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 Sarah Humbargar or call 719-886-0088.
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. Eligibility and application details can be found in the application (PDF).
Signature Event Grants
DDA considers funding for a select number of Signature Events annually that meet the DDA’s goals of stimulating economic vitality and engaging more people in Downtown. Eligibility and application details can be found in the application (PDF).
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)
Downtown Living Initiative TIF Reimbursement Agreements
The Downtown Living Initiative’s primary goal is to accelerate progress toward the near-term construction of at least 1,000 new residential units by 2020 and at least 2,000 new units by 2025. For the first 600 units or until December 31, 2019, whichever is achieved first, multifamily projects are eligible to receive 100 percent of TIF for all remaining years of the DDA (through 2037) based on eligibility criteria and capped at the total expenditures on eligible costs. New units are measured commencing 2015. For multifamily projects 10 units or less, DDA may provide a grant of $10,000 per unit. These units will apply toward achieving the initial 600-unit goal. Units 601 and beyond, or after December 31, 2019, are eligible to receive 75 to 90 percent of TIF based on eligibility criteria. Projects demonstrating extraordinary alignment with Experience Downtown goals can qualify for the higher reimbursement level (including but not limited to factors such as higher design standards and streetscapes, public-serving amenities, workforce and affordable housing, owner-occupied, etc.).
Download the application (PDF).
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.
Download the application (PDF).