ATLANTIC CITY — The city has grants available to reduce the cost of economic development in the resort.
One grant is from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and the other two programs are paid by the state Economic Development Authority.
Many development sites in the city have some form of petroleum or historic fill contamination problem. An added cost of land development in the resort is assessing the property to determine the level of contamination and the method of remediation.
Developers can apply to the city for funding for these assessments and avoid the cost of testing, thanks to the $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Starting Monday, the city will accept applications from commercial and multifamily residential developers for assessment services.
Successful developers will receive a Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 environmental assessment of their property at no cost.
“We want to assist developers to be successful in Atlantic City. Environmental assessments can cost thousands of dollars, and the city is fortunate to have grant funds to cover these costs,” Mayor Frank Gilliam said in a statement.
Developers will have to complete an application, and once approved, the city will authorize one of the Brownfields assessment firms that are contracted with the city to complete the assessment at no cost to the developer.
Two additional economic development programs are being expanded to help existing city business.
With funding from the state Economic Development Authority, the target area for the Business Lease Incentive and Business Improvement Incentive programs is being expanded to include Atlantic and Pacific avenues from Massachusetts to Albany avenues and Albany Avenue from Pacific to West End avenues. The Downtown Loop area qualifies as well.
The programs are designed to support the growth of retail and services by providing grants to street-level, new and expanding businesses.
“Our goal is to make our gateway business districts attractive and successful,” Gilliam said. “These grants are a first step towards helping the local business person.”
There are two programs being offered. The first provides grants up to a 50 percent of the project cost, to a maximum of $20,000, for improvements made to the first floor of the business in the target area.
A second program offers reimbursement of 15 percent of the annual lease payments for two years to for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations in the target area that lease between 500 and 5,000 square feet of new or additional market-rate, first-floor office or retail space for a minimum of five years.
An applicant leasing more than 5,000 square feet can be eligible, but the grant will only incentivize the first 5,000 square feet.
For additional information about these programs, contact Ben Kaufman, acting director, Atlantic City Department of Planning and Development, at 609-347-5404.