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ACTIVATION, REVITALIZATION, AND TRANSFORMATION (ART) PROGRAM


The Activation, Revitalization, and Transformation (ART) Program, establishes a one-time grant opportunity to support economic recovery in urban areas with mass transit that have faced economic harms from the reduction of commuters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded at $10 million, the ART pilot program will address these harms through the creation of two programs, one for Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development projects and one for Public Space Activation initiatives

PROGRAM DETAILS

The Activation, Revitalization, and Transformation Program (“ART Program”) is a competitive grant program that will proactively deploy $10 million in ARP SLFRF funding to address the impacts of COVID-19.

Administered by the NJEDA, the ART program provides a total funding source of $10 million
SLFRF funding from two separate funding sources.

Projects must be located in Atlantic City or Newark.

This funding will support two products:

Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development

  • up to $7 million in grant funding is planned to support real estate development financing in the form of grants for real estate rehabilitation, new construction, and development costs associated to each project
  • $3.5 million awards for projects in Newark and $3.5 million in awards for projects in Atlantic City

Public Space Activation

  • $3 million in grant funding will support public space activation initiatives
  • $1.5 million in awards to applicant in Newark and $1.5 million in awards to applicants in Atlantic City.


ELIGIBILTY

Eligible Project Locations

  • Projects must be located in Atlantic City or Newark.
  • Atlantic City- Atlantic City projects in commercial corridor is defined as a project located in the boundaries of the City of Atlantic City that is within 1 ½ (1.5) miles radius of an active NJ Transit rail station,
  • Newark- Newark projects in a commercial corridor is defined as a project located in the boundaries of the City of Newark that is within 1½ (1.5) miles radius of an active NJ Transit rail station

Eligible Applicants

  • Private or non-profit developers that can demonstrate capacity to complete a development and redevelopment project, or have experience with a project of a similar scope.
  • Non-profit economic development or redevelopment agencies that can demonstrate capacity to complete a development or redevelopment project or have experience with a project of a similar scope.
  • Commercial property owner(s) that can demonstrate capacity to complete a development and redevelopment project or have experience with a project of a similar scope.

Eligible Project Activities

In order to be eligible for ART funding, all capital construction projects must have a total cost of less than $10M. These projects can include:

  • Renovation or restoration of vacant buildings, or square feet of vacant space within a partially occupied building.
  • New construction of at least 10,000 square feet on an existing vacant lot.
  • Acquisition costs.
  • Eligible projects can include mixed- used construction.

Ineligible activities include:

  • Demolition of a structure to create a vacant lot for future development.
  • Projects that are 100% residential construction.

Eligible Project Locations:

  • Projects must be located in Atlantic City or Newark.
  • Atlantic City- Atlantic City projects in commercial corridor is defined as a project located in the boundaries of the City of Atlantic City that is within 1 ½ (1.5) miles radius of an active NJ Transit rail station,
  • Newark- Newark projects in a commercial corridor is defined as a project located in the boundaries of the City of Newark that is within 1½ (1.5) miles radius of an active NJ Transit rail station.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit organizations with a 501c(3) or 501c(19) status including but not limited to, Economic Development Corporations, Community Development Corporations, Nonprofit Economic Development or Redevelopment Agencies, Business Improvement Districts and City Improvement Districts and Art Organizations.

Eligible Project Activities:

Funding is expected to support the creation of public space activation initiatives, such as:

  • Placemaking projects, public art installations, signage, and streetscape improvements
  • Activation of public spaces through events
  • Operating costs for arts organizations
  • Master/subleases for programmatic use (including incubator space, small business support, and events) in mixed use and commercial properties only.

AWARD SIZE

The ART program allocates $5 million in funding for projects in Atlantic City and $5 million in funding for projects in Newark that support commercial corridors.

Real Estate Rehabilitation and Development Program
Minimum award request: $250,000
Maximum award request: $3,500,000

Public Space Activation Program
Minimum award request: $100,000
Maximum award request: $1,500,000

FEES

Application Fee: $1,000

Not-for-profit entities can apply for fee waivers for undue hardships. Fee waivers for Undue hardship can be demonstrated through the nonprofit’s most recent 990 form if Revenue Less Expenses (line 19) is less than or equal to $500,000 and Net Assets/Fund Balances (line 22) is less than or equal to $1,000,000.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The ART Program will be a competitive grant program accepting applications during a 60-day business day window. NJEDA must receive a minimum of 3 applications in order to start the process towards application evaluation, scoring, and approval.

Grants will be scored on a scale of 0-100 points, with award recommendations limited to applications that meet or exceed the minimum score requirement of 65 points. Applications will be evaluated and scored on each of the criteria found in Exhibit B.

Grant award recommendations will be made based on the highest scored applications received after the competitive application window closes. Awards will be recommended in order until the funding pool is fully utilized.