Capital Improvements Matching Grant Program

DOWNTOWN IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

2016 Matching Grants Program

Call for Project Applications

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is a private, non-profit organization funded by voluntary membership dues, assessment revenue from the Downtown Improvement District (DID), and through contracts with the City of Dallas for specific projects and programs.

The Dallas Downtown Improvement District (DID) was created by DDI in June of 1992 to fund important supplemental services and visible improvements to our city center.  In 2001, 2005, and 2013, the DID was voted by property owners to be renewed, and has since embarked upon additional initiatives to make Downtown Dallas clean, safe, and fun for the entire community.  The DID has been renewed through 2020.

As part of the approved capital improvements program in the 2016 DID budget, DDI is soliciting proposals for matching grants to improve public spaces.

Qualified Projects

In general, capital improvement projects that improve the appearance, safety, and functional qualities of the Downtown public environment will qualify.  The Downtown Dallas 360 plan approved by the City Council in 2011 is the guiding policy document.  Refer to downtowndallas360.com. Projects must demonstrate public benefit and must result in tangible improvements.  The following are examples of projects that may qualify:

  • Renovations or enhancements to existing building facades or storefronts with emphasis on ground level public benefit and improvements
  • Significant upgrades or additions to public spaces
  • New landscaping on public streets or sidewalks
  • Improved lighting of public spaces
  • Repair or replacement of curbs and gutters
  • Overall repairs and enhancements to sidewalks in public rights-of-way, including removal of driveway cuts
  • Creative public area improvement projects which meet program goals

Projects must be within the DID boundaries (a map is attached).

If part of the proposed project is 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 distribution of grant funds.  Projects on public property may be submitted without formal approval of the relevant public agency, but the potential of such approval will be considered by the DID.

Please note that all applicants will be required to indemnify DDI and the City of Dallas against all claims.  In addition, liability insurance for applicant, landlord, and contractors (as appropriate) will be required for construction projects.

The DID is committed to meeting the City of Dallas Good Faith Effort Plan.  Grant applications that include participation from certified Minority/Women Business Enterprises in the City of Dallas will be positively received.

Grant Awards

No grant may exceed 50% of the actual cost of supplies, materials, construction, and labor.  The applicant’s contribution may be all cash from the applicant or cash from sources other than the applicant.

The minimum grant award is $1,000 and the maximum is $25,000 per project.  The DID reserves the right to modify grant award amounts to meet program budget requirements, so applicants may be offered an amount less than 50% of total project costs.

Projects must be completed no later than 6 months after grant approval.  Projects judged to be substantially complete before grant applications are reviewed will not be considered.

Design Requirements

Projects must be consistent with the design guidelines in the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.  Before commencing construction, projects may be required to undergo a design review with the City of Dallas and DDI.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Projects submitted should comply with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations. The DID is not responsible for obtaining any required permits.  The grantee shall obtain all required local, state and federal permits.

Application Requirements

To be considered for an award, applicants must complete the application form, limiting responses to the space provided on the application except where additional materials are specifically requested.

Applications for the 2016 Matching Grants Program must be submitted by March 31, 2016.

The application must be sent to the following address:

Jim Wood, VP Economic Development

Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Bank of America Plaza

901 Main Street, Suite 7100

Dallas, Texas 75202

Or emailed to: wood@downtowndallas.com

For more information, please contact Jim Wood at 214-744-1270 or at the email above.

Criteria for Grant Award Decisions

  • The project must demonstrate a public benefit consistent with the Downtown Dallas 360 Plan
  • The applicant meets eligibility requirements
  • The project provides maximum public benefit for the funds required
  • The design quality of the project
  • Approval of property owner or potential for approval by relevant governmental agency
  • The project has support of adjacent property owners, groups, or tenants
  • Maintenance requirements and commitments are in place
  • The project facilitates occupancy of vacant space or existing tenant retention
  • Participation by certified Dallas Minority/Women Business Enterprises
  • The application form is complete and correct
  • Permits, approvals, and implementation can be quickly achieved
  • Track record of organization or company with similar efforts
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Location of project with regard to geographic distribution of grant funds
  • Percentage of project to be funded by applicant
  • The project must be able to be finished in a timely manner

Approval Process

Applications will be submitted to the DDI Capital Improvements Committee which will approve all grant awards.  No committee member with a vested interest in an application will be allowed to participate in discussions or votes concerning that application.

