Did you know? For more than two decades, the Department of Commerce Office of Neighborhood Economic Development has been investing in commercial real estate development projects that provide vital goods and services to residents in neighborhoods across Philadelphia. 

The next round of funding is now open! Don’t miss this opportunity to help address systematic disinvestment in neighborhoods, by way of dedicated funds for real estate development activities that are in line with the needs of the surrounding community. 

The Commercial Oriented Real Estate Grant helps nonprofit organizations, including community development corporations increase their funding capacity to create economic opportunities that revitalize the neighborhoods they serve. 

Nonprofit organizations can apply for a proposed compensation of between $50,000 and $950,000 to fund commercial space for businesses providing goods and services accessible to low-and-moderate income residents, while increasing job creation.

The application deadline is March 8, 2024 at 5:00 P.M.


The proposed activities must be eligible in accordance with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations. The additional City requirements include:

  • The project team has the knowledge and understanding of the community and can make informed decisions grounded in the needs of the community. The goal is to increase local ownership and self-determination in the way land and real estate are developed, prioritizing the surrounding community needs.
  • The project should fit City plans for the area, neighborhood strategic plans, and the organization’s strategic economic development plan helping them to serve low- and moderate-income individuals through programs and services going forward.   

Funding categories

Eligible projects can be funded in the four categories described below:

  • Planning
    • For economic development planning activities targeted to neighborhood commercial revitalization and blight elimination which will result in increased economic opportunity within the target neighborhood. Eligible plans must include action items that the applicant has the power to influence or move, so the outcomes of the plan can be acted upon and measured. 
  • Pre-development 
    • For commercial or mixed-use projects in the phase prior to the start of development and construction. Project funding can support architecture, legal, environmental, consulting and related predevelopment costs.
  •  Development  
    • For “bricks and mortar” projects: new construction or substantial rehabilitation of commercial or mixed-use facilities. Eligible projects that apply under the development track will have site control or an agreement of sale, as well as a plan for the commercial space tenant. 
  •  Acquisition  
    • For the purchase of an occupied commercial or mixed-use property on a commercial corridor. The goal of this funding is to stabilize commercial corridors, retain existing businesses and maintain viable commercial spaces. Eligible projects will have an existing business providing goods and services, operating in the first floor commercial space, and committed to continue operating after the title transfer of the building.

Required documents

The City will consider many factors, when evaluating proposals submitted to this Request for Proposal (RFP). The required documents include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Budget with a detailed proposal of the costs for specific services and work products proposed. The proposal must be explicit about the need and provide verification of secured funding commitments, as well as a specific plan for obtaining any remaining funding commitments. 
  • Project narrative with documentation of community support, commercial occupancy plans, scope of work and detailed timeline indicating which tasks have been completed to date and a reasonable timeline for project completion. If there are necessary issues, such as zoning variances, environmental work, etc., these should also be detailed.
  • Evidence of site control through proof-of-ownership (a deed), an executed agreement of sale or option, or a lease-hold agreement of at least 15 years. In the absence of site control, applicants must show evidence of a clear path to site control.  
  • Proof of administrative and operational efficiency where plans must be provided to ensure that a development team will be put in place, including an architect, building contractor, and development and legal consultants.  If the organization does not have the experience or capacity to take on development, in addition to identifying the consultants, an agreement should be attached which outlines the services the consultant will be providing from pre-development through construction stages. 

How to apply

Applicants must complete application through eContract Philly before the deadline to be considered for this contract opportunity.  The proposal is not considered submitted until the “submit” button is pressed at the conclusion of the eContract Philly submission process.  You should receive a confirmation email that your application was submitted. 

Applicants are encouraged to allow sufficient time to complete the application process in order to become familiar with the requirements of the eContract Philly interface, upload all required documents, and resolve any technical issues prior to the submission deadline. The City need not accept, and may discard, responses that are incomplete, late, or submitted in any other format.  The application is available online

Questions can be directed via email to Sara.Lepori@Phila.gov.