Proposals for Pro-Bono Real Estate Research due May 25, 2018

Feasibility Research Group is a national firm that is proud to be headquartered in Northeast Ohio. Over the past five years, we have seen great things happening in the Cleveland area. To ensure that we are doing our part to help with the re- invigoration of the community, we are offering a unique opportunity.

Reverse RFP
Feasibility Research Group is issuing a “Reverse RFP” and accepting proposals for the completion of one strategic analysis. Proposals considered for this RFP may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Housing study
  • Retail study
  • Market study

The selected proposal will outline a defined project need and will demonstrate the potential for impact the research findings will provide.

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Submission Guidelines & Requirements
Interested organizations should submit a response to include the following information:

a. What problem is your organization or community working to solve?
b. How do you think the research findings will help your efforts to build and/or sustain the community?
c. What actions will your organization take as a direct result of the findings?
d. What other methods has your organization previously undertaken to attempt to solve the problem?
e. Provide a list of key stakeholders for the proposal and everyone’s role within the organization

Email a PDF response, of no more than 5 pages, to: no later than 5:00PM ET, Friday, May 25, 2018 to be considered.

Feasibility Research Group anticipates selecting at least two organizations to have more in-depth discussions with and will make an award to one of these “finalist” individuals or firms.

Submit questions by no later than 5:00PM, Friday, May 4, 2018 to  On Monday, May 7, 2018, answers to all questions will be posted on

Project Scope
The project to be completed by FRG may include, but is not limited to the following:

1. Market Study

  • Demographic and household analysis
  • Economic base and employment analysis
  • Existing community infrastructure and amenities
  • Resident profiles and assessments of community needs

2. Housing Study

  • Analysis of existing housing supply within a target community
  • Analysis of demand for housing
  • Recommendation of optimal housing mix

3. Retail Study

  • Assessment of the current retail market within a target community
  • Assessment of the competition capturing retail expenditures
  • Analysis of demand for retail
  • Recommendation of the optimal mix of retail opportunities

RFP & Project Timelines
The Request for Proposal timeline is as follows:
Request for Proposal Issuance – April 23, 2018
Selection of Finalist Bidders – May 25, 2018
Client Selection and Engagement – June 1, 2018
Contract Award – June 8, 2018

The anticipated date for project completion is 8-10 weeks from contract award and/or project kick-off meeting.

Evaluation Factors
Feasibility Research Group will rate proposals based on the following factors, with potential community impact being the most important factor:

1. Responsiveness to the requirements set forth in this Request for Proposal
2. Relevant projects with a clear need for strategic analysis
3. Potential for impact and future action based on project findings

Feasibility Research Group reserves the right to award to the bidder that presents the best value partnership, as determined solely by Feasibility Research Group in its absolute discretion.


Responses to Submitted Questions

Is this really ‘pro bono’?

Yes.  The selected organization will not be assessed a fee for the project work completed by FRG.

What is a Reverse RFP?

Organizations submit their project proposals to FRG, rather than you requesting a research firm, such as FRG to submit a proposal to complete a specific project study. FRG has chosen this approach to ensure we are actively including issues where there is the most need.

Can we submit a proposal for a specific housing development, or does this need to be a larger issue, like overhauling the housing market in our service area?

Both levels are welcome, as long as the issue is one your organization plans to work to address and would benefit from research supporting those efforts. FRG will work with the chosen organization to refine the project scope.

We have a Board meeting on Friday, May 25th and would like our Board to review and approve our proposal prior to submission. Is it possible to get an extension on the due date? 

Unfortunately, we are not able to extend the due date for receipt of proposals.  All proposals are due no later than 5:00PM ET, Friday, May 25th.  Proposals of no longer than (5) five pages in length, in pdf format should be submitted to

What is the expected timeline of this project?

FRG anticipates starting work on the selected proposal by June 8th.  The anticipated completion (pending scope of project) would be approximately 8 weeks from the initial project kickoff.

Our organization is in Columbus, are we eligible to submit a proposal?

Unfortunately, for this submission FRG is only considering organizations based in Northeast Ohio.  Future ‘Reverse RFPs’ might have a broader geographic scope.

Be sure to follow FRG for updates –



Growth on the Lake: The Power of Green Technology

Over the last couple of years Cleveland has really done a lot to change outsiders’ perception of the city. No longer is the city referred to as the ‘Mistake on the Lake’. In fact, recently I was on an Amtrak train traveling from Washington DC to Baltimore, and in the seat pocket was “The National”, Amtrak’s onboard magazine. And on the front cover of the National was a gorgeous plate of food and the caption “Next Stop: Cleveland – A booming food scene is helping this postindustrial city shake off the rust”. The six-page cover story featured Cleveland’s hippest neighborhoods, celebrity chefs and their restaurants.

