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July 20, 2022

Rep. Bourdeaux’s Revitalization Legislation Passed In Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) applauded the passage of the GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act — her bill to support the redevelopment of abandoned malls incorporated into the FY2023 Appropriations legislation. The legislation includes $60 million for the redevelopment of vacant shopping centers and other underutilized commercial or industrial properties. With the expansion of online retail, once vibrant shopping centers and malls have become eyesores for communities around the country. Last year, Rep. Bourdeaux held a press conference at the largely unoccupied Gwinnett Place Mall to announce her legislation which has received wide support from across the community.

“I am so proud to see my legislation to redevelop underutilized and abandoned malls pass the House,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux. “Abandoned and struggling malls occupy acres of underutilized land in communities across the country. These once vibrant city centers now stand empty. This bill helps incentivize private redevelopment and will help stitch the fabric of our communities back together.”

The Grayfield Redevelopment and Economic Advancement Through Effective Repurposing, (GREATER) Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act would create a grant subsidy program in conjunction with the Section 108 loan guarantee program to encourage the public and private sectors to work together to invest in and redevelop these former economic hubs. Grant subsidies have previously been provided in conjunction with Section 108 loans through the Economic Development Initiative program in the 1990s, which showed great promise in increasing utilization of the Section 108 program and expanding local governments’ access to flexible redevelopment capital. The FY2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill released today includes $60 million for a Section 108 grant subsidy program that will support the redevelopment of vacant shopping malls, in line with the GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act.

Here’s what leaders said about the bill when it was introduced:

“The GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act of 2021 exemplifies what it means to reimagine and modernize infrastructure in a way that best serves communities,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance. “By leveraging funding and partnering with the public and private sectors to repurpose these vacant sites, we open the door for breathing life into communities through the intentional redevelopment of physical spaces that not only have the potential to provide vital resources but also create jobs and generate economic growth. I am proud to join and support Congresswoman Bourdeaux in this effort to redevelop aging malls for the betterment of communities across the nation.” 

“ICSC commends Rep. Bourdeaux for bringing forth the GREATER Revitalization Act of 2021. It is more important than ever for localities to have the tools to provide additional financing to adapt underutilized properties,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “This legislation will not only create jobs but will also help stabilize the ad valorem tax whereby strengthening communities across the country.”

“The National Development Council, the nation’s first community development organization, is pleased to endorse the Grayfield Redevelopment and Economic Advancement Through Effective Repurposing, (GREATER) Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act of 2021. We congratulate Congresswoman Carolyn Boudreaux for her leadership on this important issue,” said Dan Marsh, President of the National Development Council. 

Read the legislative one-pager here.

Read the bill.

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia, and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, and economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford.