NJ EDA now accepting Commercial Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant applications – 30% of eligible project costs

As of August 16, 2021, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has commenced accepting applications for commercial projects under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program. The Commercial ERG Program is an incentive that is designed to assist developers and businesses address project financing gaps in development or redevelopment projects, including below market development margins or rates of return.

A link to the application and more information is available at https://www.njeda.com/erg.

Qualified projects are eligible to receive an incentive grant reimbursement of up to 30% of total “eligible project costs”. Moreover, projects in Atlantic City, Camden, Paterson, Passaic, and Trenton are eligible to receive reimbursements up to 40% of eligible project costs. Subsidies awarded through the ERG Program are not meant to be a substitute for conventional debt and equity financing.

Prior to applying, prospective applicants are required to have the balance of their funding identified or in place or be able to demonstrate that any terms of other financing are reasonable.

Among other requirements, projects must:

• Be located in a qualifying incentive area.
• Demonstrate that a project financing gap exists.
• Be predominantly commercial and contain 100,000 or more square feet of retail, office, and/or industrial uses for purchase or lease.
• Not have commenced any construction at the site of a proposed redevelopment project prior to submitting an application or demonstrate to the NJEDA that the project would not be completed otherwise or is to be undertaken in phases.
• Demonstrate the tax revenues the State will realize from the project will be greater than the incentive being provided.

Additional information on eligibility for the Commercial ERG Program can be found at the 2021 Commercial Extension Clarification Document at https://www.njeda.com/erg.

All applicants are required to submit an application via the NJEDA’s online application at https://application.njeda.com/. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted or Thursday, December 30, 2021.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of P-3, public private partnerships and incentives  related alerts, blogs and advice on various P-3 and incentives related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Mike Barz, Nat Abramowitz or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: NJ ends Public Health Emergency Declaration

On Friday, June 4, Governor Murphy signed legislation that effectively ends the New Jersey COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order that has been in place since March 9, 2020.

While some have commented that the bills were rushed through the State legislature, the Bill, A-5820/S-3866, was passed and signed by the governor yesterday.

As passed, the Bill allows for the continuation of 14 executive orders, including Executive Order No. 229, which extended a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through June 30, 2021.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, the Administration is authorized to issue orders, directives, and waivers under the authority in the Emergency Health Powers Act that are specifically related to:

• personnel allocation and health resource allocation efforts;
• testing;
• vaccinations; 
• health department coordination;
• data retention, sharing, collection and access; and
• implementation of CDC recommendations to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

In these instances, the Governor has retained authority until January 11, 2022, which authority can be extended for 90 days with the passage of a concurrent resolution by the Legislature.

As of July 4, 2021, the Bill and the follow on companion bill effectively puts an end the Public Health Emergency declaration in New Jersey.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of COVID related alerts, blogs and advice on various COVID related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Elizabeth Mincer, Eve Klein, Kathy O’Malley or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: As of 4-2-21, NJ Expands Outdoor Gathering Numbers and Indoor Seating Capacity for Large Venues

Earlier today on 3-30-21, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 234, which will increase outdoor gathering limits and increase capacity for seated events at large venues. The Order also clarifies indoor capacity limits for banquet halls and similar venues.

Executive Order No. 234 enables the following changes on Friday, April 2, at 6:00 a.m.:

Outdoor Gatherings:

The general outdoor gathering limit will increase from 50 people to 200 people.

Outdoor gatherings that are religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals, or memorial services will continue to not have any limit.

College and youth sporting events will be permitted up to 200 spectators if the outdoor venue can accommodate appropriate social distancing.

Large Venues:

Venues, including sports and entertainment venues, with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more will be permitted to host events at 20% capacity indoors and 30% capacity outdoors. The capacity limits will continue to exclude participants, such as athletes and performers, and staff, such as coaches and ushers.

Facilities that host such events must ensure that all attendees at the event remain six feet apart from other attendees, except those individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together. Attendees will also be required to wear masks within the facility, except when eating or drinking.

