HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Governor Phil Murphy was in Hamilton Monday to tout two programs his Administration believes will boost efforts to transform dilapidated and abandoned properties into vibrant parts of the community,
While remediation has historically been a major barrier to successful brownfield redevelopment projects because of the lack of funding sources available to support site assessment, planning, and cleanup, Murphy's goal is to fill these funding gaps through the Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive and Brownfields Loan Program aim to address this challenge by filling in these funding gaps.
At an announcement at the Mill One property which was a 19th Century shirt mill on the border of Trenton and Hamilton, the Governor highlighted The Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive will provide tax credits to support brownfields remediation projects. He also noted the Brownfields Loan Program which makes low-interest loans of up to $5 million available to brownfield redevelopment projects for all aspects revitalization, including assessment, investigation, and demolition.
“Investing in communities is one of the pillars of our plan to bring about a stronger, fairer New Jersey,” said Murphy. “Supporting brownfields revitalization projects that transform dangerous, contaminated sites into valuable community assets is crucial to building vibrant neighborhoods and spurring equitable economic growth throughout New Jersey.”
The Mill One, a collaboration between developer Modern Recycled Spaces and nonprofit Isles, Inc. that will lead the “Social Profit Center" at the site, will house and support a collection of nonprofit organizations, socially conscious businesses, and local artists, as well as mixed-use, office, and other commercial spaces. Additionally, the site is being restored to historic preservation standards and has been placed on the National Historic Registry, and includes green technology with solar panels on part of the roof, a “green roof” that reduces storm water impacts, and super-efficient HVAC systems.
Max Popkin of Modern Recycled Spaces, told TAPinto that businesses are beginning to see "a light at the end of the tunnel" that has been a tough economy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, adding that they have seen the range of tenants struggling in the last year while other businesses have excelled.
The family-owned business is based in Hamilton Township and focused on redevelopment projects in regional proximity. Modern Recycled Spaces has transformed other central jersey properties -- in Hamilton, Bordentown, Pennington, and Lambertville -- into cutting edged mixed use commercial, business, and retail properties.
"The Brownfields Loan Program is a unique tool that provides much-needed resources to support the planning and remediation stages of brownfields rehabilitation projects,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive and the Brownfields Loan Program will play a central role in driving equitable community revitalization and growth across the state.”
Popkin echoed the sentiment that revitalizing brownfields and older properties can bring about a sense of community within businesses.
"We have a goal of creating a synergy where companies and their clients are working together. Nothing is more fun than seeing one tenant walk across the hall to work together," said Popkin who added that with so many working from home in the last year there is "motivation to create cool spaces that make people want to come back to work."
Popkin said the developer also is looking to utilize the Murphy Administration's community solar program to incorporate solar panels into their projects.
The Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive is a one-time tax credit that will be issued to developers in the year they complete a remediation project. The tax credit will support costs associated with assessment, investigation, and remediation activities, as well as hazardous materials abatement, waste disposal, and structural remediation. The program is subject to a $50 million annual cap with a maximum $4 million tax credit per project. Tax credits will be awarded through a competitive application process. The NJEDA will release more details on the program specifics and application later this year.
The Brownfields Loan Program offers 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, 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.
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