Historic Preservation Incentive Plan

Agency: American Planning Association
State: Federal
Type of Government: State & Local
NAICS Category:
  • 541620 - Environmental Consulting Services
  • 541690 - Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
  • 541720 - Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
Posted Date: May 5, 2021
Due Date: May 31, 2021
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Historic Preservation Incentive Plan City of Houston

Houston, TX

Certified Local Government Grant 2021 Freedmen's Town Preservation Incentive Plan Scope of Services Bid Requirements:


Project Description, Preservation History, and Project Scope

Background and Project Description

The City of Houston, Texas, a Certified Local Government, is accepting proposals from interested consultants for the purpose of developing a Historic Preservation Incentive Plan for Freedmen's Town. Preservation History To preserve the heritage of Houston, the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission was established by the City Council in 1993. The commission's primary tasks are to:

  • Consider specific sites, structures, and districts for designation as historic landmarks.
  • Encourage and communicate with property owners the benefit of rehabilitations of potential landmarks as an alternative to demolition.
  • Review and recommend nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Promote preservation through education.
  • Maintain and update the historical resource survey.
  • Promote preservation through the Planning process.
  • Seek and apply for preservation grant funding.

The CLG program recognizes a partnership between the local, state, and federal governments to enhance preservation. Cities must undertake certain activities to remain in good standing as a CLG. The link to the CLG handbook is: https://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/preserve/clg/files/CLG%20Handbook%20Final.pdf

To actively preserve historic resources in Houston, the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission assists the Houston Planning and Development Department by:

  • Advocating Federal, State and Local public policies on preservation.
  • Assisting with historic surveys
  • Applying for local historic designation
  • Promoting the reuse and redevelopment of historic resources
  • Rehabilitating historic resources using National and State Tax Credits
  • Promoting heritage tourism

Historic Designations of properties are encouraged.


  • May help qualify property owners for grant funding or tax incentives
  • Give property owners priority access to technical assistance from Houston Office of Preservation
  • Guide travelers to places of historical interest, although owners need not provide public access
  • Identify properties in Texas that deserve protection
  • Assist government and private groups planning new development
  • Recognize properties of local, state, and national significance

Application due date: May 31st, at 5 PM 2 4/28/2021

In 1985, Freedmen's Town Historic District was added to the National Register; there are no local protections for the district. The City of Houston adopted a preservation ordinance with general policy guidance on historic preservation goals and outcomes in 1993. The forth coming incentive plan is intended to expose and help to adopt methods and tools to for incentivizing the preservation of the remaining historic resources, community character and help legacy residents to continue to be able to afford living in this intensely redeveloped area.

The City of Houston seeks to expand goals, objectives, and action steps to achieve historic preservation for all residents in Houston, Texas and this plan should serve as model for the entire city.

CLG Requirements:

Historic Preservation Planning Projects should meet the minimum standards stated below:

  • Consider and adequately represent all local historic and/or archeological resources. The full diversity of resources should address geographic and temporal ranges. All textual matter should reflect the broad patterns of local history.
  • Provide photo and/or graphic documentation and examples for representative resources, communities, or geographic areas. Photos and graphics must clearly represent resources from the local community.
  • Include and reflect appropriate and adequate public input.
  • References should indicate avenues of further research or resources for assistance (e.g. who to contact for more information).
  • Adequate recognition must be provided in all publications. Photographs and drawings should be credited to the artist or lender. The local government's involvement must be adequately acknowledged. Recognition, as detailed below, must be afforded the CLG program, the Texas Historical Commission, and the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Language acknowledging nondiscrimination practices, as detailed below, must be included. Publications addressing several potential audiences must adequately reflect the community's preservation program.
  • Plans must establish a set of goals and objectives with target dates for completion. Ideally, responsibility for specific tasks should be assigned to specific personnel.
  • Maps and clear identification of resource locations should be provided.

