Minneapolis Empowerment Zone

North Minneapolis Community Transformation Initiative Questions and Answers

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Questions and answers about the North Minneapolis Community Transformation Initiative Request for Proposals will be posted on this page as they are received.

I work with a non-profit youth media education organization on Plymouth called Asian Media Access. We are in a fundraising phase to repair or rebuild our current building, and I was wondering who and in what format (hard or soft copy?) do I send our proposal to in regards to the RFP that was sent out last week? Thank you for any information!

The RFP is available on our website and has all the instructions for submission within it. See the Empowerment Zone website. However, Plymouth is not one of the nodes that is the focus of the RFP and the purpose of it is spurring private investment for Commercial Development/Site Preparation or Large Business Expansion and Recruitment for Employment Opportunities, which sounds different from what you're looking for. Feel free to read the RFP and respond with any questions. There will be an information session on October 19th at our offices if you'd like to attend.

The following questions were asked during the pre-proposal meeting on Oct. 19, 2005:

Do insurance documents have to be submitted with the proposal?

No. Insurance is required, listing the City of Minneapolis as an additional insured, at the contracting phase.

What is meant by 1:1 match?

The 1:1 match refers directly to funds. Proposers must provide a 1:1 match in funds.

Why is the funding a 1:1 match?

To create significant growth and show strong financial commitment from applicant.

Do the projects have to be on nodes?

Projects or initiatives must serve the EZ and should be located within one block of the priority nodes.

Why is there a 1-2 block radius of the nodes?

The nodes are located in or around the Empowerment Zone boundaries. EZ investments are to provide the highest benefits EZ residents and the surrounding area.

Is this a real estate loan?

Yes.

What happens to these funds, especially predevelopment dollars, if the project doesn’t happen?

This will be handled on a case by case basis.

What is the interest rate and amortization?

This is project specific. Previous EZ loans were done around 4% for 5 to 10 years, amortized up to 25 years.

How is the final selection made?

A point value is assigned to the criteria to be used as a ranking for the long-term benefit of the community. The point values will be placed on the website. This is used for the initial ranking of proposals. Subsequent discussions will center on the qualitative analysis of the proposals.

Can the funding be a combination of a grant and a loan?

The funding is for loans. Strong cases for alternative terms may be proposed, but the likelihood of a change in terms is very slim. This will be looked at on a case by case basis.

Can the EZ participate in condemnation and zoning issues?

No, however, those terms of a project can be submitted to CPED which can work with the Planning Department regarding these issues.

Clarify "support and collaborative efforts."

This means the City of Minneapolis wants to build long-term businesses and relationships in the community. A project should not be merely placed in a neighborhood, but rather work with the neighborhood to establish a partnership and work together. Any qualified efforts that bring together several partners will be highly regarded.

Can the entire $1 million be used for one project?

Depending on the benefit to EZ residents, yes. We plan to do at least $200K per project, but if one project far exceeds all others and the need is there, we will consider it.

Is there a schedule to define development and pre-development costs?

Predevelopment (soft) costs may include site surveys, architectural plans, project related consultation, etc. Development costs pertain to construction expenses such as labor and equipment.

Isn’t there an adverse affect by limiting the nodes and the radius around them?

The EZ covers a specific geographic area. EZ funding and investments must fall within the set boundaries or demonstrate that EZ funded services provide a direct benefit to EZ residents.

Would a match of funds from Hennepin County MFIP qualify as an eligible source of funds to provide the 1:1 match with the proposed EZ grant funds?

Yes it would. Our main concern with regard to the 1:1 match is that we're not the sole source of funding. It demonstrates sustainability as well as broader interest in the program.

November 2, 2005 Pre-proposal meeting

Clarify the site control issue.
It is a major proposal criteria. However, there is leeway, which depends on the strength and nature of the proposal.

Is $1 million the total for all four nodes?
Yes.

Is $200,000 the minimum Empowerment Zone investment in a project?
Yes. However, the Empowerment Zone smaller projects may also submit proposals.

Is the $50,000 Pre-Development funding part of the proposal requested amount?

 Yes, it is part of the total amount requested.

Can the 2% City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Business Finance loan be considered part of the 1 to 1 match?

 Yes.

Can a proposal contain more than 1 site controlled by an applicant?

 Yes.  It is preferred that both sites be located near each other.  All site controls must be detailed and provide supporting documents.

How can the formula for proposed taxes be obtained?

For property tax information, please visit the Minneapolis City Assessor website minneapolismn.gov/assessor/

Phone Numbers
Homestead Information (612) 673-2382
Real Estate Information (612) 673-2382
Real Estate Taxes, Property Owners, Legal Descriptions, Lot Size, P.I.D. (612) 348-3011
Special Assessment (612) 673-3604

Are there any Sources and Uses Templates?

Sources and Uses detail the project budget.  There is a sample on the Empowerment Zone Small Grants website.

Would a stand along housing project be feasible?

Highest priority will be towards business expansion and economic development.  Mix use of housing and commercial development could be considered.

For property tax information please visit the Minneapolis City Assessor website www.minneapolismn.gov/assessor/

Phone Numbers
Homestead Information (612) 673-2382
Real Estate Information (612) 673-2382
Real Estate Taxes, Property Owners, Legal Descriptions, Lot Size, P.I.D. (612) 348-3011
Special Assessment (612) 673-3604

Are there any Sources and Uses Templates?

Sources and Uses detail the project budget.  There is a sample on the Empowerment Zone Small Grants website.

Would a stand along housing project be feasible?

Highest priority will be towards business expansion and economic development.  Mix use of housing and commercial development could be considered.

Last updated Nov 2, 2011