Request for Proposals: Social Impact Design, Equity-Centered Designer Network | BlackteaBrownSuga Network Expansion

Nov 17, 2023


Social Impact Design, Equity-Centered Designer Network

BlackteaBrownsuga Network Expansion


Issue Date: Friday November 17, 2023

Response Deadline: Wednesday December 06, 2023

Neighborhood Allies is seeking to expand the number of Equity-Centered Designers within our network. As an Equity-Centered Designer, you will have the opportunity to provide general and specialized services to residents, entrepreneurs and organizations we serve on a part-time basis.


Neighborhood Allies is working with BlackteaBrownsuga Network (BTBSN) to envision how they can expand their programming into three buildings that neighbor the building they currently rent. A written sales agreement between the landlord and BTBSN is currently underway. Respondents should be a qualified designer, willing to co-design and explore the feasibility of renovating four properties in downtown McKees Rocks for BTBSN to expand their services. The space will act as a community attraction with gathering spaces, music and recording studios, a café, and some dwelling units. The designer will be contracted as a consultant to produce a conditions and feasibility study.

As a part of the project, the designer will be expected to:

  • Meet with BTBSN and community stakeholders to understand project goals, community context, and organizational assets.
  • Review the preliminary program diagram prepared by BTBSN and apply existing zoning and building code requirements to determine what zoning and/or code related improvements are required.
  • Research and identify any existing occupancy permits for the properties.
  • Measure buildings to provide accurate existing conditions drawings (note: laser scanning or other rapid measuring technologies are preferred)
  • Make recommendations regarding phasing of improvements and any additional due diligence required.


  • Copies of existing occupancy permits.
  • Memo summarizing findings and recommendations from the code review, along with any additional recommendations regarding phasing, due diligence, and use.
  • Phased design strategy based on BTBSN’s vision for the four properties.
  • Existing conditions drawings, in CAD and PDF format.


  • Firm/ individual design experience, including adaptive re-use, feasibility studies, and conditions surveys
  • Moonlighting policy (if applicable)
  • MWDBE status if applicable


To respond to this Request For Proposals, please submit the following:

  1. Cover Letter expressing interest in project and moonlighting policy if applicable
  2. Resume
  3. Fee proposal, including hourly rates for additional services
  4. List of past and current clients and project samples

Please submit your proposal as one combined PDF by 5:00PM EST Wednesday December 06, 2023 to:

Tamara Emswiler, Senior Program Manager for Social Impact Design

Download the PDF Version of the RFP.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA