Applications are expected to open in May 2024. Please visit this page again for updates.

The Urban Investment Fund Grant Program supports recovery efforts in urban municipalities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing over $38 million in federal funding, the pilot program will provide grants of up to $7 million for the revitalization of targeted commercial corridors in eligible New Jersey municipalities.


The Urban Investment Fund Grant Program makes $38,198,148 of funding available to eligible municipalities to implement a revitalization strategy designed to increase foot traffic and commercial activity within a commercial corridor area by supporting and undertaking and concentrating eligible real estate related projects within the identified area. The Program goals are to catalyze and support revitalization in key commercial corridor areas by investing in projects that transform commercial corridors into vibrant 24-hour commercial centers and respond to evolving market conditions, such as hybrid and remote work, by funding activations and development that will in turn increase residents, visitors, and/or office workers and to support investment within key commercial corridors and promote strong, resilient, and equitable economic recoveries.

Using federal State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), this Program will expand investment in communities by working to activate underutilized, distressed, or vacant buildings for projects to promote equitable economic growth and urban community development and continue recovery efforts from COVID-19.

Eligible municipalities/applicants as defined will identify the key commercial corridor area, develop a revitalization strategy approach designed to increase foot traffic and commercial activity for the identified Corridor, and then identify a minimum of 2 interrelated projects to undertake which are in alignment with their vision statement and considered to be eligible project types/uses.


Eligible applicants are municipalities defined below as meeting BOTH criteria excluding Atlantic City which received its own FY 2024 State Budget Appropriation from ARP SLFRF.

  • Top 5% of municipalities based on Commuter-Adjusted Population (2018-2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates)
    • This is “Daytime Population” which is the calculation of Total Resident Population + Total Workers Working in Area – Total Workers Living in Area.
  • Top 5% of municipalities within the 2023 Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI). The MRI serves as the State’s official measure and ranking of municipal distress. The MRI ranks New Jersey’s municipalities according to eight separate indicators that measure diverse aspects of social, economic, physical, and fiscal conditions in each locality. The MRI is used as a factor in distributing certain “need based” funds.

The following municipalities, which all ranked within the top five percent of commuter-adjusted population and municipal distress based on the 2023 Municipal Revitalization Index, are eligible to apply for a minimum of two projects and receive funding:

  • Camden
  • New Brunswick
  • Newark
  • Passaic
  • Paterson
  • Trenton

Please note that only one application for funding within a municipality may be submitted. Eligible municipalities may designate a municipal entity, county entity, or a not-for-profit local economic and community development entity to be the applicant on behalf of the municipality and if so, then a letter is required as part of the application.

The Program will allow for several types of projects as described below (“Projects”) to be funded within the Corridor as part of the municipal Revitalization Strategy. Applicants must include a minimum of two projects from the list below in their application:de a minimum of two projects from the list below in their application:

  • Building Rehabilitation Projects – rehabilitation/renovation of a blighted, underutilized, partially vacant, or vacant building (could include substantial or minor rehabilitation, reactivating vacant space, addressing code violations, interior building reconfiguration/fit out) for use as a commercial or mixed-use building with a deed restriction to be required ensuring no change in the proposed project use for 5 years; Maximum funding of $3.5 million per building; not for new construction
  • Building Reuse Studies – such as building conversion analysis from office to commercial or mixed-use; or adaptive reuse study; or other building analysis; Funding cannot be used for physical improvements/construction work. Maximum funding of $200,000 per study and maximum of 3 studies per applicant
  • Public Space Use Investments – Funding may be provided for permanent or semi-permanent physical improvements for projects such as parklets, barrier structures, stages, active use equipment, pedestrian plazas, pocket parks; Funding cannot be used for programming/operational costs of the space; space/property must be either outdoor publicly owned space or outdoor space under agreement (operating agreement, lease, easement, etc.) with a public entity for public use that would function as one of the uses listed above; space/property must be predominantly accessible/open to the public for public use the majority of the time for a minimum 5 years; Maximum funding of $1.5 million per project

Project Timeline Considerations

  • Per US Treasury deadlines and federal SLFRF requirements, all Program funds must be fully disbursed by December 31, 2026.
  • In order to meet these timelines, it is anticipated that Projects included in any application for Program funding would be fully completed by September 30, 2026.

Construction Considerations

  • Projects that have started construction are not eligible.
  • Construction, including demolition and remediation, cannot start until approval. All projects will be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and the Public Works Contractor Registration Act (NJSA 34:11-56.48 et seq.) which requires all contractors, subcontractors, or lower tier subcontractors (including subcontractors listed in bid proposal) who bid on or engage in the performance of any public work in New Jersey to register with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Building Rehabilitation Projects Considerations

  • Building Rehabilitation Projects that are 100% residential are not eligible.
  • Building Rehabilitation Projects that are for governmental or educational uses are not eligible.
  • Mixed-used development projects are eligible and (1) any residential portion must comply with the 20% reservation for low- and moderate-income households required by N.J.S.A. 52:27D-329(b). and (2) should have at least 20% of the total square footage or the entire ground level or entire floor of the building dedicated to a commercial/non-residential use.

Project Cost Considerations

  • Program grant funding can only be used for the real estate project costs specifically approved based on the application, Authority review, and funding grant agreement.
  • Project costs may include hard construction costs with a maximum 10% contingency, soft costs not exceeding 20% of total project costs and developer fee not exceeding 10% of total Project costs or as otherwise allowed by another State agency providing funding to a project.
  • Acquisition funding is not eligible.
  • Operating costs are not eligible.
  • All Project costs and Grant funding are subject to federal Duplication of Benefits requirements and a cost reasonableness analysis will be undertaken prior to Project approval.

Identification of Commercial Corridor Area and Revitalization Strategy

Eligible municipalities will identify a key commercial corridor area (“Corridor”) for revitalization. These Corridors have experienced negative impacts from the COVID19 pandemic such as loss of foot traffic and decreased economic activity due to work-from-home trends and increased online retail spending. The Corridor will typically be in a downtown location and the Applicant will identify the borders of the Corridor. At a minimum, the Corridor should have active commercial activity and/or have zoning allowing for as-of-right commercial use on the ground floor of at least 50% of buildings in the identified Corridor.

Once the Corridor has been identified, eligible municipalities would develop their revitalization strategy for investing in the Corridor to help mitigate the economic harms/losses resulting from the pandemic and stimulate recovery by promoting economic development projects to increase foot traffic and local spending in that area (“Revitalization Strategy”). The Revitalization Strategy would describe the public open process that the municipality undertook to identify and determine the projects from the eligible project types below for which they would request Program grant funding. The Revitalization Strategy should also indicate other projects that could be undertaken and/or additional partners and stakeholders involved in community or business activities in the identified key commercial corridor area.

Application Information

All applications will be submitted online. Applications will be reviewed by Authority staff to confirm that sufficient information and details regarding the following items have been satisfactorily included and are consistent with the Program:

  • Key commercial corridor area has been designated and description of COVID-19 related negative economic impacts has been provided;
  • Overall Revitalization Strategy outlines plan to address the negative impacts and increase foot traffic and economic activity within the Corridor;
  • Proposed Projects to be undertaken with Grant Funds are eligible;
  • Applicant and/or Project developers have provided evidence of sufficient capacity and experience to undertake the revitalization strategy and Projects;
  • Financial information provided evidences reasonableness of proposed costs and ability to provide or secure minimum matching 20% of total Project costs;
  • Timelines to undertake the strategy and complete the proposed Projects are reasonable and evidence completion before September 30, 2026.
  • Minimum grant funding request would be $1 million for any municipality.
  • Maximum grant funding amounts per application will be based on commuter-adjusted population size:
    • Maximum grant funding of $7 million for municipalities with commuter-adjusted population over 100,000.
    • Maximum grant funding of $5,732,716 million for municipalities with commuter-adjusted population under 100,000.

Program grant funding may not exceed 80% of the total of all project costs within the approved application.

If timelines for meeting project milestones are not met, then the Authority may recapture or may require repayment of Grant funds and/or the Applicant may no longer be eligible for any remaining unused grant funds.


Applicant fees will be waived for this program.



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