PHS Placemaker Grant FAQ

Do the projects have to be within 7 Civic Landscape areas? Are those target areas listed somewhere?

The Neighborhood Placemaker grant is intended to encourage communities all over the city to beautify their corridors and create great public landscapes for neighbors and residents to enjoy. The seven PHS target areas are listed on the PHS website under Civic Landscapes.

Are there regulations we should follow, for example planter location and size?

If your project will require permits (such as planters in the public right-of-way), the applicant will have responsibility to follow proper protocol and obtain permission for the project. Talk to the correct departments; e.g. Streets, Parks, PWD, etc.

Will this program be funded under our new mayor?

The Commerce department has allocated funds to support the PHS Neighborhood Placemaker grant.

What if the project is Phase 1 of a bigger project?

We encourage leveraging funds, using this as “seed money” as a Phase 1 project. It can also be part of a larger project ,or a phase 2+ opportunity. The more partners and momentum you have the better!

How much total funding is available? How much will be available per project?

$75,000 will be divided among two to three projects. The project should be $15,000 or more with at least a 5-year life-span.

Do projects have to be within a commercial corridor?  How do I find out if my project is within one? Why is there an emphasis this year on commercial corridors?

The Commerce Department has provided partial funding as part of a larger strategy to make neighborhood commercial corridors more inviting for shoppers and visitors. The project does not have to be in a commercial corridor, but it helps to make the application stronger, especially if it is close to/accessible by shopping on a commercial corridor. It is helpful if your project is visible to shoppers/visitors/transit users on the corridor.  Projects in areas that have a concentration of businesses and are pedestrian-oriented are highly desirable. Generally a commercial corridor is about 100 commercial properties along a 4-block length. This is not a requirement, but something to keep in mind.

A list of neighborhood commercial corridor locations provided by the Commerce Department can be found on the sidebar on the PHS Neighborhood Placemaker Grant page. This list is not comprehensive.  If your location is near a corridor that was historically commercial and is going through revitalization it may be eligible. If you are unsure, contact us.

Will the grant be specifically for implementation or can we use it for planning and administration?

The money cannot be used to pay staff or administration fees. It is preferred that projects have a concept design, in that case PHS will be able to provide design development. If there is a compelling reason to use an outside designer some funds can be used to that purpose.  The majority of the funds are for capital eligible implementation.

Should partner organizations apply separately or together?

Together. The funding will be for a project not for a specific organization.

If a project is planting and flower-based, there is seasonality to the project. Is that a negative for the project?

PHS understands that flowers have their season. We would prefer annuals instead of perennials, but PHS loves flowers. Consider plants that have 4-season interest.

What was the average request for projects submitted in 2015?

Requests ranged from $5,000 to $100,000. Awards were for $15,000 - $25,000. Awards this year will depend on the requests. You do not have to submit a budget in the LOI but be mindful that awards will be a minimum of $15,000. We encourage projects that are a piece of a larger plan and to use this as an opportunity to leverage or seek additional funding.

Regarding land ownership – What if there is tax-delinquent land involved, how do we manage a situation that involves that land? What if the land-owner is inaccessible?

The project site MUST have landowner’s permission.  If the site is not secure keep in mind that obtaining permission may be a lengthy process that makes the project ineligible for the 1 year time line. Contact the land owner before submitting an LOI.

Can a project be on school property?

School projects are eligible if they are accessible by the neighborhood. Get a letter of support from the Principal and the School District.

If restaurants and businesses are interested in using the space, is it OK if the space if the project supports a private business, like a Pop Up Garden?

Potentially, but not if, as a “Pop Up” the project is temporary. If your project is a temporary beginning to a long term plan you are welcome to submit an LOI.

Is priority given to plant material that is native?

Not necessarily. We support “right plant- right place” and plantings appropriate to the site and likely to survive.  Of course supporting habitat such as birds and butterflies is important and great components to consider.

If maintenance requires another $100,000, how do we deal with that?

Maintenance will be the responsibility of the community applicant. If you are selected to submit a full application you will be asked to provide a maintenance plan.

Once the LOIs are submitted, is there a full application that we can we see now?

The full RFP is being developed and will be available only to those groups selected as finalistsWill the Information Session be available on the website so we can access the list of “questions to ask yourself”?  Do we have to answer these questions in the LOI? No, they are just suggestions and guidelines. Thinking about those questions will help make your application stronger. The entire presentation is available here.

What is the timeline? How long will we have to finish the project?

The project must be completed within 1 year of award. (award June 2016, completion June 2017)

  • December 22, 2016 – begin Letter of Interest (LOI) acceptance online
  • January 6, 2016 - 5:00 PM- Application information session held at PHS
  • February 12, 2016 - 4:00 PM - LOI submissions close
  • March 18, 2016 - Finalists announced, full RFP released
  • April 29, 2016 - 4:00 PM - RFP closes
  • April - May, 2016 - Application review
  • June, 2016 - Award announcement
  • July 1, 2016 - Project start
  • June 30, 2017 - Project completion

Contact Tammy Leigh DeMent for further guidance at [email protected].