2018 Matching Grant Program – Request for Proposals

Important Documents:

2018 Matching Grants RFP

2018 Matching Grants Application (fillable form)

2018 Matching Grants Budget Summary Worksheet (fillable form)

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

The 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 2018 DID budget, 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 Friday, March 30, 2018.

The 2017 Capital Grant Matching Program was a success, supporting several beautification and enhancement projects within the public realm of Downtown.

Ross Tower applied for and received a $20,000 matching grant to improve the street level appearance of their building through the lighting of 33 oak trees surrounding the property.  The new lights also enhance the security and safety of pedestrians within the area.


R8D_Ervay Side of Building at Night 6735



Factory Six03 applied for and received a $20,000 matching grant to install a public art sculpture on their property to commemorate the reopening of their historic property.

Factory Six03

General Information

DDI is seeking proposals for projects that will enhance the appearance, safety, and functional quality of public 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 2018 Matching Grant Program:

  • Security Project: the project will improve public security, help deter crime, and enhance the perception of public safety
  • Pedestrian Enhancement Project: the project will increase pedestrian safety and comfort in the public right-of-way
  • Appearance Project: the project will improve the outward appearance of a building or public space

All proposed projects must occur within the DID boundaries.

All proposed projects must be planned, constructed, and completed by the applicant.  DDI is not responsible for the completion of any proposed projects awarded matching grant funds.

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.

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.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Proposed projects should comply with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations.  The applicant shall obtain all required local, state, and federal permits prior to commencing construction.  DDI is not responsible for obtaining any required permits for the proposed project.

Grant Awards

Grant funds provided by DDI will be less than or equal to 50 percent of all costs related to the proposed project, including actual costs of supplies, materials, construction, labor, and associated taxes.  Grant awards will range from $1,000 to $25,000 per project.  DDI reserves the right to modify grant award amounts to meet program budget requirements; therefore, applicants may be offered an amount less than 50 percent of total project costs.

Projects must be completed no later than six months after the execution of the Grant Fulfillment Agreement.  Projects judged to have been substantially complete before January 1 will not be considered.

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 2018 Matching Grants Program must be submitted by March 30, 2018.

Proposals must be emailed (preferred) to browning@downtowndallas.com or sent to:

Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Attn: Jacob Browning, Urban Planning Manager

Bank of America Plaza

901 Main Street, Suite 7100

Dallas, Texas 75202

Proposal Contents Checklist

  • Complete 2018 Matching Grants Program Application
  • Map of proposed project location
  • Signed approval from the owner (or agent) of property upon which the project will be constructed (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Budget Summary (to include job estimates or quotes, if available)
  • Copies of acquired permits and/or approvals (if applicable)
  • Color photographs of the project area
  • Schematic drawings of proposed project

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 2018 Matching Grants Program, contact Jacob Browning at (214) 744-1270 or browning@downtowndallas.com.

Unbranded Opens at The Statler

Unbranded, Downtown’s innovative pop-up shop, quietly opened its doors at The Statler in Downtown Dallas on February 5th. This time Unbranded will feature one brand exclusively for two months. Dallas-based brand OETL Co., a long time Unbranded merchant, will be featured in the space through March 31, 2018. In addition to its own line-up of globally sourced, handmade goods, OETL Co. will feature collaborations with local brands Boulevard East, Ryan Raschbaum, Modern + Soul, and artist Ruben Burgess Jr. (@sartorialnolift) celebrating and supporting the growing community of Dallas-based organizations who are committed to artisan traditions.

“At its core, OETL Co. is about preserving global artisanship and bringing it into people’s daily life. There are so many designers and artists around the world who are creating incredible wares, using traditional techniques. The resulting products are each a unique work of art with a soul and a story,” said Gisela. “As compared to our online store, the physical pop-up at The Statler will allow us to interact with our customers, to personally share the story of each product and celebrate the artisans behind them.”

Long-time Unbranded partner Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) took over operations of Unbranded during the 2017 holiday season and featured over 30 local brands at the Dallas Power & Light Building. DDI hopes to operate Unbranded pop up shops in available otherwise-vacant space year round to serve as a retail incubator. Unbranded’s co-founders, Matt Alexander and Bryan DeLuca, have remained closely involved in an advisory and editorial capacity. As always, Unbranded provides free retail and event space to a curated group of entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, artists, chefs, and more.

