Keansburg Mayor Thomas Foley and the Borough Council announced that Keansburg was recently awarded a Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) Streetscape Revitalization Grant of more than $1.1 million by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA).
A portion of the grant, totaling $450,000, will be used to revitalize Main Street and Carr Avenue Commercial Districts and improve community resiliency by creating a unified building façade. Eligible revitalization projects under the streetscape component of the NCR Program may include streetscapes, sidewalks, facade enhancements and code-related and other physical upgrades to commercial areas.
“After Superstorm Sandy, the borough was very proactive and went after any grant funds that would help revitalize Keansburg and make our borough more resilient from future storms,” stated Mayor Foley. “This grant is the result of the tireless hard work of our City Council and the Planning Board; hard work that has paid off by providing needed funds to improve our business districts. These funds will help to chart the future of Keansburg,” Foley added.
A portion of the borough’s Revitalization and Storm Mitigation Project is comprised of building facade improvement to approximately 30 commercial properties along Main Street, Carr Avenue, and Church Street. The borough will coordinate with contractors to fund improvements – up to $15,000 per business – for those owners of commercial properties who applied for and qualified to participate in the project. The borough will review and approve eligible building or site improvements that contribute to the physical, economic, social, and aesthetic enhancement of the Downtown Keansburg commercial area. The remainder of the grant will be used for overall improvements to the downtown area.
”Keansburg’s planned improvements to enhance its downtown area is precisely the kind of project the NCR program was created to support,” said EDA CEO Michele Brown. “We are delighted to support Keansburg’s project, as it will help to attract new businesses to the town and ultimately benefit local business owners, residents and visitors.”
“We look forward to utilizing this grant to help Keansburg businesses improve the attractiveness of their properties, and thereby work to achieve the Borough’s goal of eliminating conditions that have a negative impact on economic growth,” said Deputy Mayor George Hoff. “This grant is a win-win for everyone, including the tourism industry, which will also greatly benefit from this project, as the Borough’s main attractions – the Amusement Park, Water Park and beaches – will see a reduction in flooding and storm damage as a direct result,” he added.
After Superstorm Sandy, the state allocated $5 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for planning in municipalities that have sustained a ratable loss of at least $1 million. Separately, the EDA is responsible for administering the state’s CDBG-DR allocation dedicated to assisting businesses and communities via the Stronger NJ Business Grant, Loan and NCR programs. The NCR Program supports projects located throughout the state, with a focus on the nine most impacted counties of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Borough of Keansburg’s Façade Program is only available to qualifying commercial property owners within Main Street and Carr Avenue Commercial Districts. Funds allotted for each qualified business will be used for rehabilitation and restoration only, not new construction. The project must facilitate redevelopment activities in order to strengthen economic vitality and stability in the Borough’s commercial district.
Grant money for the Façade Program will go toward façade structural and non‐structural alteration and repair, work performed on exterior of a building including cleaning masonry, painting, window or door replacement, other repairs or rebuilding historic storefronts. The grant money may also go toward the improvement of new signage/detached monument signs or restoration of historic signage; compatible painting and exterior renovation, awnings, canopies and shutters; and permit fees. Projects are subject to approval by the Borough’s Building Department and the Planning and Zoning Board as applicable. Each business owner is responsible for acquiring all required permits and approvals necessary for the project. Final application process funding will be determined once funding is secured.Related Articles: