X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-With the state’s reserve of available land for development quickly running out, developers and municipalities must look to redevelopment to facilitate the state’s growth in coming years. That was the theme of an event held here on Friday and sponsored by New Jersey Future, a non-profit, research and advocacy group that promotes sustainable growth, environmental preservation and neighborhood revitalization.

Peter Kasabach, the group’s executive director, told the crowd that there are 4.7 million acres of land in the state, and that one out of every three acres has been developed. Although that indicates two-thirds are ready for development, he pointed out that much of that land has been set aside, partly due to environmental constraints. “We need to grow, but don’t have much space to do it,” he said.

He noted that by 2050, there would be no more land left to develop in the state. In the past, the state’s development path tended toward suburban sprawl, not the redevelopment of older, developed towns. “It was easier to sprawl, but harder to redevelop,” he said. The right answer, he added, is “to direct growth to developed areas.”

In that vein, the one-day seminar provided a how-to guide for developers, municipal economic developer officials and other interested parties on how to run the gauntlet of the redevelopment process in the Garden State. One of the sessions focused on Revenue Allocation District Financing, or RAD, which is New Jersey’s version of TIFs, or tax increment financing.

Although the state has had a RAD regulation in place since 2003, only one project, an 800-acre development in Millville, has been completed under RAD guidelines. Donald Ayres, the director of economic development for Millville, called RAD “a great tool.” He said that tax dollars generated by the RAD project–the centerpiece of which is a 500,000-square-foot retail center anchored by Target–have funded neighborhood improvements in the surrounding area.

Therefore, a bill is floating around in the state senate now that would amend the current RAD regulations. Thomas Hastie Jr., an attorney with McManimon & Scotland LLC, said the new legislation would open up RAD to more areas and expand the revenue streams that could be used by a town to fund capital improvements needed for redevelopment. It would also streamline the approval process and clarify how the revenues generated by a RAD would be allocated among the local government, school district and other parties.

Patrick Henry, co-founder of the Atlantic Group, said that towns, developers and lenders need to be educated on the benefits of RAD financing. He pointed to successful TIF programs in Chicago and Minneapolis. In Minneapolis, for example, surplus TIF dollars were used to fund improvements that helped attract developers to a riverfront redevelopment project. Those improvements, in turn, helped spur $1.65 billion of private investment, he said. He conceded the process is complex, but “it can be cut through.”

Other topics during the event, which was held at the Hyatt Hotel and Conference Center, included reconnecting jobs with transit, undertaking redevelopment without eminent domain, financing redevelopment projects and incorporating green features in redevelopment endeavors.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt. APARTMENTS SPRING 2021Event

Join 1000+ of the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.