The New Jersey Economic Development Authority board will support the creation of the Activation, Revitalization, and Transformation Program with $10 million to create two programs, one for Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development projects and one for Public Space Activation initiatives, which will help to reactivate and revitalize Atlantic City and Newark’s commercial corridors in the wake of COVID-19.
This one-time grant opportunity will assist economic recovery in the infrastructure, capacity building and resources necessary to help Atlantic City and Newark recover from the economic harms from the reduction of commuters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approved by the New Jersey Joint Budget Oversight Committee last November, the ART Program utilizes American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
To establish this program, the NJEDA will enter into two Memoranda of Understanding, one with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and one with the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, each for $5 million of SLFRF funds.
“Supporting New Jersey’s iconic cities is an essential component of our state’s successful economic recovery,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Through catalytic investment in real estate development and public space activation projects, the ART Program will help municipalities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic thrive long into the future.”
The ART program establishes a competitive grant program that will provide $9.75 million in total funding for Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development and Public Space Activation programming that will be split evenly among Newark and Atlantic City.
ART’s Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development program will account for up to 70% of the total program funding ($3.4125 million per city) to support project-specific hard and soft costs that revitalize commercial corridors and incentivize catalytic development.
ART’s Public Space Activation program will account for up to 30% of the total program funding ($1.4625 million per city) to support public space activation initiatives such as placemaking, events, public art installations, signage, streetscape improvements and small business support.
“The ART Program serves as a critical investment in New Jersey’s economically vital commercial corridors, which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have experienced decreased capacity, foot traffic and revenue during the transition to remote work,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said.