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Brownfields Loan Program

Historically, remediation has been a major barrier to successful brownfield redevelopment projects because of the lack of funding sources available to support site assessment, planning, and cleanup. The new $15 million Brownfields Loan Program is a unique investment tool that addresses this challenge by filling in these funding gaps to make the remediation phase of revitalization projects financially viable.  
 
The Brownfields Loan Program provides financing to potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) that intend to develop commercial (including but not limited to manufacturing), retail, mixed-use developments, expansions or reuses.  The program offers low-interest financing of $100,000 to $5 million for all aspects of brownfields revitalization projects, including assessment, investigation, and demolition.  It is one of the only funding sources available to cover pre-construction planning, demolition, asbestos, PCB removal, and lead-based paint remediation.

 
Loans will be awarded through a competitive application process, with projects receiving scores based on various details about the brownfield site and the proposed redevelopment project. Projects that provide beneficial end uses that promote environmental resiliency, public health, and community well-being will receive higher scores and may also qualify for interest rate reductions if approved for financing.
 

Applications for the Brownfields Loan Program will be open from January 14, 2021 through April 13, 2021.  CLICK HERE TO APPLY 
 

Relevant Application Documentation


Please continue to check this page for further updates.

 
  • Dollar Amount

    Loans of up to $5 million to potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners for costs associated with brownfields site remediation

  • Uses

    Loan proceeds can be used for eligible project development costs


    Please see "Eligible Uses" below for more information

  • Benefits

    Low-interest bridge financing that makes the remediation phase of a brownfields redevelopment project feasible.


    Interest rates may be further reduced depending on the proposed end-use of the redevelopment site.

  • Eligibility

    Please see Eligible Applicants, Sites and Uses below for more information

Program Overview:

The Brownfields Loan Program provides financing to potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) that intend to develop commercial (including but not limited to manufacturing), retail, mixed-use developments, expansions or reuses.

Parties that have caused or contributed to environmental contamination at the site are not eligible.  

 

Available Financing:

  • Maximum loan amount: $5,000,000
  • Minimum loan amount: $100,000



Eligible Applicants:

 
  • Potential brownfield site purchasers and current brownfield site owners (including local government redevelopers) that intend to develop commercial (including but not limited to manufacturing), retail, mixed-use developments, expansions or reuses. Parties that have caused or contributed to environmental contamination at the site are not eligible
 
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate site control or a path to site control.
 
  • Applications must be accompanied by a letter of support from the mayor of the municipality in which the brownfield site is located (or the governing body if the position of mayor does not exist)
 
  • Applicant must provide owner equity* equal to a minimum of 10% of the appraised value of the property in a remediated state.

* Equity includes cash, development fees, costs for remediation and redevelopment project feasibility incurred within the 12 months prior to application, property value less any mortgages or liens, and the portion of the developer’s fee that is delayed for a minimum of five years, and any other investment by the developer in the remediation or redevelopment project deemed acceptable by the Authority. Federal, state and local grant and federal and state tax credits are not considered equity.

 

Eligible Sites:


Any former or current commercial or industrial site that is currently vacant or underutilized and on which:
 
  • There has been, or there is suspected to have been, a discharge of a contaminant
  • There is a structure upon which abatement or removal of asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, contaminated wood or paint, and other structural remedial activities is necessary.
  • Any site as described above that has been remediated for industrial use but requires further remediation for mixed-use residential redevelopment.
 
  • Project must be economically feasible, meaning there is enough cash flow to repay debt financing, including the brownfields loan, and demonstrate a funding gap or that other financing is not currently available.
 
  • Project must have a plan for reuse of the remediated site. 
 
  • Projects previously approved for reimbursement through the Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Reimbursement Program are not eligible.
 
  • The property, in a remediated condition, must have an appraised value equal to or greater than 100 percent of all debt financing, including the requested Brownfields loan amount or applicant must demonstrate other sources of collateral.
 
  • Applicant must provide an LSRP report or other documentation from a qualified professional that demonstrates that the site is a brownfield site (contamination exists on the site).
 

Eligible Uses:


Costs associated with the investigation, assessment, and remediation of a brownfield, including but not limited to:
 
  • Soil, groundwater and infrastructure investigation
  • Assessment
  • Remediation
  • Abatement
  • Hazardous materials or waste disposal
  • Long-term groundwater or natural attenuation
  • Other forms of institutional controls
  • Attorney fees *
  • Planning, engineering and environmental consulting
  • Building and structural issues (including demolition, asbestos abatement, PCB removal, contaminated wood or paint removal or other infrastructure remedial activities)

Use of funds cannot be duplicative of other approved State or Federal grants previously awarded that would pay for the proposed use of funds (i.e. environmental studies and reports that are eligible under HDSRF)

* No more than 20% of the Brownfields loan amount can be used for soft costs.

 

Scoring Criteria:

The following attachment is the detailed scoring criteria for the Brownfields Loan Program.

Exhibit A: Brownfields Loan Program Detailed Scoring Criteria

The applicant is requested to provide any available information that will assist the Authority in scoring the project against the Brownfields Loan scoring criteria.  This information is not required to determine an application’s eligibility for the Brownfields loan. Instead, the information will ensure that the NJEDA can appropriately score the project in comparison to other projects. 


Terms/Rates:

  •  10-year term. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for the first two years. Interest during this two-year period will accrue and be capitalized onto the principal balance of the loan. Then, interest only payments for years three and four, followed by full amortization of the principal balance for the remaining term. Full amortization is based on principal and interest payments with no penalty for prepayment.
 
