Project.
  • The developer fee cannot exceed 8% of total Project costs.
  • All Projects must be fully completed by the end of calendar year 2026 (as per US Treasury deadlines).  Grants will be subject to federal Duplication of Benefits requirements.
  • A cost reasonableness analysis will be completed prior to any Project being approved.
  • Contingencies of total Project costs cannot exceed 10% on hard Project costs and 5% on soft Project costs.  The Grant amount shall not increase after approval due to contingencies.
  • Any awardee of a Real Estate Grant under the NJEDA Activation Revitalization Transformation (ART) Program established by the Authority is not eligible to apply for this Program.
  • Projects that have started construction are not eligible.  Construction, including demolition and remediation, cannot start until approval.  

Project Eligibility Considerations (necessary for federal guidelines)

Since the Program is funded through federal resources that were meant to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19, applicants must demonstrate how the Project will benefit the community.  All Projects will need to address and demonstrate how they meet the following requirements at time of application:

  • COVID Impact: Applicants must certify that the Project is responsive to the negative public health and/or economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and complies with all the ARP program requirements.
  • Capacity: The applicant must certify they have experience implementing at least three similar scope and size projects (similar budget size and scope) and provide documentation except if the applicant is selecting to support a “Small Business Efforts” or “Food Insecurity Efforts” box as their local impact consideration at time of application, in which case the experience requirement is waived.
  • Long-term impacts: Applicants must certify how the project will have a positive long-term impact in the community it will be located in and the overall benefit to Atlantic City.  If the property is owned by the applicant, they must agree to a 5-year deed restriction so that the project use cannot change after the later of their last disbursement or project closeout.  If the property is leased, then the landlord must sign off on a certification to agree to the deed restriction.    
  • Financial Viability: Applicant must certify the project will be financially viable and self-sustaining after construction.  The applicant will certify they are able to operate and maintain site control for the necessary time period. Also, that the applicant will meet US Treasury project completion timeline requirements.
  • Project completion: Applicant must certify they are aware and agree that the construction project can be completed by 12/31/26 (as per US Treasury) or they may be held liable for the recapture of the grant funds they drawdown or have received. 
  • Local impact considerations: All Projects must address at least one of the following five community initiatives to be eligible to apply (applicant will check all that apply):
    1. Small Business Support Efforts: Businesses that are engaged in the following are not eligible for funding: the conduct or purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi- nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices); any auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of- business” or similar sale; sales by transient merchants, Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage; cannabis related businesses; casinos; or any activity constituting a nuisance.
    2. Clean and Safe Efforts
    3. Food Insecurity Efforts
    4. Downtown Vitality Efforts (all projects must be located from Sunset Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, Baltic Avenue to the boardwalk throughout Atlantic City).
    5. Job and Office Space Creation

U.S. Treasury Reporting

Applicants must certify that they have the ability to provide the U.S. Department of the Treasury with relevant reporting for all Project expenditures exceeding $1 million if necessary; specifically, all applications shall provide a narrative on how the Project will address the impacts of COVID-19 in Atlantic City, and why this capital expenditure is the most appropriate to address the economic harms caused by COVID.

AWARD SIZE

Applicants may request a grant amount from a minimum of $1,000,000 to a maximum of $10,000,000. Grant funds may cover up to 50 percent of eligible capital project costs (soft and hard construction costs). The awards will be based on the total requested project costs, amount of funding, and demonstrated readiness to proceed.  The Authority will award only one grant per applicant (one per EIN), and one award per Project location. 

Grants will be awarded until funds are fully exhausted.

FUNDING DISBURSEMENTS

The Authority will disburse Grants after the execution of the grant agreement, and amounts will be based on applicant requested drawdowns calculated upon expected contract costs with documentation of uses (such as AIA documents, contract payments for services providing during construction, and paid invoices related to the Project).  The Authority will allow for progressive drawdowns on the grant funds to support progressive project costs ($150,000 minimum on all requests unless it’s the final request) and such requests do not need to be pro-rata reimbursements based on actual costs incurred.  Staff will perform random site visits and will hold the final disbursement of 10% of the total award until the Project closeout is completed.  Staff may also request any other support or documentation as needed for drawdowns.    

Prior to the last disbursement of 10% of the Grant, the awarded must submit a Project close out request, which will include, but not be limited to, all necessary information to evidence completion of the project and, when applicable, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy.  Once received, staff will perform a site visit to confirm and document the completed Project (including through photographs).

FEES

The standard $1,000 application fee established in the Authority’s fee rules will be charged for the Program.

TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

Obtaining Tax Clearance Certificate for Private EntitiesCLICK HERE

Obtaining Tax Clearance Certificate for Government Entities

Questions can be directed to BusinessAssistanceTC.Taxation@treas.nj.gov or 609-322-6835.

PROGRAM GUIDE

QUESTIONS

For more information or to ask a specific question please send an email to ACrevitalization@njeda.gov and a team member will reach out to you.