Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the Historic Gateway Neighborhood, the Historic Warehouse District, the PlayhouseSquare District Development Corporation, and the Campus District are jointly administering a Downtown Predevelopment Matching Fund through a grant provided by The Cleveland Foundation.  Matching funds will be made available to approved predevelopment activities to facilitate further development in Downtown Cleveland.

Funds will be made available in the form of matching grants.  The maximum grant from the Downtown Predevelopment Matching Fund will be $10,000.  Applicants must agree to a minimum investment of 50% of the cost of the predevelopment activity in order to receive matching funds.

In order to apply, an applicant must first gain the approval of the local development corporation representing the area where its development project is located.  If there is no local development corporation representing the area where its project is located, applicants need to gain the approval of Downtown Cleveland Alliance in order to apply for matching funds.

The Executive Directors of the downtown local development corporations will meet quarterly as members of the Downtown Predevelopment Fund Program Committee to discuss matching fund applications.  Applicants must work with the local development corporations to prepare the Downtown Predevelopment Matching Fund application, which must be submitted at least three working days prior to the next meeting of the Downtown Predevelopment Matching Fund Program Committee meeting. 

Applications will be judged on the following basis:

Targeted Project Types

Funds may be used for predevelopment activities and analyses regarding building or groups of buildings in strategic locations in the downtown area, with an emphasis on the following types of projects: 

  • Upper floor reuse projects, including housing, hotel, and office projects,

  • Creation of new construction on surface parking lots,

  • Anchor retailer recruitment and retention,

  • The creation or improvement of project-related open space, or

  • Other critical projects deemed essential for the implementation of adopted downtown plans.

Targeted Predevelopment Activities

Predevelopment activities/analyses that may be undertaken include:

  • Architectural feasibility, design development studies, or prospective appraisals

  • Historic tax credit qualifications

  • Project financial feasibility studies

Conditions of Participation

To qualify for funding, a developer must:

  • Sign a letter of agreement outlining the conditions of the support from the Downtown Cleveland Predevelopment Fund.

  • Agree to furnish the Program Committee a confidential copy of the final report, excluding information regarding the financial model for the project.  There is no expectation that specific financial information about the development deal and its participants will be provided.

  • Agree to allow members of the Program Committee to use data from the final report in other manners, provided the confidentiality of the project and the integrity of the study is maintained.

  • Agree that the award shall be in the form of a deferred grant.  If the project being studied does not go forward, the developer will not have any obligation to repay the grant.  Repayment would commence upon the receipt of construction and /or permanent financing proceeds for the project.

  • Agree that all funds be used exclusively for independent feasibility studies.

Project Criteria

The criteria by which projects will be judged include, but are not limited to:

  • Match of type of project to the targeted project types listed above.

  • Strategic importance of the project.

  • The project’s consistency with plans that have been adopted by the Planning Commission of the City of Cleveland.

  • Necessity of the study to completion of the project.

  • Developer agreement with the conditions outlined above.

  • Track record and background of the developers.

  • Feasibility of the development project.

  • Civic support for the development project.

Project Confidentiality

Each of the partner organizations has agreed to hold in confidence any information identified by another partner as confidential.  Each partner organization recognizes that any breach of such confidentiality will hamper their ability to receive funds from the program and participate in the Program Committee.