The Statler is situated next to Main Street Garden, Downtown’s neighborhood park that plays host to a variety of music festivals, movie nights and other community events. The Statler features 219 luxury residences and 159 hotel rooms and is currently home to six restaurants and bars, Over Easy, Scout (open Feb 19th), Bourbon & Banter, Waterproof, Fine China (open in March) and R&B (opening soon).

The Unbranded pop up store will be open Monday – Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm at 1914 Commerce Street.


About Unbranded

Unbranded is a retail and event experiment, providing free space to entrepreneurs, artists, photographers, chefs, and more. It was founded in 2014 by Bryan DeLuca and Matt Alexander and is now operated by Downtown Dallas, Inc. weareunbranded.com @weareunbranded

About OETL Co.

Founded by Argentina-born, Italy-raised Gisela Borghi-Hocker, OETL Co. features a minimalist collection of clothing, jewelry, leather goods and home accessories, handmade by artisans in Italy and Argentina and sourced by Gisela herself. After moving to Dallas in 2000, Gisela launched her online store in 2015 to introduce the luxury handmade products, time-tested techniques and traditional materials of her Italian and Argentinian heritage to a new audience in the U.S. OETL Co.’s products are all hand-selected by Gisela and made by designers and artisans that she has met and befriended throughout her travels. Oetl.co @oetlco

About The Statler

The Statler is a modern-day redevelopment of a landmark Dallas hotel. The Statler opened its doors in October 2017, featuring a luxury boutique hotel and residences, with restaurants, nightlife, boutique retail, meeting spaces and a multi-purpose events and concert venue.  Encompassing style, status and sophistication, The Statler features 219 luxury residences and 159 hotel rooms. Originally opening as the Statler Hilton in 1956, the hotel was a destination for the elite, attracting the world’s most distinguished dignitaries and celebrities. The Statler, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is the iconic downtown Dallas experience.

 About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:

  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination
  • Foster innovation and technology in all aspects of the urban experience

Our program areas include: public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing.  For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com. @downtown_dallas



Get To Know: Crafty Irishman

This time of year we can all feel our New Year’s to-do list piling up and our hectic lives becoming even busier. Especially here in Dallas, where something is always happening and changing. Sometimes what we really need is a break.

We need to get away and enjoy the company of our friends and fellow neighbors, but why would we leave Dallas when we could just transport ourselves to a home away from home right here in the city?image1Walking into The Crafty Irishman Public House will do just that. Alan Kearney, local pub owner, and his team have done an amazing job creating a warm Irish haven for Dallasites to come gather with friends, watch a football game, enjoy some comfort food, or just take a break from a chaotic day.

Kearney brings a traditional Irish feel to Downtown Dallas that is hard to find here in the States. The pub embodies what a pub should be: a place comfortable enough to gather with old friends or even a place to make new ones.

“It’s about the community,” he will tell you. He is a Downtown resident and his sense of community can be seen in the friendly service he and his staff embody. Don’t be surprised to see Kearney greet customers by name or offer suggestions on some of his favorite dishes or drinks.image6“We want to get people out and talking to each other,” he says. Kearney grew up in Dublin, and it is important to him and his Downtown family that they share this warm culture. Irish bars aren’t all the same, and Kearney intentionally wanted to create a comfort food bar with traditional touches. Many of the staff members at The Crafty Irishman also evoke an authentic Irish feel.

There is a “true and true Scottish man behind the bar,” to serve up a mean drink and even the chef uses traditional Irish recipes.image2While Kearney is originally from Dublin, Ireland, he moved to Dallas about three years ago. He opened this pub in September 2016 knowing he wanted a warm interior and a pleasant outdoor patio area. To the delight of everyone Downtown, he wanted it to be different. No shamrocks. No clichés. He wanted the Irish heritage to shine through in the friendly service and the food, not cheesy décor.

