Legislation to revitalize abandoned stores and empty commercial and industrial buildings has cleared the New Jersey Assembly and now awaits Governor Phil Murphy's signature.

The bill (A1700), sponsored by Jersey Shore Assemblyman Ron Dancer, allows towns to designate decaying commercial sites for redevelopment, qualifying the projects for tax incentives.

“Abandoned and crumbling, once-thriving retail and commercial centers now present a significant burden for municipalities and surrounding communities,” Dancer (R-Ocean) said. “They drive property taxes up and values down. We need to help towns stimulate redevelopment and repurpose stranded assets in this era of online shopping.”

Buildings used for commercial, manufacturing, or industrial purposes that have had significant vacancies for at least two consecutive years will qualify for designation as redevelopment zones.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously earlier this month.

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