The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation will begin accepting applications for the Site Readiness Program on October 12, 2021. The Site Readiness Program partners with municipalities and/or developers to fund municipal technical assistance and site-specific planning and improvements.
This grant provides flexible funding intended to meet specific challenges faced by cities, towns, and developers. Although there are no maximum awards sizes, commercial and industrial projects are generally awarded grant awards of up to $125,000, and residential projects are generally awarded grants not larger than $75,000. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate other funding or supports for the project in the application.
In FY2022, the Site Readiness program is focused on providing financial support to cities and towns in need of funding to support initiatives that will catalyze economic growth and development. Special consideration will be given to those proposals that seek funding for technical assistance projects intended to improve, streamline or update planning processes or guidelines.
Applicants seeking a second round or additional funding may be considered. Applicants seeking a second grant should include the reasons a second grant would be beneficial to the project and the economic growth of the state.
Funding will be available in two categories: (1) site specific planning/improvements and (2) municipal assistance.
Site Specific Planning/Improvements
Funding is available to support the planned or future development of specific sites. The activities we will consider funding include:
- Site specific planning and pre-development activities including property surveys, master planning, engineering surveys, or environmental studies.
- Site specific project improvements including activities that will support planned or future build out of significant sites including infrastructure improvements, land assembly activities, site clearing or demolition, and building improvements.
Urban projects that are a minimum of 2 acres or 100,000 square feet of existing or planned building space, and suburban or rural projects that are 10 acres or greater will be prioritized for funding. Additionally, projects intended to catalyze growth in advanced industry clusters, regardless of project size, will be prioritized.
Funding through the program is also available to cities and towns to assist in the development of strategies and plans that spur development and growth in support of the municipality’s development goals. The activities could include:
- LEAN Consultation to streamline current land-use development and permitting processes.
- Training/Education for planning/zoning board members as well as Building Officials and Inspectors.
- Assistance with writing zoning ordinances, updating comprehensive plan.
- Providing strategic planning effort support (including matching funds or support for federal grants) or marketing support that will lead to the development or redevelopment of significant sites in a municipality.