Low-interest loans of up to $5 million are now available to New Jersey communities for brownfield redevelopment projects. The loans cover all aspects of brownfield revitalization, including assessment, investigation, and demolition.
They are available from the new Brownfields Loan Program, which was created on November 13, 2020 by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).
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 will be one of the only funding sources available to cover pre-construction planning, demolition, asbestos, PCB removal, and lead-based paint remediation.
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.