Catered Events:

The Order also clarifies that banquet halls and similar dining establishments and venues that use a licensed caterer can host indoor celebrations and other private catered events at 35% of the room’s capacity, up to 150 persons.

Indoor Gatherings:

The general indoor gathering limit will remain at 25 people.

Indoor gatherings that currently have a higher limit – religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, or performances – will remain unchanged.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of COVID related alerts, blogs and advice on various COVID related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Elizabeth Mincer, Eve Klein, Kathy O’Malley or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

 

COVID-19: NJ Expands list of Eligible Vaccine Recipients

Late last week (on March 27, 2021), Governor Murphy announced the expansion of eligibility for vaccines to more frontline essential workers and high-risk groups in New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Eligible groups include individuals ages 55-64, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, higher education educators and staff, and communications and utility infrastructure workers among others.

Beginning Monday, April 5, the following groups are eligible for vaccination:

Individuals ages 55-64;

Individuals ages 16 and up with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
Educators, including support staff, in higher education settings;

Communications infrastructure support, including engineers, and technicians, and members of the press;

Real estate, building, and home service workers, including construction workers, code officials, plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, property management, and maintenance workers;

Retail financial institution workers, including bank tellers, lending services, public accounting, and check-cashing workers;

Sanitation workers providing disinfection and janitorial services, city sanitation workers; residential, commercial, and industrial solid and hazardous waste removal workers;

Laundry service workers, including those working in laundromats, laundry services, and dry cleaners;

Utility workers including, electrical generation and supply system, natural gas delivery, nuclear power plant, water supply, telephone, cable/fiber/optical/broadband/cellular service workers; and,

Librarians and support staff at municipal, county, and state libraries.

For more information about eligibility, statewide vaccination site locations, and to preregister for a vaccination, visit https://covid19.nj.gov/vaccine.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of COVID related alerts, blogs and advice on various COVID related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Elizabeth Mincer, Eve Klein or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

COVID-19: PA announces April time frame for additional restaurant and hospitality indoor and outdoor rules relaxation

Earlier today, Monday, March 15th, PA Gov. Wolf relaxed certain Covid-19 restrictions, including making substantial modification to some of the more  restrictive guidelines that apply to the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Effective April 4th at midnight, “self-certified” restaurants, gyms, casinos, malls and theatres in PA will be permitted to operate at 75% capacity. Non-self-certified restaurants are required to remain at 50% capacity. The self-certification process involves agreeing to strictly comply to all public health safety guidelines and orders, including the cleaning and mitigation protocols and other operational requirements issued by the CDC and the PA Department of Health.

The previous guideline that required restaurants and bars to have “last call” at 11 p.m. has also been eliminated. Additionally, bar seating will now be permitted so long as barriers exist between guests. Per the Philadelphia Business Journal, the changes also lift requirements that patrons order food with alcohol, i.e., merely drinking will be permitted on a go forward basis as of April 4.

The governor also announced revised maximum occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 25% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size, and maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 50% of maximum occupancy, also regardless of venue size.

The City of Philadelphia is currently allowing a 50% indoor capacity maximum if the applicable restaurant is approved under a certification process. Philadelphia which has set its own stricter rules has advised that it will review its rules in light of the new Commonwealth guidance.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of COVID related alerts, blogs and advice on various COVID related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Elizabeth Mincer, Eve Klein or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

 

 

COVID-19: Philadelphia begins Reopening Indoor and Outdoor Sporting Events to Live Fans!

The City of Philadelphia has elected to follow the Commonwealth’s guidance on enabling sporting events to begin bringing back fans live.

The revised restrictions allow outdoor venues to have occupancy of 20% of maximum capacity and indoor venues to have occupancy of 15% of maximum capacity, regardless of venue size.

Gov. Tom Wolf had announced this updated statewide guidance earlier this week on March 1, 2021.

According to Philadelphia Business Journal reporting, the Wells Fargo Center will initially be able to host 3,100 fans for Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers game and will begin to allow fans live as of Sunday night’s game against the Washington Capitals.

