The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced nine awardees of the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program who will receive a combined $407,800 in grants. The program provides grants to communities and stakeholder groups to fund early-stage planning work focused on catalytic redevelopment and the adaptive reuse of vacant and underutilized public assets.
Additionally, the NJEDA said that applications for Phase II of the program will open Aug. 15, and will be accepted until Nov. 13, or until grant funds are exhausted. They will be reviewed and scored on a first-come, first-served basis.
The New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program offers public, private, and nonprofit entities grants of up to $50,000 for innovative projects that both revitalize community assets and drive equitable community growth.
“Under Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is taking concrete steps to transform the state’s distressed and abandoned properties,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “The grants awarded today will position the recipients to revitalize underutilized public assets, which will create greater economic growth and opportunity in these communities. With the launch of the second phase of this program, the NJEDA will be able to support the transformation of properties in even more communities across the state.”
The awardees of Phase I of the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program include:
- Camden Special Services District (CSSD) — $50,000: The grant will be used to conduct public outreach and facilitate conceptual designs to activate a public plaza at 3rd and Market streets in Camden. The public plaza would complement forthcoming traffic and pedestrian improvements planned for the area.
- City of Atlantic City — $50,000: The city will use the grant to conduct a feasibility study and legal analysis for the redevelopment of Renaissance Plaza, a shopping plaza in midtown Atlantic City with 75,000 square feet of gross leaseable space. Site improvements will focus on crime prevention through environmental design.
- Financial Wellness Institute — $50,000: The nonprofit organization will use the grant to host community visioning sessions and conduct a feasibility study and remediation needs assessment of the Old Sketch Club Building, a community theater in Woodbury.
- The Meadowlands 2040 Foundation Inc. — $50,000: The NJEDA board approved this grant in 2022. The Meadowlands 2040 Foundation used its grant to conduct a concept design, market analysis and financial feasibility study of a potential convention or conference center to replace the former IZOD sports arena in East Rutherford.
- Borough of Penns Grove — $50,000: The grant will be used to conduct an economic analysis and feasibility study for the revitalization of Penns Grove’s waterfront area, which includes a pavilion, abandoned pier and several properties along West Main Street.
- RyArMo Photography Studio LLC — $50,000: The grant will be used for a zoning analysis, site surveys, environmental review, financial feasibility analysis and a preliminary market study of a city-owned site in Newark. The site at 132-136 Clinton Ave. is located in the city’s Lincoln Park Redevelopment Area and contains a vacant one-story commercial building and a vacant lot.
- LTD Unlimited — $49,800: A remediation needs assessment and feasibility study will be conducted with the grant for three city-owned properties on Broadway and Market Street in downtown Salem. One of the properties, 113 Market St., is a historic tavern in the city located at the site since the 1730s.
- Trenton Parking Authority — $47,000: The city’s parking authority will use the grant to conduct a market analysis and resident and stakeholder visioning for the five-level parking garage on the corner of Broad and Front streets.
- Mount Holly Township — $11,000: The township will use the grant for a feasibility study and create a concept plan to repurpose a township-owned parking lot as a community open space. The community space will aim to draw business to the adjacent commercial district, host community events and farmers markets, and mitigate flooding.
A complete list of eligibility and scoring criteria can be found here.