2021 Matching Grant Program – Request for Proposals

on March 5, 2021 / by admin / in Blog Posts, Clean and Safe, DDI News, Economic Development and Planning, Parks and Public Space, Uncategorized

Important Documents:

As part of the approved capital improvements program in the 2021 Downtown Improvement District (DID) budget, Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is soliciting proposals for projects to improve public spaces throughout Downtown.  If selected, proposed projects will receive a matching grant reimbursement from DDI in an amount up to $25,000.  Applications are due by end of day on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, DDI was able to provide $125,000 to five beautification, enhancement, and capital improvement projects within the public realm of Downtown. 

Parks for Downtown Dallas received a $25,000 grant in 2020 to install raised planters along the perimeter of the soon-to-open West End Square park.  These planters add street trees and robust plantings for shade and cooling for visitors to this exciting recreational space. 

General Information

DDI is seeking proposals for projects that will enhance the appearance, safety, and functional quality of publicly-accessible spaces throughout Downtown.  Projects should address the “transformative strategies” found in Chapter 4 (“Transformative Strategies”) of the 2017 360 Plan, a City Council-adopted policy document that guides future development and investment in Downtown; access the plan at www.downtowndallas360.com.  Projects must demonstrate public benefit and must result in tangible, permanent improvements.  The following project types will qualify for the 2021 Matching Grant Program:

All proposed projects must occur within the DID boundaries.

All proposed projects must be planned, constructed, completed, and maintained by the applicant.  DDI is not responsible for the completion of any proposed projects awarded matching grant funds.  General operations and long-term maintenance of the project are the sole responsibility of the applicant. 

If all or part of the proposed project is to be constructed on private property, the applicant must have the signed approval of the owner or owner’s agent or specific evidence that such approval has been granted prior to the award of grant funds.  Projects on public property may be submitted without formal approval of the relevant public agency, but the potential of obtaining such approval will be considered by DDI.

All applicants will be required to indemnify DDI and the City of Dallas against all claims.  In addition, liability insurance for the applicant, landlord, and contractors (as appropriate) will be required for proposed construction projects.  A Certificate of Liability Insurance must be submitted to DDI listing DDI and the City of Dallas as additional insured entities prior to the disbursement of grant funds. 

DDI is committed to meeting the City of Dallas Good Faith Effort Plan, in which qualified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) are involved, to the greatest extent possible, in construction or professional services contracts.  Project proposals should strive to include up to 25 percent participation from certified M/WBEs in the City of Dallas.  

DDI will accept multiple proposals per year from each qualified applicant.  However, the grand total of grant funding an applicant can receive each year will be no more than $25,000. 

Qualified Applicants (New for 2021)

Applications will be accepted from any Downtown stakeholder. However, preference will be given to DID rate payers and non-tax-exempt street-level businesses.

Applicants that have received a matching grant in the previous one (1) year are not eligible to apply for the current year’s program.

Design Requirements

Proposed projects must be consistent with the design guidelines found in the Urban Design Guidelines of the 360 Plan.  Before commencing construction, projects may be required to undergo a design review with the City of Dallas and DDI.

Grant Awards

Grant funds awarded by DDI will be less than or equal to 50 percent of all costs related to the proposed project in an amount not to exceed $25,000.  Costs covered by the grant include the actual costs of supplies, materials, construction, labor, and associated taxes.  DDI reserves the right to modify grant award amounts to meet program budget requirements; therefore, applicants may be offered an amount less than the total requested funds. 

Projects must be completed no later than December 1, 2021.  Extensions may be permitted for projects determined to be incomplete by the appropriate deadline.  An amendment to the Grant Fulfillment Agreement must be signed by the applicant and DDI in order for an extension period to be granted; the extension period will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Projects judged to have been substantially complete before January 1, 2021, will not be considered for this grant cycle.

Grant recipients will be required to display signage at the project site to denote DDI’s financial contribution to the project.  Signage will be provided by DDI. 

Once the project has been completed, and the applicant has submitted all required documentation, DDI will reimburse the applicant with its mutually-agreed upon share of grant funds. 

Application Requirements

To be considered for an award, applicants must complete the application form, limiting responses to the space provided, except where additional materials are specifically requested.  Complete proposals must contain all information and materials requested in the Proposal Contents Checklist (see below).  Incomplete proposals will not be considered.  Proposals will be reviewed for required documentation upon submittal; it is recommended that each proposal be submitted prior to the deadline to ensure that it is complete and will be accepted. 

Proposals for the 2021 Matching Grants Program must be submitted by April 1, 2021.  

Proposals must be emailed to Jacob Browning at browning@downtowndallas.com.

Proposal Contents Checklist

Approval Process

All proposals will be submitted to the DDI Capital Improvements Committee for review and final approval of grant award recipients.  No Committee member with a vested interest in a proposal will be allowed to participate in discussions or votes concerning that proposal. 

The Capital Improvements Committee will review all qualified proposals and make a final decision regarding grant recipients within one month of the application deadline.  The Capital Improvements Committee reserves the right to reject any or all proposals or to approve only a portion of the requested funds.

Finalizing the Grant

Following grant approval, individual grant awards are considered pending until the applicant and DDI sign a Grant Fulfillment Agreement.  The Agreement will describe the project, the project budget, and the amount of funding awarded by DDI.  Upon execution of the Agreement, the grant is considered finalized and grant funds may be distributed based upon the conditions outlined in the Agreement.

For more information regarding the 2021 Matching Grants Program, contact Jacob Browning at (214) 744-1270 or browning@downtowndallas.com

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