Cruz-Perez, Cunningham Bill to Allow Certain Areas to be Designated for Redevelopment Passes Senate

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Senator Sandra Cunningham, which would allow for vacant commercial buildings to be designated as an area in need of redevelopment, passed the Senate today.

“The age of online shopping has forced many commercial buildings and shopping centers to become vacant and untouched for years,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Leaving these properties to fall into disrepair does not benefit anyone and redeveloping these areas will bring new life to the once abandoned properties along with the surrounding communities.”

“Municipalities would now have a say in determining what happens to vacant or underutilized buildings in their area that they did not have before,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “This legislation will incentivize more private companies to work with communities and municipal officials to revitalize these areas benefiting communities.”

The bill, S-1583, amends the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” and specifies the authority of a municipality to determine if an area previously used for commercial, shopping malls, or professional office parks is eligible to be deemed an area in need of redevelopment. These types of buildings would also have to be vacant for at least two years to be eligible.

A municipality could offer tax exemptions and abatements to encourage private sector partners to repurpose the land.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 37-0.

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