Request for Proposals: I-69 Thumb Region – Opportunity Zone Toolkit


The I-69 Thumb Region is seeking proposals for strategy development, execution and evaluation to increase Opportunity Zone awareness, interest and project opportunities within the respective Zones. Particularly we are seeking the assistance of a firm to develop a tool kit to help local officials, economic developers, startups, businesses, and real estate owners effectively identify and market local Opportunity Zone projects in their community. This tool kit is expected to include educational resources, marketing materials, and any necessary resources that will help connect projects with local, state, regional, and national Opportunity Zone funds. This will allow the Region to lead new and transformative developments across the Region’s 24 designated Opportunity Zones.


The Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) was created by Michigan’s Governor Snyder’s Office to encourage local private, public and non-profit partners to create vibrant regional economies.  The State of Michigan was divided into ten Prosperity regions.  The Counties of Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola are in Region 6, now branded as the I-69 Thumb Region.

The I-69 Thumb Region Steering Committee consists of representatives from adult education, workforce development, economic development, transportation and higher education. Several objectives were identified in the Region’s Accelerate: A Plan for Regional Prosperity that developing an Opportunity Zone Tool Kit will help to achieve:

  • Prepare a long-term capital improvement plan for infrastructure
  • Better prepare the Region for business inquires
  • Encourage redevelopment in downtowns using private investment and philanthropy

The I-69 Thumb Region Steering Committee has set-aside up to $61,000 for this project.

Services Sought:

Provide a list of known Opportunity Zone funding sources (if feasible).

Develop a list of consultants, with contact information, that can aide communities and property owners with questions or services.

Identify recommendations on marketing products that can be used to promote development opportunities:

  • Web-based products such as
  • Print products including maps of designated opportunity zones
  • Web-based listing services that we can submit our Opportunity Zone sites to
  • GIS layer or overlay

Development of specific, I-69 Thumb Region educational products:

  • Overview (typical projects, tax benefits, types of investments)
  • How-to-guide on ways to approach local property and business owners
  • Flip-book of opportunity zone sites in the I-69 Thumb Region and/or development of featured Opportunity Zone properties to display online
  • Demographic data sheets on each Opportunity Zone (per county) in the Region
  • Smart Phone app (if feasible)

The framework of this tool kit should be designed to be an ongoing effort as new projects are identified and to catch the attention of Opportunity Zone Fund managers nationwide.

Every effort should be made to blend the I-69 Thumb Region’s efforts with any regional and state marketing efforts including state tools related to Michigan’s Opportunity Zones. There should also be a component that helps identify and leverage any local, regional, state or federal incentives that could be “stacked” with the Opportunity Zone Fund investments. These could include, NMTC’s, low income housing tax credits, historic preservation credits, USDA incentives etc.…

This RFP is a suggested approach but should not limit other, creative approaches to the goal of project identification, marketing and new investments in the Region’s Opportunity Zones.

We are anticipating that this would be require several distinct phases that will support attracting Opportunity Zone Fund investments into the Region. The goal is to have an initial tool set within six (6) months with continual refinements for the life of the grant.

Response Requirements:

Please include the following in your proposal response:

  • Overview of your company
  • Overview of how you will provide the services sought
  • Details about your team
  • Any key differentiators about your approach
  • Line item pricing, including timeframe
  • Terms and conditions
  • Two references, minimum


Funding for this project is administered by the GLS Region V Planning and Development Commission (GLS Region V). Vendors must agree to the terms and conditions of GLS Region V’s standard Professional Services Agreement (sample available upon request). Payments are approved at bi-monthly meetings and therefore, upon approval, may take 60 days or more to be received by vendor. Invoices must detail expenses and charges in accordance with the scope of work agreed to in the contract. Total payment shall not exceed the accepted contract amount.


Scoring Criteria:

The following points will be used to score each bullet point in the Response Requirements section except the last two bullets (terms and conditions and references):

  • Overview of your company (10 points)
  • Overview of how you will provide the services sought (25 points)
  • Details about your team and similar experience (20 points)
  • Any key differentiators about your approach (10 points)
  • Line item pricing, including timeframe (35 points)



Responses are due Friday, March 8, 2019 by 4:00 p.m. to or Confirmation of receipt will be sent.

Communications between the Region and vendors is expected to discuss the proposal and ask any clarifying questions.

You will be informed of the status of your proposal by March 22, 2019.



Please contact:

Carl Osentoski