They bring a lot of traditional Irish components to the pub like an all-day Irish Breakfast of scotch eggs, porridge, or your good ole corned beef hash. They have a wide selection of Irish whiskey and scotches, beers, traditional snacks & candies, and even an Irish Stew from his grandmother’s recipe book.image3He and his talented chefs have even brought the classic Irish tastes to some Texan favorites. For example, you have to try their Irish Tacos. While they may not be traditional, they are a must try. The “O My Cod” tacos, for example, bring the staple taste of fish and chips into the easy to eat taco. They definitely know how to do comfort food Texas style. Their Gaelic Mac and Cheese has lots of delicious add-ins and is topped with a Guinness stout cheese, which is always a great pick-me-up.image4

If you aren’t hungry after reading about their food, you must have just eaten. But even though the food may be tasty, what is most important to Kearney is how the customers feel in his pub. He has taken great care to ensure the atmosphere and service were well developed and nurtured. To the people at The Crafty Irishman, the Irish culture isn’t shamrocks and leprechauns, it’s familiar service and a comfortable, lively atmosphere. When you enter the Crafty Irishman, you are able to take a step out of Dallas and into the Land of a Thousand Welcomes.

For a chance to win a $100 gift card to The Crafty Irishman and experience it for yourself, click here: https://events.socialrevoltagency.com/ddigiveaway/ and make sure you follow us (@dtowndallasinc) and Crafty Irishman (@craftyirishman) on Facebook! For more information on The Crafty Irishman, visit www.thecraftyirishman.com.

For more information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit www.downtowndallas.com. And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit events.downtowndallas.com.

Proposal Submitted for Downtown Elementary School

Downtown School Press Release

With full support from the Board of Directors, Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) has submitted a formal proposal in support of a Downtown elementary school to the Dallas Independent School District. After years of research on ever-changing demographics and demands Downtown, DDI identified education as one of the key areas of focus in the 360 Plan update, which was unanimously approved by the Dallas City Council earlier this month. In the proposal filed December 19th, DDI suggests bringing a Montessori Elementary School model to the urban core, which would uniquely utilize Downtown’s parks, museums, library and much more as an experiential learning campus. That recommendation results from research on what choice school model would have the most success Downtown, and is largely based on high demand and waiting lists for other Montessori programs within the District.

Downtown Dallas President and CEO Kourtny Garrett said, “Based on preliminary work by DDI’s Education Task Force from 2011-2013, plus over 18 months of community outreach through The 360 Plan update, it has become remarkably apparent that – simply — we need more great schools in Downtown,” said DDI President and CEO Kourtny Garrett. “This fact is particularly true when looking at the early childhood through elementary ages. Our resident base is maturing and surveys tell us people want to stay Downtown, but we need to provide them things, like schools, that make it a complete neighborhood in which to plant their roots.”

The Downtown Montessori School model is also unique in that it is proposed to also serve as a “commuter school,” open to both Downtown residents and employees. At around 135,000, Downtown is home to the largest workforce in North Texas. A recent survey conducted by DDI through some of the largest employers in the Downtown showed that more than two-thirds of workers with school-age children would be interested in enrolling their kids in a Dallas ISD elementary school Downtown. DDI is committed to using its members and connections to the community to provide numerous resources for the potential school, including exposure to the vast number of industries and professions in Downtown. The workforce enrollment is intended to complement what can be expected from the 11,000 residents within Downtown, and more than 50,000 in surrounding neighborhoods. DDI also expects to add 20,000 residents in the next 2-5 years. It is also important to DDI that the school be racially, economically and culturally diverse to ensure the organization’s vision of Downtown as an inclusive place is maintained.

DART and LYFT Partner to Start Pilot Program for On-Demand Paratransit

Dallas, Texas – November 2, 2017 – Dallas is testing out new paratransit options in hopes of providing easier access to transportation for the senior and disabled members of our community. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has already brought in MV Transportation to help operate their paratransit services. Now they are combining forces to introduce a pilot program partnering with ride share company Lyft to provide on-demand transportation as part of their current paratransit system.

HyperFocal: 0If the pilot goes well, this program could help improve the convenience of getting the elderly and disabled citizens visiting downtown to enjoy all that we have to offer. We love to see the community enjoying the attractions within our many districts like exhibits at the Perot Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art or symphonies at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Currently a majority of DART’s paratransit riders must request their rides a day in advance, but now through the pilot the program riders will be able to utilize the transportation when they need a last minute Lyft. Riders will also receive up-to-date alerts about their trip while still having the MV call center as a resource. “Being a part of these vital community transport programs is an important part of our mission to improve people’s lives,” says Yohan Bobcombe, Market Manager of Lyft Dallas/Fort Worth when discussing the excitement of the new partnership.