After reading the article, I thought to myself, Cleveland really has a lot going for it – exceptional museums, cool neighborhoods, world class healthcare, it has the 2nd largest theater district in the country, stellar higher educational institutions, home of big budget film productions and a championship sports team. And on top of all that, Cleveland is becoming known for making real advances in green technology.

Lake Erie TurbineCleveland, like most metropolitan cities has its environmental issues, whether that be runoff from urban fields or commercial sites contaminated by prior use or contaminated sediments at the bottom of Lake Erie. Cleveland is starting to find unique solutions for these issues.

One of the region’s greatest assets is the Great Lakes, which provide freshwater for drinking, transportation, power and recreation. And 21% of the world’s supply of freshwater comes from the Great Lakes.

So, I am happy that the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and the Ohio EPA are working together to find a better solution for where to put the sediment dredged from Lake Erie, a solution that does not include dumping the sediment back into Lake Erie. Recently, it was reported that they are exploring the solution that the Port of Cleveland is using to re-purpose sediment. The Port contracts with a supplier that recycles the dredged sediment and uses some to restore wetlands near the harbors being dredged and sells some of the clean sediment to construction companies to use on their sites. Re-purposing prevented the need to build a containment dike, thus saving the Port of Cleveland $150 million.

Another green technology project in development is the placing of six (6) 3.45-megawatt wind turbines eight miles off the shore of Lake Erie. The goal of putting wind turbines in Lake Erie is to funnel renewable energy into Cleveland’s Public Power infrastructure, enough to generate energy to power 7,000 homes.

Initiatives like these are exciting to see as they build on Cleveland’s strong science and technology competency and continues to diversify the area’s economy. A diversified economy attracts diverse talent from all over the world. The need for more talent can help to increase the area’s population and ultimately increases the need for housing, retail and infrastructure development. All of which are things needed for a thriving city. It’s nice to see ‘Growth on the Lake’.

I’m Ready! Are You Ready for Some Football?

It’s that time of year again. Tonight is the official kick-off of the NFL season with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos hosting the Carolina Panthers at the Mile High Stadium.

And after the excitement of the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship and the Cleveland Indians currently leading the American League, it’s only reasonable to hope that this will be the year of the Cleveland Browns. In the 2015 season, the Cleveland Browns finished tied for last place in the AFC, so being the Cleveland Brown’s year, here’s to hoping that they do better than last year.

NFL BlogSince 1999, the Cleveland Browns have played in the First Energy Stadium – a first-class, 67,000+ seat stadium paid for by both public and private dollars. In the United States, there are 226 stadiums with seating capacities ranging from 20,000 to 107,000. And of them, 31 are NFL stadiums – remember the New York Giants and Jets share the MetLife Stadium.

Funding, owning, maintaining and filling stadiums is a tough business and is a business that is reliant on having a marquee primary occupant. And when that occupant leaves, stadiums have little hope for survival. For example, the Detroit Silverdome was home to the Detroit Lions from 1975 until they moved to Ford Field in 2002. Four years after the Lions moved to downtown Detroit, the Silverdome closed and was demolished this past Spring. The majority of NFL stadiums are funded by taxpayers and when the primary tenant moves, the stadium eventually closes and the taxpayers are left holding the bag. Looks like this same scenario will happen in St. Louis. The Rams moved back to Los Angeles leaving the 70,000+ seat Edward Jones Dome empty. Taxpayers will be responsible for paying $12M per year until 2022 for on-going maintenance costs and to fulfill the original construction debt.

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The Oscars Diversity Problem – Who’s to Blame?

It’s Oscar week and that means Vanity Fair parties, Russell Simmons’ All Def Movie Awards and numerous corporate and agency sponsored luncheons and receptions – culminating with the 88th Academy Awards this Sunday.  movie realFor the last couple of weeks much of the talk surrounding the Oscars hasn’t been around which movie will win best movie, but instead about the lack of minority representation in the top four category nominations. The media has made sure we knew who was boycotting the telecast and giving us their thoughts on what Chris Rock, the host of this year’s Academy Awards, should say on the topic.

Throughout these discussions the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has received a lot of flak. The Academy responded by changing their membership and voting policies. And many industry insiders have moved the discussion and blame from the Academy to the movie studios. Question. Are the movie studios to blame? If their goal is to make as much money as they can from each movie release by mitigating risk and taking what they consider safe bets – franchise films, sequels and remakes – are they to blame for a lack of diversity in Hollywood? Well, I am a commercial real estate appraiser so I can’t say with a fact that they are to blame. But, I do believe that real change in what the major studios produce likely won’t happen until the movie industry experiences a major downturn. As we saw with network television, low ratings led to the networks being more adventurous with their programming. And the result, was more diverse shows that better reflected the viewing audience.

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