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Real Estate Journal — Central New Jersey — November 9 - 22, 2018 — 5B


M id A tlantic

Middlesex County Economic Development Rutgers opens $115 million chemistry research building


EW BRUNSWICK, NJ —Rutgers Univer- sity officially opened

its new four-story, $115 mil- lion Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building. The 144,000 s/f building on the New Bruns- wick-Piscataway campus will feature state-of-the-art lab equipment with increased capacity for more researchers and students and several large conference rooms, lecture halls and classrooms. The life sci- ence and knowledge creation sectors, like the research at Rutgers, are some of the larg- est sectors inMiddlesex County and they continue to grow steadily. Rutgers officials say the new building will allow for expanded teaching and more laboratory and support space for research on biophysical chemistry related to human health, drug design and syn- thesis, alternative energy, bio- TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Economic Devel- opment Authority (EDA) announced a program that will provide planning grants for communities to develop solutions for repurposing local vacant or underutilized com- mercial and retail properties. The program advances Gover- nor Phil Murphy’s commitment to “Investing in Communities” - one of the four pillars of his plan announced last week for a Stronger and Fairer New Jersey economy. “The 21st Century Redevel- opment Program presents an opportunity for communities to focus on creative ideas for repurposing dormant proper- ties in ways that contribute to the economy rather than drain valuable resources,” said EDA CEO Tim Sullivan . “Our ex- pectation is to not only provide funding that will help address a particular community’s specific challenges, but also identify strategies to share with simi- larly situated communities.” Suburban offices and shop-

Rutgers University opened its new four-story, $115 million square Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building. - © Daniel J. Munoz

Chemistry and Chemical Biology Building - © Daniel J. Munoz

materials and nanotechnology. “These are buildings that address the academic side, the student needs, the re- search, the faculty needs,” said Rutgers University president Robert Barchi. “They aren’t ornamental buildings.” The building will include a

microscopy suite and optical spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and x- ray crystallography labs. New Jersey Deputy Sec- retary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez said the new building helps advance Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of boosting

the state’s innovation economy. “When thinking about an innovation economy, this is a critical area that we’ve been talking about,” Gonzalez said. “We are incredibly committed to advancing opportunities for research, for innovation [and] for commercialization of

research. The state provided $85 mil- lion in funding for the structure through the 2012 Building Our Future Bond Act, which was enacted with the goal of revi- talizing aging facilities across New Jersey’s institutions of higher education. 

EDA launches 21st Century redevelopment program to help communities revive underutilized properties

ping malls that boomed during the 1980s and 1990s have since become empty as a number of demographic and economic trends have resulted in an outmigration of jobs and popu- lation. Communities that are home to these empty properties are experiencing loss of tax rev- enues, costs of maintaining in- frastructure and roads around these properties, and a lack of resources to solve these issues. The 21st Century Redevelop- ment Program will launch as a pilot round of up to $250,000 in funding available in the form of planning grants of up to $50,000 per recipient. Com- munities can apply for funding through the 21st Century Rede- velopment Program to support ideas that focus on a number of elements including, but not limited to: • Determining cost-benefits of retrofitting, redeveloping or regreening a property or properties; • Driving economic growth for the facility and region; • Creating greater social,

economic, and environmental sustainability; • Expanding affordable and multi-family housing; • Attracting employers and a diverse, talented workforce • Expanding entrepreneurial opportunities and supporting local businesses; • Promoting walkable neigh- borhoods and improving acces- sibility and mobility; • Connecting to public trans- portation; and • Improving livability and healthy outcomes for local population. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and will be scored by an evaluation com- mittee based on publicly avail- able scoring criteria. Projects that achieve a minimum score will be recommended for grant funding. Applications will be evaluated on a first come, first serve basis, according to the date the EDA receives the com- pleted application. As a condition to receiving the grant funding, grantees will be required to participate in at

least two events hosted by the EDA to share lessons learned from the planning process to foster a dynamic discussion about repurposing stranded assets and to assist similarly situated municipalities. Also announced today by the EDA, a second round of funding through the Innovation Chal- lenge will be made available for communities for the devel- opment of economic develop- ment plans to augment their local innovation ecosystems. This announcement supports “Investment in Communities” and “Making NJ the State of Innovation” - both pillars of Governor Murphy’s economic development strategic plan. The decision to make a sec- ond round of funding avail- able through the Innovation Challenge comes as a result of a successful pilot round first introduced in July, which re- sulted in nine communities be- ing awarded planning contracts to help advance a variety of innovative proposals. The nine communities receiving plan-

ning contracts through the pilot round were: the City of Bridge- ton, the City of NewBrunswick, Passaic County, the City of Trenton, Atlantic County, the City of Atlantic City, Camden County, Union Township, and Monmouth County. Through this second round of the Innovation Challenge, up to $500,000 will be available in the form of grants of up to $100,000 each for plans that may focus on several key areas including, but not limited to: • Increasing opportunities to grow or expand clusters of dynamic companies; • Encouraging the growth and expansion of incubators and other innovation-support- ive real estate spaces; • Providing STEM training and connections to careers; and • Building a culture of entre- preneurship. Applications for the 21st Century Redevelopment Pro- gram and the second round of the Innovation Challenge are expected to be available begin- ning in November. 

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