IDS & the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI): Applying for Funding

New York State DRI logoThe New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) is a competitive grant program administered by the New York State Department of State, created to transform downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities with thriving local businesses, housing, and amenities.

Each round, the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) selects one community in each of the state’s ten economic development regions to receive a $10 million grant. The selected communities are chosen based on their potential for transformation, the strength of their local strategic plans, and the readiness of local partnerships to implement their plans.

Much goes into the completion of DRI-funded projects. The key to successful implementation is utilizing an experienced municipal project implementation partner. ID Signsystems has developed urban wayfinding programs and brand renewals for numerous municipalities in the state of New York, including DRI-fund awardees.

To apply for DRI funding, a town or city must follow these steps:

First, the town must check if it meets the eligibility criteria for the DRI program. The program is open to municipalities with a downtown area with a population of 50,000 or less. It must be located within an area designated as a “Central Business District” or “Traditional Neighborhood District” under the municipality’s zoning ordinance.

Next, contact the local REDC to express interest in the DRI program and get information on the application process. The REDC serves as the primary point of contact for the DRI program.

Once eligibility is confirmed, the next step is to develop a Strategic Investment Plan (SIP). The SIP aims to outline the town’s vision for downtown revitalization, identify the projects that will be completed, and explain how the projects will be implemented. Town officials commonly work with stakeholders. With the SIP complete, the town submits its application to the REDC.

Evaluation and Selection: The REDC evaluates the applications and selects the winning town or city. The selection is based on various factors, including the strength of the SIP, the potential impact of the proposed projects, and the capacity of the community to implement the projects.

If selected, a city/town will receive up to $10 million in funding to implement the priority projects identified in the SIP. The town must also provide a matching contribution of at least 10% of the grant amount.

Once DRI funding has been awarded to a town, an experienced implementation partner is critical. Understanding the intricacies of the DRI award process can be complicated. ID Signsystems has experience executing DRI programs, using a turn-key approach to help city planners implement their DRI program from start to finish.

As a certified NYS WBE company, IDS can receive direct contracts for any project, from design and planning to fabrication and implementation, up to $500,000 in a calendar year from the contract onset. This means that if your municipality accepts DRI funding, you can work with us directly for your project needs, bypassing the bidding process.

In addition, IDS has access to a NYS and Federally Approved Co-op program that enables us to complete any project, regardless of its dollar value, out of the public bid process. This means that we offer more flexibility in the procurement process and ensure your project is completed with the highest quality possible.

If your city/town is considering a DRI application or has been awarded DRI funding, now is the time to contact the DRI implementation team at ID Signsystems to discuss how our partnership can help your Local Planning Committee ensure successful DRI project execution.

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