  • Interest Rate: Base rate of 3% with opportunity for rate reductions to a floor of 2% based on the redevelopment project design.  Please see "Rate Reductions" (below) for more information.
 

Rate Reductions:


A project may be eligible for interest rate reductions based on the redevelopment project design*. Interest rate reductions of 20 basis points per applicable criteria may be available for the following criteria:
 
  • Mixed-use residential project consisting of newly-constructed residential units where the developer will reserve at least 20 percent, but not more than 50 percent, of the residential units constructed for occupancy by low- and moderate-income households with affordability controls as required under the rules of the Council on Affordable Housing.
 
  • The project is in an urban food desert community and the redevelopment project includes a food delivery source. Food delivery source” means access to nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, through grocery operators, including, but not limited to a full-service supermarket or grocery store, and other healthy food retailers of at least 10,000 square feet, including, but not limited to, a prepared food establishment selling primarily nutritious ready-to-serve meals.
 
  • A health care or health services center with a minimum of 10,000 square feet of space devoted to primary health care or health services and is located in a distressed municipality with a Municipal Revitalization Index score of 50 or lower.
 
  • The project qualifies as a tourism destination project, which means a non-gaming business facility that will be among the most visited privately owned or operated tourism or recreation sites in the State, and which has been determined by the Authority to be in an area appropriate for development and in need of economic development incentive assistance, including a non-gaming business within an established tourism district with a significant impact on the economic viability of that district.
 
  • The project includes an electric vehicle charging station installation in at least 25 percent of the parking spaces located at the redevelopment project
 
  • The project demonstrates that the parking area at the redevelopment project is capable of conversion to commercial space if there a decrease in demand for parking
 
  • The project includes development of an incubator facility or collaborative workspaces.
 
  • Project includes the revitalization of historic sites and structures, defined as an income-producing structure or a site associated with the history of New Jersey that is on the State or National Register of Historic Places or is eligible
    for placement on the State or National Register.


* Applicants will be expected to provide any information available that validates that the proposed end use of the site includes any of the features for which the applicant is applying for a reduced interest rate. 

**A deed restriction for 10 years after completion of the remediation will be placed on the project requiring the redevelopment  to be consistent with the proposed end-use and factors considered at time of application for eligibility and interest rate reductions.
 

Lien/Collateral:

Lien on property, subordinated to purchase mortgage, removed upon repayment.
 

Other Requirements:


Brownfields loans are subject to the Authority’s affirmative action requirements, P.L. 1979, c. 203 (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.4) and prevailing wage requirements, P.L. 2007, c. 245 (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.1). For Brownfields Loan, the Authority’s affirmative action and prevailing wage requirements shall apply to both the remediation project and the redevelopment project. 

Fees:
  • Application Fee: $2,500
  • Commitment Fee: 0.875% of loan amount
  • Closing Fee: 0.875% of loan amount
 


Application Submission & Review Process

Application Closes: April 13, 2021

Applications for the Brownfields Loan Program must be received by the NJEDA no later than  Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Any applications received after the date specified shall not be considered.

Prior to submitting an application for the Brownfield Redevelopment Loan Program, please contact the Brownfields and Sustainable System Program at BrownfieldsLoan@njeda.com, to be assigned a Program Officer.

It is highly recommended that you initiate the submittal of your application and supplemental information a minimum of four (4) hours prior to the application due date/time, to allow some time to identify and troubleshoot any issues that may arise when using the NJEDA online application.

Applicants may find more information on the application submission and review process in the “User’s Guide”

Relevant Application Documentation


Appeals Process

An applicant has a right to appeal the declination of its Brownfields Loan application.  An appeal must be submitted to brownfieldsloan@njeda.com within ten (10) business days of receiving written notice of the declination.  The appeal must be in writing and include certain information to be deemed complete.  It must identify the applicant that is submitting the appeal; it must identify the decision being appealed; it must specify all grounds for the appeal and all arguments, materials and/or documents that support the appeal; and it should indicate whether an oral presentation is requested, and if so, the reason for the oral presentation. 

A hearing officer will be assigned and will decide whether an oral presentation is appropriate under the circumstances.  The hearing officer will review all documentation and any oral presentations and make a recommendation to the Board.  The Board serves as the final decision-maker.  Pursuant to NJEDA policy, an applicant who appeals from a Board decision may appear and speak to the Board before the Board votes on the appeal.  After that vote, if the applicant is dissatisfied with the Board’s final administrative decision, it may appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, pursuant to the Rules of Court.
 

Questions & Answers


The Authority will electronically accept written questions and inquiries from all potential applicants, via the web at brownfieldsloan@njeda.com by Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 5:00 pm. The subject of the email should read “Question – Brownfields Loan Program”.  Phone calls/faxes shall not be accepted.

An applicant must not contact an Authority staff/board member directly, in person, by telephone or by e-mail, concerning this application.

All Questions received and Answers given in response to this Brownfields Loan Program will be answered in the form of a “Questions & Answers” document.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to continue to check the EDA’s website (www.njeda.com/Brownfields)  page for any updated Questions and Answers that are posted.

NOTE: This is a competitive loan program and therefore NJEDA will be limited in the type of support that can be offered during a competitive round. General questions will be addressed on the Questions & Answers document. The NJEDA cannot provide specialized assistance to any specific applicant.


Informational Webinar


CLICK HERE to view the January 14, 2021, Brownfields Loan application program INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR for potential applicants which discusses the application process.  CLICK HERE to download the slides. 
 


Please continue to check the NJEDA’s website (www.njeda.com) for any updates regarding an Brownfields Loan Program