The Colorado Springs Downtown Development Authority is guided by a mission to build public and private investment partnerships that promote the economic and physical growth of Downtown Colorado Springs.
Downtown property owners voted to establish the DDA in November 2006 to provide programs and financial incentives to foster downtown development. DDA is governed by a board of 11 people appointed by Colorado Springs City Council. Downtown Partnership staff execute the work of the DDA as a contracted affiliate. In 2016, City Council adopted the updated Experience Downtown Plan Volume I as the official Plan of Development for DDA. The DDA is funded in two ways: first, by a 5-mill tax levy within the district to support its operations, and second, through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The latter is the capture of increased property tax revenues within the district following a baseline assessment. TIF revenues go into a special fund and, as it grows, the funds can be leveraged for support of downtown projects in the form of grants and reimbursement agreements. All projects receiving grants and reimbursement agreements from the DDA must demonstrate alignment with the goals and priorities of Experience Downtown. Grant funding decisions are made by the 11-member board of the DDA, which meets monthly on the second Tuesday of each month.
To inquire about grant or TIF opportunities for your business, contact Susan Edmondson or call 719-886-0088.
retail incentive grants
The Downtown Development Authority has launched the Retail Incentive Grant designed to attract and assist select retail, restaurant and service businesses to diversify the mix of offerings in Downtown Colorado Springs.
This grant fosters entrepreneurship while simultaneously enhancing existing and new spaces Downtown and provides resident-serving amenities not currently offered Downtown.
In addition to providing a new and unique business that is not currently offered Downtown, there are a number of eligibility requirements to qualify for this grant.
Prior to submitting an application, we strongly suggest you contact Downtown Partnership to discuss the project, its eligibility and its competitiveness. Click here for additional information.
Tree Canopy Grants
Trees are an important element of streetscape design that bring vitality, vibrancy, and a sense of well-being to the urban environment. They create a pedestrian friendly experience that removes pollutants from the air and soil, reduces the urban heat island effect, provide shade and natural filtration of rainwater, among other benefits.
Tree Canopy Grants are designed to supplement or match funds for properties within the DDA that contribute to creating a robust urban tree canopy by enhancing existing or creating new planting areas. Grants are provided on a reimbursement basis after project completion. Click here for additional information.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant
The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has launched the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant Program to supplement or match funds for renovation or new-construction elements that enhance the energy efficiency and conservation of commercial properties.
The grant enables applicants to improve energy efficiency and conservation primarily through long-term/permanent improvements to properties such as energy-efficient doors and windows, solar panels, LED lighting and “smart” electrical panels and lighting.
Building Enhancement Grants
Building Enhancement Grants are designed to supplement or match funds for exterior building improvement projects on existing buildings within the DDA. The grant enables applicants to enhance their design with higher quality materials, lighting, signage and façade elements, improve public safety around the building, add new public ream enhancements such as landscaping or seating, and include new public art into the project design. These enhancements stimulate economic vitality within the DDA and help the DDA to achieve its goals as identified in the Plan of Development.
Download application here.
Special project Grants
Special Project Grants are funds provided for initiatives that address the goals of the Experience Downtown plan but do not readily fall into the primary categories of Building Enhancements, Signature Events or major developments for consideration of Tax Increment Financing. These projects most likely could include feasibility studies or other studies and reports; public safety initiatives; or other efforts to enhance the economic vitality of Downtown. Eligibility and application details can be found in the APPLICATION. (PDF)
Small Business Loan Fund
DDA provides short-term, low-interest loans to storefront small businesses facing unique hardships due to lasting impacts of the pandemic. Loan applications are scored and reviewed on competitive factors, and submission of an application is not a guarantee of loan approval. Loans are not structured as start-up support for new businesses. For more information, contact SUSAN EDMONDSON.
Residential TIF Reimbursement Agreements
TIF Reimbursement Agreements are available for residential projects within the DDA that demonstrate strong alignment with the goals and action priorities of the Plan of Development. While projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, in general residential projects showing strong alignment with Plan of Development goals may be eligible for up to 65 percent TIF reimbursement, minus fees and obligations, and not to exceed eligible expenses. Projects deemed extraordinarily catalytic in nature – particularly those offering affordable housing — may be eligible for higher TIF reimbursement. For more information, contact SUSAN EDMONDSON.
Commercial TIF Reimbursement Agreements
TIF Reimbursement Agreements are available for commercial projects within the DDA that demonstrate strong alignment with the goals and action priorities of the Plan of Development. While projects are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, in general, commercial projects showing strong alignment with Plan of Development goals may be eligible for up to 60 percent of eligible cost TIF reimbursement. Projects deemed extraordinarily catalytic in nature may be eligible for higher TIF reimbursement. For more information, contact SUSAN EDMONDSON.