Downtown Dining District Fund


The City of Springfield Downtown Dining District Fund (DDDF) has been designed to attract and assist full service restaurants seeking to locate in Springfield’s downtown dining district. It is the intent of this program to encourage and promote investment and job creation through financial assistance in the district. This program is capitalized by the City through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan Program. As such all applicants will be required to abide by all applicable HUD Section 108 rules and regulations.

Springfield is undergoing over $3.3 BILLION in economic activity, led by the $950 million MGM Springfield project. MGM Springfield, opening in 2018, will bring first-class retail, restaurants, movie theatres, bowling alley, skating rink, entertainment, and a four-star 251-room hotel. All of this energy, and thousands of potential daily customers, are just three blocks from the Downtown Dining District.

In addition, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority just completed a $94 million renovation of historic Springfield Union Station, which includes bus and rail travel. Already serving New York City via regular Amtrak service, Union Station will be home to commuter rail to Hartford and New Haven in early 2018. Union Station is adjacent to the Downtown Dining District.

Also under construction at the world-class Springfield Museums quadrangle is a new Dr. Seuss museum. Slated for a 2017 opening, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss joins a campus of incredible museums including a Science Museum, Springfield History Museum, and a pair of art museums with some of the finest collections in New England.

In the heart of the Downtown Dining District, also set for a 2017 opening, is the Springfield Innovation Center. This cutting edge center, being built by DevelopSpringfield, will house Valley Venture Mentors and be a hub for entrepreneurship in the region.

The downtown area has experienced a significant amount of investment recently including a new UMass downtown center, the New England Public Radio studio relocation, and the redevelopment of 1550 Main Street. All of these major activities, and many others, have developed a need for a concentrated dining district in the center of Springfield’s historic downtown.  This Fund has been developed to help encourage the District’s growth, making it more walkable between these exciting destinations. 

This Fund does not seek to relocate existing restaurants from one location to this district, rather it seeks to attract experienced restauranteurs who wish to open additional locations/concepts.

  • Need a few reasons on Why Springfield? Look here!
  • The Fund Target area map can be found here.
  • The Fund target area is in the city's "Transformative Development Initiative" (TDI) district.
  • You can learn more about TDI here. And here.
  • The $950 million MGM Springfield, just three blocks from this district, is currently under construction. Learn more about MGM Springfield's plans here. And here.



Fund Application


Loan Range: $50,000 - $200,000

Application Fee: $100 in the form of a check made to “City of Springfield” due at time of submittal, non-refundable.

Interest Rate: TBD at time of closing, generally fixed between 2%-4%.

Term: 10 years. Flexible options available including payments of interest-only for up to two years.

Use of Funds: Design, Construction, Equipment, Working Capital for full-service restaurants in dining district. Funds cannot be used to refinance existing debt or obligations or to fund items or activities that have already been purchased.

Eligibility Requirements:  Experienced restauranteurs proposing to bring a new or substantial redevelopment of a full-service restaurant in the designated dining district. Loans will only be considered for food-based businesses (more than 50% sales of food products).  The fund may consider on a case-by-case basis other food-based businesses - fresh/prepared food markets/delis, locally produced/developed food or beverage tasting facilities, and other unique concepts that would add significant value to the district.

Ineligible Applicants

The program will not consider applications from the following:

  •     Nightclubs
  •     Bars
  •     National Chains
  •     Fast Food/Discount Food
  •     Start-up concepts (no restaurant ownership experience from applicant team)
  •     Restaurants without full-service/wait staff
  •     Any establishment that derives less than 50% of its revenue from food sales
  •     Applications seeking to restructure debt or fund improvements that have already occurred

Equity Match Requirements: Applicant should document a minimum match of 20% of the total project cost

Collateral: Collateral will be required in the form of the Borrower’s real estate holdings, business assets, and personal guarantees of the business owner. The amount of the collateral required will be proportional to the amount of the loan requested.

Federal Requirements: The loan pool is funded via the HUD Section 108 Loan Program. As a result, the project is expected to fulfill basic requirements of the HUD/Section 108/Community Development Block Grant program, particularly as they relate to job creation goals, project impacts upon the environment, and the Davis/Bacon Act. It is the responsibility of the borrower to ensure that these requirements are met, and all applicable backup information is provided to the City of Springfield and its agents as requested. Throughout the term of the loan, the City of Springfield and/or its designated agent will monitor Borrower compliance with the terms of the Program. As part of this compliance the City of Springfield and/or its designated agent may inspect company records and payrolls for the limited purpose of ensuring compliance.  Applicants will be expected to create a minimum of 1 full-time job (or FTE) for every $50,000 of loan request.

Loan Closing: Should the loan be approved by the Loan Review Committee and financial review approval, the applicant will work with the City of Springfield and/or its designated agent to close on Loan. It is expected the applicant will pay all legal costs associated with the loan closing including any and all bank and financial institution fees for service.

Program Availability: Program is available based on availability of funds through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The City of Springfield has the right to deny any application based on funding availability and/or any cause in the best interest of the city.

For a complete application, please send an email with subject title "DDDF Application Request" to: Brian Connors.


Page last updated:  Thursday, August 9, 2018 10:29 am