Rural Downtown Redevelopment Grant Program

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Kimberly Carter

Throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, the downtown area is traditionally the heartbeat of the community.  As DCA’s mission is to help build strong, vibrant communities, the intersection between the needs of the community and the mission of the Department provides a unique opportunity for the community and the agency to partner in this endeavor.  As one-time funding has been appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose, DCA will move rapidly to solicit applications, review those submitted, and announce funding awards before the end of state fiscal year 2022.     

DCA’s intent is to provide a broad framework by which communities can define projects that they deem transformative.  However, DCA does not intend to make awards to applicants that are not ready to proceed, seek funding for operational costs, or have projects contingent upon other funding at the time of application.  DCA’s commitment is to provide communities with financial resources to help implement those transformative downtown projects that would not take place at this time without state assistance.  While transformation means different things in different communities, for the purposes of this grant, DCA is seeking applications that will increase opportunities for private investment to be injected into areas of disinvestment, increase commerce within the downtown, facilitate additional visitors/shoppers/activities within the downtown space, address workforce development and/or downtown housing needs that contribute to the overall revitalization of the community.  The relationship between the community’s current state, the activities defined in the application and the outcomes anticipated from their implementation should be clearly documented.

For additional information regarding the requirements of the grant, see the Applicant Resources section below.

 

Documents

Announcements

  • Commissioner Christopher Nunn announced today nine (9) awards for communities to implement innovative downtown redevelopment projects throughout rural Georgia. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) provided the grants under a special allocation of funding in the Amended FY2022 State of Georgia Budget (H.B. 910).

    “These projects represent strategic investments in revitalizing downtown districts.  Downtowns are the heart and economic centers of so many of our communities.  These funds will assist in creating a sense of place and connectivity to residents which promotes the economic vitality of our downtowns.”

    The grant allocation totaled $17.25 million and were awarded to cities and downtown development authorities that illustrated a need for improvements and the ability to implement the grants by the June 30, 2024 deadline. Selected projects represent a geographical distribution of various project types, including Streetscape Improvements, Public Infrastructure Improvements and Workforce Development. The award selection process was highly competitive as 53 applications were received requesting over $104 million.

    Communities receiving Rural Downtown Redevelopment Grants are:

    • Bainbridge, City of (Chason Park Expansion Project) - $1,261,008
    • Darien Downtown Development Authority (Rehabilitation and Construction
          of Downtown Docks) - $1,662,510
    • Dublin, City of (Madison Street Redevelopment Project) - $3,328,773
    • Monroe, City of (Construction of a Downtown Green) - $2,126,340
    • Ringgold, City of (Streetscape and Revitalization Project) - $1,421,316
    • Tifton, City of (Commerce Way Redevelopment Project) - $955,140
    • Toccoa, City of (Tugulo Street Park and Streetscape) - $689,042
    • Toombs County Development Authority (Construction of the Greater Vidalia Center for Rural Entrepreneurship) - $4,059,474
    • Villa Rica, City of (Transportation Reunification Program) -  $1,746,397

    A complete listing of the project descriptions are available here.

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    About the Department of Community Affairs

    The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) partners with communities to build strong and vibrant neighborhoods, commercial and industrial areas through community and economic development, local government assistance, and safe and affordable housing. Using state and federal resources, DCA helps communities spur private job creation, implement planning, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions and promote volunteerism. DCA also helps qualified Georgians with low and moderate incomes buy homes, rental housing and prevent foreclosure and homelessness. For more information, visit www.dca.ga.gov.

     

  • The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”) hereby notifies interested Applicants of the availability of one-time funding of $17 million allocated in the FY2022 Amended State Budget for the purpose of supporting transformative economic development projects in rural downtowns that will revitalize the community.  The availability and use of these funds are subject to all applicable state laws and regulations, and is further subject to DCA’s policies. DCA is the administrator of the state’s Rural Downtown Redevelopment Grant Program. 

    In releasing this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), the objective is to provide financial resources to communities who have planned for and are ready to initiate projects within their core downtown areas that have the potential to revitalize the community, while being transformative in nature.  Generally speaking, DCA is seeking to fund construction projects that have likely to have already undergone a large degree of planning by the community.   As a result, applicants should be able to provide commitment of all necessary partnerships, plans, architectural/engineering designs, the remaining balance of funding, and any other relevant documentation to demonstrate the readiness of the project to proceed.  The intent is to award applicants that propose to create transformational change within the downtown area as a result of the application’s implementation.

    Throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, the downtown area is traditionally the heartbeat of the community.  As DCA’s mission is to help build strong, vibrant communities, the intersection between the needs of the community and the mission of the Department provides a unique opportunity for the community and the agency to partner in this endeavor.  As one-time funding has been appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose, DCA will move rapidly to solicit applications, review those submitted, and announce funding awards before the end of state fiscal year 2022.     

    DCA’s intent is to provide a broad framework by which communities can define projects that they deem transformative.  However, DCA does not intend to make awards to applicants that are not ready to proceed, seek funding for operational costs, or have projects contingent upon other funding at the time of application.  DCA’s commitment is to provide communities with financial resources to help implement those transformative downtown projects that would not take place at this time without state assistance.  While transformation means different things in different communities, for the purposes of this grant, DCA is seeking applications that will increase opportunities for private investment to be injected into areas of disinvestment, increase commerce within the downtown, facilitate additional visitors/shoppers/activities within the downtown space, address workforce development and/or downtown housing needs that contribute to the overall revitalization of the community.  The relationship between the community’s current state, the activities defined in the application and the outcomes anticipated from their implementation should be clearly documented.    

    While there is no preconceived idea of what may or may not be fundable under this program, some activities that will not be considered by the panel (resulting in applications not being reviewed) include applications:

    • Requesting operational costs;
    • Proposing plans or studies;
    • Projects contingent upon other funding;
    • Grant administration costs;
    • Proposing activities that violate state laws; and/or
    • Activities inconsistent with locally-approved planning documents.

    A copy of this NOFA and the Application package and other related materials will be available on the DCA website at the link listed below concurrent with the posting of this NOFA.

    AMOUNT OF FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR AWARD

    DCA anticipates awarding approximately $17 million under this NOFA.  DCA reserves the right to fund, in whole or in part, any, all, or none of the applications submitted in response to this NOFA.

    MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF GRANT REQUEST

    DCA is establishing a maximum amount of grant request at $5,000,000.  A funding floor has also been established at $1,000,000.  DCA anticipates funding between five (5) and fifteen (12) applications under this NOFA.

    For more information including applicant resources, visit https://www.dca.ga.gov/community-economic-development/funding-programs/rural-downtown-redevelopment-grant-program.