New Jersey Approves Loan Program For Brownfield Revitalization

On Thursday, January 14, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will host a webinar to provide details on its new Brownfields Loan Program.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board of Directors has approved the creation of the Brownfields Loan Program that will make low-interest loans of up to $5 million available to brownfield redevelopment projects for all aspects of brownfield revitalization, including assessment, investigation, and demolition. It will be one of the only funding sources available to cover pre-construction planning, demolition, asbestos, PCB removal, and lead-based paint remediation.

New Jersey Brownfields Loan Program
(Credit: Getty Images/Oleksii Liskonih)

NJEDA will be hosting a webinar providing details of the Brownfields Loan Program on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 2 p.m. Click here to register.

“Revitalizing contaminated sites and putting them back to productive, locally-appropriate use is an essential component of Governor Murphy’s commitment to building stronger, more vibrant communities across New Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Brownfields Loan Program and the NJEDA’s other collaborations with NJDEP Commissioner McCabe and other partners to support brownfields redevelopment will play a crucial role in building a greener, fairer New Jersey by incentivizing investors to consider brownfields remediation and making resources available to get these projects off the ground.”

“Remediating brownfields turns burdens into opportunities. By cleaning up contaminated properties and replacing them with valuable assets that benefit New Jersey’s communities, we create new paths for economic growth,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Projects like these are important to our environmental protection, environmental justice, and economic recovery goals, but need financial resources. The NJEDA’s Brownfields Loan Program will open the door to more successful remediation by filling in one of the most pervasive funding gaps that holds back these projects.”

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 Brownfields Loan Program is a unique investment tool that will address this challenge by filling in these funding gaps to make the remediation phase of revitalization projects financially viable. The NJEDA expects this to reactivate long-stalled projects and create new opportunities for commercial, retail, and mixed-use developments that in turn will create jobs and make New Jersey’s communities more vibrant, cleaner places to live and work.

The Brownfields Loan Program will offer low-interest financing of $100,000 to $5 million for all aspects of brownfields revitalization projects, including assessment, investigation, and demolition. Loans will be awarded through a competitive application process beginning in early 2021. Projects will be scored based on various details about the brownfield site itself and the proposed redevelopment project, including the location, the length of time the site has been vacant or underutilized, and how well the proposed redevelopment aligns with local plans. Projects that provide beneficial end uses that promote environmental resiliency, public health, and community well-being will receive higher scores.

The Brownfields Loan Program is part of NJEDA Community Revitalization, a suite of solutions designed to support development that transforms underutilized and contaminated spaces into community assets, with the goal of achieving a greener, fairer New Jersey. This includes ensuring that residents living in communities that have historically suffered from disinvestment, environmental contamination, and health disparities benefit from brownfields redevelopment. In addition to the Brownfields Loan Program, NJEDA Community Revitalization initiatives include the Brownfields Impact Fund, the proposed Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Credit, the expanded Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI), and the Brownfields Center at NJIT.

“The Brownfields Loan Program is a critical component of the NJEDA’s holistic approach to environmental protection and remediation,” said NJEDA Senior Brownfields Advisor Elizabeth Limbrick. “As one of the only sources of funding available for covering costs associated with pre-construction planning, demolition, and asbestos and lead-based paint remediation, the loan program will be a critical tool to help projects get through the early stages of brownfield remediation and move on to the important work of transforming contaminated sites into community assets more quickly and at lower cost.”

Applications for the Brownfields Loan Program will be open from January 14, 2021 through April 13, 2021. Please continue to check the NJEDA website for further updates.

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