Application review and final decision by of the Capital Improvements Committee should occur within eight weeks of the application deadlines.  The Capital Improvements Committee will have final approval of all grants awarded.  The Capital Improvements Committee reserves the right to reject any or all applications or to approve only a portion of any funds requested.

Finalizing the Grant

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

When all conditions of the Agreement are met (the project is complete), a Payment Application and the required documentation will be submitted by the grantee for final funding by the DID.

Click here for the 2016 Matching Grants Application.

Click here to view a sample Matching Grants Agreement.

Deep Ellum Foundation Hires New Executive Director

DALLAS, TEXAS, February 23, 2016: It is fitting that new additions to Deep Ellum come in tandem with new faces at the Deep Ellum Foundation (DEF). DEF has existed since 1993 as the entity responsible for improving, enhancing, and marketing Deep Ellum. New Executive Director Jessica Burnham is eager to establish a fresh take on the role.

“Deep Ellum is in a unique point in its history,” says Burnham. “It’s imperative to maintain its character while still growing and embracing change. The best way to do so is to get to know the key players in the neighborhood directly. Because we are working on behalf of the community as a whole, our office is committed to open communication and educated research and decision-making.”

Burnham started with DEF in June 2015 after playing an integral role in the creation of the Lowest Greenville Collective, a 501(c)6 nonprofit business association on Lowest Greenville Avenue. The Collective was a result of her thesis project while earning her Master of Fine Arts in Design Research at the University of North Texas.

Burnham added Programming and Marketing Coordinator Emily Vanderstraaten in November 2015. Along with the board of directors, Burnham and Vanderstraaten work to implement new systems in the community that will benefit public safety, transportation, city improvements and marketing and promotions.

“We’re excited to welcome new businesses that add to the existing flavor of the area and to integrate programs that will ease growing pains and enhance how the area functions,” says Burnham.

Current projects include the addition of off-duty police officers, a panhandling awareness campaign, Elm Street light pole banners and an updated Deep Ellum Texas website.

The Deep Ellum Foundation is funded from a tax assessment paid by property owners in the Deep Ellum Public Improvement District. DEF works to interface between the property owners, business owners, community and City of Dallas.

For questions or comments regarding the Deep Ellum neighborhood, please contact Jessica Burnham at Jessica@DeepEllumTexas.com or 214-984-7300.

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Contact Info:

Phone: 214-984-7300

Website: DeepEllumTexas.com

Email: Jessica@deepellumtexas.com, Emily@deepellumtexas.com, info@deepellumtexas.com

Physical Address: 3106 Commerce St. Dallas, TX 75226

Mailing Address: PO Box 710596 Dallas, TX 75371

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeepEllumFoundation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DEF_Texas

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deepellumfoundation/

Dallas Public Library one of 30 finalists for National Medal Award

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced that the Dallas Public Library is among 30 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for community service.

“We are honored to be one of the finalists for this award,” said Dallas Public Library Director Jo Giudice.  “As a public library, we are committed to providing high-quality services to all members of the community, including people experiencing homelessness.”

The Dallas Public Library’s Homeless Engagement Initiative launched in September 2013 to improve its services to the many people experiencing homelessness who visit the system’s downtown location each day to access computers, reading material and as a respite from the streets.

Since its launch, the Initiative has garnered national attention for programs like Coffee and Conversation and Street View Podcast. To date, the initiative has engaged more than 4,000 people experiencing homelessness. For more information on the library’s Homeless Engagement Initiative, visit www.dallaslibrary.org.

“The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “As key stewards of our nation’s future, we salute them for their excellence in engaging our citizenry and expanding learning of all kinds.”

The 10 National Medal recipients will be named later this spring and the winners will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored in the National Medal award ceremony.

IMLS is encouraging those who have visited finalist libraries and museums to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS.

Learn more about the 2016 National Medal finalists at www.imls.gov/2016-medals.