EDA taking applications for community redevelopment grant program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority said Friday it has begun accepting applications for its 21st Century Redevelopment Program, which makes grants of up to $50,000 to communities for planning the redevelopment or repurposing of underutilized retail or office properties.

Changes to the program in August 2019 opened it up to more projects, as well as streamlining the application process, the NJEDA said in a news release.

“Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s holistic vision for investment in communities includes exploring creative ideas for transforming dormant properties into engines of growth,” EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said in a prepared statement. “The 21st Century Redevelopment Program will help to encourage communities to tap into these sites in ways that contribute to the local economy, including supporting young, innovative companies.”

Grants under the program would help municipalities, counties and redevelopment agencies identify strategies for empty or underutilized suburban office parks and shopping malls, the EDA said. Grant recipients would participate in at least two EDA events on community-driven approaches to reimagining such properties, it added.

The new program is open to more applicants, as it modified eligibility requirements including square footage and vacancy mandates, making those into scoring criteria rather than must-haves, for instance.

Funding can be used for such needs as legal analysis, stakeholder engagement, identification of funding sources and more.

Applications will be due during a competitive window of 90 days. For more information, click here.