Provides $10 Million in Grant Funding for Real Estate Development and Public Space Activation Projects

TRENTON, N.J. (October 14, 2022) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board this week approved the creation of the Activation, Revitalization, and Transformation (ART) Program, which 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.

“Supporting New Jersey’s iconic cities is an essential component of our state’s successful economic recovery,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “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.”

Approved by the New Jersey Joint Budget Oversight Committee last November, the ART program utilizes American Rescue Plan (ARP) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to reactivate and revitalize Atlantic City and Newark’s commercial corridors in the wake of COVID-19. Commercial corridors play a vital role in both urban and rural geographies, serving as economic engines for communities by providing jobs that keep money circulating in the local economy, offer goods and services for residents, and power entrepreneurship as well as wealth building. They also serve to foster arts and cultural activities, which drive dynamic, thriving communities. To mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 and support the development and recovery of New Jersey’s commercial corridors, the ART Program will invest in the infrastructure, capacity building, and resources necessary to help Atlantic City and Newark recover from the pandemic and thrive for years to come. 

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 five million dollars of SLFRF funds.

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 percent 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. ARTs Public Space Activation program will account for up to 30 percent 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,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Governor Murphy’s leadership is advancing the robust recovery of New Jersey’s commercial corridors that will ensure strong, resilient, and equitable economic futures for both Newark and Atlantic City.”

NJEDA Chief Community Development Officer Tai Cooper noted that the arts industry contributes $23 billion to New Jersey’s economy, representing nearly four percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

“The ART program will drive meaningful community engagement by convening local developers and artists with the business community,” said Cooper.  “The arts are an essential thread in the fabric of creative placemaking and the ART program will illuminate New Jersey’s rich and storied legacy in both the performing and visual arts.”

About the NJEDA

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 844-965-1125 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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Updated Plan Will Guide Trenton’s Economic Development

TRENTON, N.J. (December 21, 2021) – The Capital City Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC) today adopted a new Renaissance Plan that is intended to fuel economic development within Trenton’s Capital District. The Renaissance Plan was originally adopted in 1989 to spur economic opportunities and to make the Capital City an attractive place to live, work, play and conduct business. The new Renaissance Plan reflects a multi-year effort by Trenton stakeholders to assess changes to the city’s social, economic, and natural environment factors in order to shape the way the city will be developed in the years to come.

CCRC was created in 1988 to assist with the planning, coordination, and promotion of development within the Capital District, which consists of those portions of the City of Trenton that serve as its commercial center, and in which public buildings and historic sites are located. CCRC’s Renaissance Plan guides public and private investment decisions within the district through goals, policies, and specific recommendations.

The new Renaissance Plan identifies seven key objectives: making downtown Trenton more attractive, inviting, and safe; improving access in and around downtown; restoring traditional linkages to waterways; promoting a diversity of uses; improving the circulation and parking network downtown; expanding and enhancing the historical value of Trenton; and enhancing the social environment. It also includes individual recommendations and priority actions to achieve these goals within each of the six planning areas within the Capital District: The Canal, the State Capital, the Central Business District, Mill Hill, the Riverfront, and the Transit Center. Additionally, the Renaissance Plan provides clear and predictable guidance for land use and development that considers, and is aligned with, both the long-term and aspirational goals of both the State as well as the City of Trenton and addresses existing transportation systems and ways to manage and meet transportation demands.

“Today’s adoption of the Renaissance Plan update establishes a clear blueprint to guide public and private development and redevelopment in the Capital District,” said CCRC Chairman Peter A. Inverso. “A 21st century Trenton needs a 21st century plan. We are grateful to the many agencies, organizations, stakeholders, and members of the public who helped shape this plan into one that is both representative of the current community and adaptable for the Trenton of tomorrow.”

Newark-based Topology, a real estate and planning firm, oversaw and assisted with updating the Renaissance Plan in coordination with the City of Trenton’s recent update to its Master Plan, known as Trenton 250, as well as other relevant plans for areas within the CCRC Boundary.

“‘Trenton Makes and the World Takes’ is more than just a slogan, and this updated community-based plan will help us recapture our once-prominent role as a hub of economic activity,” said Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. “This plan has the best of both worlds: It preserves the historical, cultural, architectural and environmental assets of the Capital District, while also engendering significant new development opportunities.”

A draft of the update to the Renaissance Plan was released to the New Jersey State Building Authority, the Planning Board of the City of Trenton, and the Mercer County Planning Board for their input. CCRC also posted the draft plan to its website, and held public hearings in August, followed by a 30-day public comment period.

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