Governor Murphy signed into law a bill amending the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law to expand the eligibility criteria for the designation of certain areas as “in need of redevelopment.” The amendment, which passed unanimously, and had bipartisan sponsorship in the Assembly, adds “retail, shopping malls or plazas, office parks,” to the types of uses which, if discontinued, may qualify an area as “in need of redevelopment.” The amendment also adds a provision that certain buildings experiencing “significant vacancies of such building or buildings for at least two consecutive years” may qualify as “in need of redevelopment.” In its report on the bill, the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee noted that, “]b]y specifying that a vacant shopping mall or office park is an area in need of redevelopment, a municipality can offer potential private sector partners redevelopment tools such as tax exemptions and abatements to encourage them to repurpose these stranded assets.” The new amended law will take effect immediately.

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