The 76ers will begin hosting fans starting March 14.

According to press releases from the teams, the Wells Fargo Center recently completed an $11 million installation of a new HVAC system that replaces indoor air every 30 minutes.

The Phillies will host Opening Day at 42,729-seat Citizens Bank Park against the Atlanta Braves on April 1. Under current guidance, 8,558 attendees will be allowed at the event, noting, it is unclear exactly how many fans will be permitted inside the stadium as the limits include coaches, players, team employees and arena staff.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who have been engaged in the review and dissemination of COVID related alerts, blogs and advice on various COVID related topics.  Please see our website for a few list of all available articles and blogs.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Sharon Caffrey, Elizabeth Mincer or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

 

NJ: $250M Redevelopment Funding for Walter Rand Transportation Center

On February 17th, Governor Murphy, Congressman Norcross, Senate President Sweeney together with local and county officials announced $250 Million for the redevelopment of the Walter Rand Transportation Center (WRTC) in Camden, NJ. This will be the center’s first major renovation since opening in 1989.

The WRTC Improvement Project will upgrade and enlarge the existing facility and accommodate future transit development and the potential for new retail, office, housing and hospitality opportunities utilizing Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) design standards.

The project will ultimately replace the existing facility with an expanded multi-purpose transit center that in intended to provide an improved link for transportation in South Jersey and serve as an interlink to between the NJ Transit bus system, and the light rail systems of PATCO and the River Line.

It has been reported that NJ TRANSIT plans to issue an RFP from qualified professional firms to conduct Conceptual Design, Preliminary Engineering, Final Design Engineering, and Construction Assistance for the WRTC Improvement Project.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who engage in the public-private partnership (P-3) space where State based incentives are often critical to the success of a project.  

If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Mike Barz, Paul Josephson, Sheila Slocum Hollis, or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.

 

COVID-19: Philadelphia to allow increase to 50% for Indoor Dining Capacity

Earlier today, February 9, 2021, the City of Philadelphia announced it will allow restaurants to increase indoor dining capacity to 50% as early as Friday, February 12, 2021 if they meet certain criteria outlined below – namely improving their ventilation.

In order to be allowed to increase indoor capacity to 50% from the current citywide limit of 25%, restaurants are required to certify that they have improved their ventilation per an on line application that is required to be filed with the City.

To be eligible for increased capacity, restaurants using an HVAC system are required to show the following:

1.  their HVAC system is fully operational and ventilates the entire indoor dining area;

2.  At least 20% of the air circulated by the HVAC system is outdoor air;

3.  That there is 15 or more outdoor air exchanges per hour;

4.  That the system has a MERV 11 or higher filtration system; and

5.  That exhaust vent has a minimum 6-foot clearance from tables, chairs or other items.

If a restaurant is using only window fans, there must be at least 15 air exchanges per hour measured indoors.

The city’s goal is to respond to applications within 72 hours of receiving the form. If approved, per the Philadelphia Business Journal, restaurants will be able to immediately increase capacity starting this Friday.

The Department of Public Health will be routinely inspecting restaurants to confirm that the establishments are in compliance.

Indoor dining capacity was reduced to 25% in Philadelphia on Jan. 16th after nearly 2 months of being shut down. The City rules have continued to be more stringent than that of the Commonwealth in various areas, including indoor seating capacity. 

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Sharon Caffrey, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

 

COVID-19: Philadelphia to lift certain COVID-19 bans on 1-15-21

Earlier today, January 12, 2021, the Kenney Administration announced that Philadelphia will lift its ban on theaters, indoor dining, and in-person college instruction on January 15, 2021.

Theaters will able to reopen, with a maximum audience of 5% of total capacity or 5 people per 1,000 square feet, including both attendees and staff. Food and drink will not be allowed, and all guests must wear masks.

Restaurants will be permitted to have indoor dining for 25% of their seating capacity.

Colleges and universities will now be allowed to resume in-person instruction.

Other indoor gatherings, indoor recreational sports, indoor catered events and senior day services will remain in restricted status for the moment.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer, Sharon Caffrey, Eve Klein or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe.

 

NJ – Governor Murphy signs $14B Incentive Program Bill – the NJ Economic Recovery Act of 2020

As of today, January 7, 2020, Governor Murphy has signed into law the NJ Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (the “NJERA”), a bill that creates a 7-year, $14 Billion Dollar package of tax incentives to attract and retain NJ based businesses and real estate development projects.

The 249-page NJEDA outlines new tax incentives to replace the expired NJ GROW and ERG programs and expands or creates new subsidies for film and television production, revitalizing brownfields and assisting so-called food deserts, among other areas, all while creating financial caps and oversight for the programs and the state agency that manages them.

Under the NJERA, most of the new tax credit programs are subject to a collective $11.5 Billion Dollar cap over 6 years, while allowing for a 7th year of allocations under those programs for uncommitted credits. The NJERA also provides for $2.6 Billion in tax credits over 13 years for projects related to film and television production.

A new office, the Office of Economic Development Inspector General will be created along with a chief compliance officer to manage a Division of Portfolio Management and Compliance to oversee the awards.

Under the new Emerge program, tax credits are available to encourage economic development, job creation and the retention of significant numbers of jobs in imminent danger of leaving the state.

Eligibility is subject to various provisions, including a requirement that the award of tax credits, the resulting capital investment and the resulting job creation or retention will yield a “net positive benefit” to NJ ranging from at least 200 to 400% of the award, depending on the location. Emerge also has minimum requirements and adjustments for the necessary capital investment based on the type of project, the size of the business, the types of jobs at stake and other factors.

Tax credits under both Emerge and a separate program, Aspire, are subject to a combined $1.1 Billion annual cap for 6 years. The NJERA also calls for the $1.1 Billion annual cap to be split so that up to $715 million of tax credits will be for projects located in 14 northern counties and $385 million for projects in 7 southern counties.

Aspire, the successor to the Economic Redevelopment & Growth program, or ERG, will provide gap financing to development projects that are intended to serve a public policy goal but which would otherwise generate a below-market rate of return. Additionally, the proposal outlines different provisions for commercial and residential projects, providing bonuses for those that serve distressed or targeted communities, along with transit-oriented development and affordable housing.

The NJERA would also allow the Economic Development Authority, which oversees tax incentives, to review each project’s performance and reduce the amount of the subsidy if it determines that the financing gap is smaller than determined at board approval. If there is no project financing gap, then the developer would forfeit the incentive award.

Historic property reinvestment — providing tax credits for part of the cost of rehabilitating historic properties in the state, with a cap of $50 million annually for 6 years;

Film tax credits — amending existing programs to include provisions for so-called New Jersey film partners and New Jersey film-lease partners and allowing an additional $200 million of tax credits annually over 13 years;

Brownfields redevelopment — providing tax credits to compensate developers of redevelopment projects located on polluted sites for remediation costs, with a cap of $50 million annually for 6 years;

Food desert relief — providing tax credits in order to incentivize businesses to establish and retain new supermarkets and grocery stores in underserved communities, with a cap of $40 million annually for 6 years;

The New Jersey Innovation Evergreen program — auctioning tax credits for cash, which will be used to invest in startups and other innovation-focused businesses, with a cap of $60 million annually for 6 years;

Community-anchored development — providing tax credits to anchor institutions to incentivize the expansion of targeted industries in and the continued development of certain areas of the state, with a cap of $200 million annually for 6 years; and

Main Street recovery — providing grants, loans and loan guarantees to small businesses, with an appropriation of $50 million under the bill.

Duane Morris has an active team of lawyers who engage in the public-private partnership space where State based incentives are often critical to the success of a project.  If you have any questions or thoughts, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Mike Barz, Paul Josephson, Sheila Slocum Hollis, or any of the Duane Morris lawyers you regularly engage with.

Be well and stay safe.