LOCAL Fund: Community Ownership Program

The application deadline has passed. The City of Saint is no longer accepting applications for the LOCAL Fund: Community Ownership Program.

The City of Saint Paul is seeking a partnership with a qualified organization to serve as a program administrator for the Local Fund: Community Ownership Program. Community ownership of commercial real estate is one way to live out the ethos of Saint Paul’s vision to become the ‘cooperative capital of the world.’ Research shows that when community members own commercial real estate in their communities, they build community wealth, harness control of assets and neighborhood change, and determine neighborhood amenities that advance the health, safety, and sustainability of their neighborhood.

The aim of the Community Ownership program is to achieve healthy and sustainable neighborhoods through acquisition, demolition, or rehabilitation of vacant properties, an issue exacerbated by the enduring negative economic impacts of the pandemic. The program will target commercial properties on the City’s vacant property list located within Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs). For a list of vacant commercial properties currently listed on the City's website, click here or click here and select "Vacant Building List".

‘Community ownership entities’ include but are not limited to: real estate investment cooperatives, commercial tenant cooperatives, community investment trust, commercial community land trusts, and other shared ownership entities defined by the program administrator and approved by the City.

Qualified applicants will be nonprofit organizations with demonstrated experience and knowledge of community owned entities and commercial real estate development. The program administrator will be charged with: 

  1. Develop and manage a selection process for community ownership entities who propose projects.
  2. Administer pre-development assistance and awards to acquire, demolish, or rehabilitate vacant commercial properties in qualified census tracts in Saint Paul, and monitor project progress.
  3. Provide technical assistance to community ownership entities to meet federal grant requirements and securing vacant commercial property.  

Program participants can become eligible for financial awards, including:

  • Pre-development assistance of up to $50,000
  • Real estate awards up to $500,000 

The City of Saint Paul expects to select one program administrator. The total available funding to apply for through this RFP is $1,250,000.

Find more information about the program details, selection process, and application instructions and materials in the Request for Proposal document.

Please note this Request for Proposal (RFP) is not an application for community owned entities. The program administrator selected through this RFP will select community owned entities to receive grants and technical assistance through the Community Ownership program.  

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP1612 awarded to City of Saint Paul by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Supporting Documents

LOCAL Fund Community Ownership RFP

Stage 1: Applicant Checklist - OFE Community

Application Organization Information Sheet - OFE Community

Applicant Conflict of Interest Form - OFE Community

Applicant Financial Questionnaire - OFE Community

Community Ownership Application Workplan Template - OFE Community

Application Budget Template - OFE Community

Application Process

The application deadline is November 3, 2023. All applications must be received no later than 4:30pm Central Time on the deadline.

Late applications will not be accepted. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to allow sufficient time to address all potential delays. The City will not be responsible for delays caused by mail, delivery, computer or technology problems.

Applications must be submitted via email to ofe@ci.stpaul.mn.us. Applications can be accessed via the link below, which will bring you directly to the application specific to this program.

Questions and Answers?

Should applicants have questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Financial Empowerment at ofe@ci.stpaul.mn.us. To ensure the proper and fair evaluation of all applications, answers by City personnel will be limited to the technical information about forms and eligibility requirements and will not include advice on the scope of an individual applicant project or the content of their proposal. All questions received from applicants will be posted below, along with responses provided by City personnel.

This Q&A section will be updated on a weekly basis.

Community Ownership RFP Questions and Answers 

Last Edited: November 7, 2023