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Norcross Bill To Create Jobs, Spur Investment Near Urban Transit Centers Now Law

Camden Among Nine Municipalities Where Tax Credits Will Be Available For Mixed-Use Developments

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to expand eligibility for investors to take advantage of state tax credits for mixed-use development projects located near urban transit centers was signed into law today by Governor Chris Christie.

“Expanding eligibility for tax credits under the Urban Transit Hub program will provide a greater incentive for businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in our cities, which will help to spur economic growth and create much needed private-sector jobs,” said Senator Norcross. “This program will also encourage development of the types of projects that make sense in urban areas, focusing mixed-used projects near mass transit to attract new residents, businesses and additional investors.”

The bill signing was lauded by local leaders in the City of Camden, which is among nine municipalities where investors are eligible for the expanded Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program. In addition, the new program guidelines would make eligible for the tax credit program the Haddon Avenue Transit Village project, to be developed in the city on a former industrial strip located between Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and the Ferry Avenue PATCO Station.

“With the signing of this bill, the Haddon Avenue Transit Village project will be able to apply for assistance through the urban transit hub tax credit program as a mixed-use project,” Mayor Dana L. Redd said. “This project, which includes workforce housing, office spaces, and the potential for the first grocery store in Camden in decades, is an important endeavor that will truly help stabilize and revitalize the Whitman Park and Parkside neighborhoods. I thank Senator Norcross and Assemblymen Fuentes and Wilson for their continued commitment towards moving Camden forward.”

The Transit Village project would revitalize 15 acres adjacent to the Ferry Avenue PATCO Station, which currently consists of abandoned warehouses. It would include 200,000 square feet of office development, a grocery store, 400+ housing units, a parking garage, and ground floor retail space. It is estimated the Transit Village would create 900 permanent jobs, as well as hundreds of immediate construction jobs when work starts.

David Foster, President of the Greater Camden Partnership/Cooper’s Ferry Development, said expansion of the tax credit program makes “good economic sense.”

“In urban areas like Camden there is little opportunity for large-scale office or residential developments. Joint live-work spaces are the key to revitalizing the city and increasing the use of mass transit,” said Foster. “This law could be a major step forward for the Transit Village project, which will mean hundreds of new construction and professional jobs in the city. With the help of the tax credits made available through this program, we could begin building within a year.”

Specifically, the law (S-2972) will allow developers who have invested a minimum of $50 million in a mixed-use project to apply to the Economic Development Authority for tax credits of up to 100 percent of a minimum $17.5 million investment in the commercial aspect of the development, and of up to 35 percent for a $17.5 million minimum investment in a project’s residential component. Under previous law, tax credits were available for commercial or residential projects; however, to qualify, each investor must have separately met the $50 million minimum investment threshold.

The new law also makes eligibility changes to the Economic Redevelopment and Grant Growth (ERRG) Program. The changes would make possible the American Dream project, which is being developed in the Meadowlands on the site originally designated for the Xanadu shopping and entertainment project.

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