UPDATED: Capital Improvement Matching Grants Program



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, permanent 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 May 31, 2016.


The application must be sent to the following address:


Dustin Bullard, VP Public Space and Design

Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Bank of America Plaza

901 Main Street, Suite 7100

Dallas, Texas 75202


Or emailed to: bullard@downtowndallas.com


For more information, please contact Dustin Bullard 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.

42 Real Estates Scott Rohrman Has Transformed Deep Ellum. Here’s What Hes Eyeing Next

There is no one in Deep Ellum as busy as 42 Real Estate developer Scott Rohrman. After acquiring nearly 30 buildings and parking lots in the area, he is a transformative force. However, unlike many developers grabbing up large tracts of Dallas real estate, he tries to keep his projects true to the area, rooted to Deep Ellum’s past.


42 Real Estate is in the process of buying two properties contiguous to a property he already owns, and he’s having to turn away tenants, Scott tells us. He’s looking for the right tenants and a good mix. He could have leased out some of the properties 10 or 15 times already, but he’s passed.


It’s a luxury. He can afford to be selective.


One of the new properties is 3,500 SF with a rooftop deck. The other, about 7k SF, will potentially have one of the biggest patios in the Dallas area.


Last year, Scott bought 2626 Mockingbird Lane, a potentially historic property near Love Field that had been vacant for years. He’s putting together plans for a remodel, but he’s in no rush, he tells us.


He doesn’t really have an acquisition strategy, he says. He looks for assets he understands. With Mockingbird Lane, he liked the fact it was close to Love Field and lots of cool new developments. But it still wasn’t a no-brainer. He wanted to buy in an area where there was a critical mass of people who care about people. He likes good neighbors—and wants to be one.


So what’s next? Scott says he needs to understand DART. He wants to learn whether the light rail is being used to create a walkable urban core, something he clearly supports.


Scott also wants to understand the issues around affordable housing. He’s still studying the issue but believes greater diversity in education will lead to better outcomes for affordable housing. Having a mix of educational backgrounds should create an environment of learning, he says.


Specifically, he wants to see a development that isn’t solely built for profit but for a long-term future to benefit a neighborhood.


Scott’s love of the Deep Ellum neighborhood is obvious, particularly with his recent “42 Murals” project. Deep Ellum is a great place for art, Scott says, and he wanted to give artists an opportunity to showcase their talent through murals painted on the buildings in the neighborhood. He didn’t have a marketing plan, he says, but he got 225 submissions.


The result has been a rousing success. Several people have started giving tours of the art, and you’ll often see people taking photos of the murals. Scott has left his mark, literally, on Deep Ellum.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/dallas-ft-worth/news/commercial-real-estate/developer-scott-rohrman-transforms-deep-ellum-while-respecting-its-roots-58586?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser


Community Reception, Saturday, April 9, 2:00 – 5:00 PM,

Ferris Plaza, South Record Street, Dallas 75202



DallasISD students from the Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters have created custom designed furniture, inspired by the Trinity River, for Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas in a project created by Dallas art organization, Make Art with Purpose (MAP). This MAP project was produced in collaboration with Downtown Dallas Inc., and funded with generous support from Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, ART CON, Downtown Dallas Inc., the Beck Group, and Osborn Contractors Inc.


Over the past year the 57 students researched the history of the site, studied the surrounding context, and then produced a series of design proposals that were evaluated by the entire team of students and design professionals from the partner organizations, including Dustin Bullard, Vice President of Cityscape and Urban Design.


The scheme that was selected consists of thirteen concrete furniture pieces that will weave through the park beneath the Live Oak trees along Young Street. Based on the meandering contours of the nearby Trinity River, the furniture includes tile mosaics based on the seasons, which are inlaid into the concrete benches. The students worked with tile artist Cassandra Emswiler Burd on the mosaic designs. The focal point of the installation is a two tier, 6 foot diameter circle with a mosaic map of downtown Dallas highlighting the historical significance of Ferris Plaza and the park’s relationship to the Trinity River.


Founded and led by artist Janeil Engelstad, Make Art with Purpose collaborates with artists, designers and architects to produce projects that address social and environmental concerns. Working across disciplines, MAP projects include communities as partners in the production of the work, directly engage the audience to participate beyond the role of passive observer and involves creative collaboration from museums, schools, government, business, NGOs and other partners.


The Skyline Architecture and Building Trades Clusters are a part of the Skyline Career Development Center at Skyline High School, the nation’s first magnet high school.