The three organizations involved show potential to be very successful in this pilot. For instance MV Transportation, Inc. is the largest private provider of paratransit services in the United States and is headquartered here in Downtown Dallas! Lyft also has a lot to offer even though they were founded as recently as 2012. In fact, they are one of the fastest growing rideshare companies in the United States. It is also encouraging to see that Lyft is so committed to effecting positive change for the future of our city.

Doug Douglas, DART Vice President of Mobility Management Services says that they want to ensure their “standards of quality are met for all individuals in the most efficient and cost effective way. Both MV and Lyft have been outstanding partners in meeting this expectation.”
We at Downtown Dallas Inc. will be waiting to see how the pilot program goes.

Unbranded, a pop-up retail and event concept, returns to Downtown Dallas for 2017

Dallas, Texas — October 25, 2017 — For the fourth year in a row, Unbranded, an innovative pop-up retail and event concept, has announced it will return for 2017 in Downtown Dallas. Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI), long-time partners of the project, will be taking over ownership and operations of Unbranded, while its co-founders, Matt Alexander and Bryan DeLuca, will remain closely involved in an advisory and editorial capacity. As in years past, Unbranded will provide free retail and event space to a curated group of entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, artists, chefs, and more.

“We’re excited to be taking on full responsibility for Unbranded this year,” said Shalissa Perry, CMO of DDI. “It’s been a thrill to watch vendors graduate from Unbranded participants to full-scale retailers in Dallas and beyond. Now, as part of our retail recruitment strategy, we’re excited to explore the development of a longer-term retail incubator, encouraging concepts of all types to experiment with physical retail in Downtown Dallas.”

Unbranded was co-founded in 2014 by Bryan DeLuca, co-founder of Foot Cardigan, and Matt Alexander, former founder of Edition Collective, as a means to provide free retail and event space to local creators during the holiday shopping season. After a successful first year in Deep Ellum, Unbranded partnered with DDI and has since enjoyed two consecutive years on Commerce Street and Main Street, respectively.

“Over the years, DDI has been a phenomenal partner for Unbranded,” commented Matt Alexander. “With Bryan and I running our own full-time companies, the DDI team stepped up, identified amazing spaces, and coordinated much of the day-to-day. Now, with Bryan and I remaining busy, we felt it would be the perfect time to formally handover the reigns of this project to our partners at DDI. With their focus and support, we believe Unbranded will truly have the opportunity to deliver on the full scope and extent of the original concept: providing an accessible framework for creators of all types to experiment with physical retail in under-served parts of the city.”

“Unbranded deserves full-time attention to aid it in becoming a bigger asset to the city and its creative community,” added Bryan DeLuca. “With DDI at the helm, we feel confident that’s precisely what’ll happen. Matt and I both remain excited to be involved in the curation of the vendors and the overall trajectory of the concept, but even more excited, now, about what it might become under DDI’s leadership.”

Bryan DeLuca and Matt Alexander will remain involved in the project, aiding with the selection of vendors and, this year, curating a weekly gift guide of their favorite items on display at Unbranded. The team is hopeful a few fan favorites from previous years will be returning for 2017.

Unbranded 2017 will be located in the historic Dallas Power & Light Building at 1508 Commerce Street and will be open for business Thursdays through Saturdays from November 30 through December 16. Each week, there’ll be eight participating vendors, in addition to free gift wrapping, wi-fi, coffee, drinks, and more. Beyond its walls, DDI will be running their annual Wanderland programming, including movie nights, live music, holiday decoration demos and classes, lights and decor around Downtown, and more.

Applications for Unbranded are now open. Vendors must apply to participate by November 8th at weareunbranded.com. Space for selected vendors will, as always, be free.


About Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:

  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination
  • Foster innovation and technology in all aspects of the urban experience

Our program areas include: public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing.  For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com

About Wanderland

Wanderland is a Downtown Dallas, Inc. holiday initiative, including holiday decor at Main Street Garden, Pegasus Plaza, and Belo Garden, movie nights, live music, and holiday decorating demos and classes.

About Unbranded

Unbranded is a retail and event experiment, providing free space to entrepreneurs, artists, photographers, chefs, and more. It was founded in 2014 by Bryan DeLuca and Matt Alexander and is now operated by Downtown Dallas, Inc.