Project Scope

The purpose of the project is to prepare an actionable, collaborative, communitywide historic preservation incentive plan to identify preservation pathways for the historical and cultural resources in Freedmen's Town. This project intends to provide opportunities for preservation in Low to Moderate Income (LMI) areas. Proposers are encouraged to include creative and innovative methods of executing the work to achieve the goals and keep the project on budget. Specific project objectives include the following:

  1. Identify best practices in other cities and tailor them to Houston and the state of Texas. Evaluate lessons learned from failed programs to avoid pitfalls.
  2. With input from stakeholders and potential partners in Houston, articulate new financial incentives or programs that will meet the goals of historic preservation.
  3. The consultant shall review the extant historic resource of Freedmen's Town, their condition, and provide strategies for preservation, which could include but are not limited to prioritizing certain individual properties or contiguous areas for designation and preservation incentives.
  4. The plan shall evaluate Freedmen's Town's economic anatomy, identify opportunities for reinvestment and any impacts to preservation and/or revitalization incentives.
  5. Utilize interviews and focus groups for determining Freedmen's Town values and specific cultural events/commemorations/celebrations. Using the same methodologies, record, and document individual and collective memories specific to its cultural landscape.
  6. Facilitate stakeholder discussions on current incentives, needs, and opportunities. Consultant will compile a toolkit of desired and recommended incentives that is easy to understand for the public.
  7. Provide various models that simulate new incentives in conditions specific to the landscape and present to community stakeholders.
  8. Align incentive plan and values, city policies and programs for the purposes of promoting heritage tourism, preservation-oriented economic development, and heritage education.
  9. The plan shall incorporate existing long-time (legacy) residents and their needs to retain the community's authenticity embodied by its current and future residents and small businesses.
  10. The plan shall include potential local, regional, and national funding sources.
  11. The creation of the incentive plan for Freedmen's town, should also be a model for creating incentive plans in other cultural landscapes in the Houston area.

Standards It is imperative that these services are consistent and compatible with the standards and regulations of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). This project is supported in part with grant funding from the SHPO and National Park Service (NPS). The consultant shall agree to the National Department of the Interior's Civil Rights assurances. Consultant must comply with the Secretary of Interior Standards (SOI).

Work Tasks

Specific work tasks and deliverables to accomplish the above referenced scope of work shall include the following:

  1. Work with City staff and Freedmen's Town Conservancy to understand the background of historic preservation in Freedmen's Town, the current state, and where the community wishes to take it in the future.
  2. Gather and assess the economic data specific to this area and create econometric models to evaluate and predict the results of new incentives in specific conditions
  3. Identify potential funding streams for incentives from a combination of local, state, regional and/or federal sources.
  4. Conduct assessments of historic resources and cultural values to assist in identifying possible incentive opportunities within the community.
  5. Employ GIS for mapping purposes and spatial analysis and provided to the City in an approved compatible format.
  6. Conduct public outreach meetings with all stakeholder groups, neighborhood residents, related departments in the City, and preservation allied organizations to gather input.
  7. Once input has been collected and organized, create a draft of the Historic Preservation Incentive Plan with goals, strategies and action steps for review by all interested parties. The draft shall be accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.
  8. The consultant shall complete the draft by the target of July 25, 2022 for staff review and then submitted to the Texas Historical Commission no later than July 31, 2022. The final copy must be submitted to the THC by September 30th 2022 and reviewed with city staff beforehand.
  9. After reviews conducted by staff (Planning & Development and Economic Development Departments), Houston Archeological and Historical Commission and Planning Commission input, update draft plan for City Council presentation.
  10. Present proposed plan to a Quality of Life meeting, HAHC and City Council.
  11. Draft language for potential ordinance and review with City of Houston legal team.
  12. The Historic Preservation Plan shall include a historic overview, an analysis of Freedmen's Town's existing historic resources and ownership, a summary of the survey results, a list of preservation program priorities, recommended ordinance revisions, and a summary of the recommended preservation program, including economic and regulatory incentives, and an implementation plan of the recommended preservation program.
  13. Provide required digital and hard copies of preservation plan to City of Houston and as requested by the Texas Historical Commission.
  14. Provide acceptable documentation to fulfill requirements of the CLG Grant for time sheets, travel and any other forms or templates throughout the duration of the grant.

Proposal Submittal:

  • A narrative demonstrating that the consultant understands the project including a description of the approach and process that is to be used while completing the Historic Preservation Incentive Plan.
  • A work plan and proposed schedule showing a description, tasks, timeframe, and budget for each task referenced in the specific work tasks referenced above.
  • A general timeline for the project
  • Identification of the firm and team members who will be assigned to each part of the work plan.
  • Documentation regarding how the consultant has experience with the Certified Local Government Program grants, has experience performing and/or overseeing the project, meets the National Park Service's professional requirements and that consultant agrees to sign and abide by required Texas Historic Commission grant assurances as required by the grant. All work under this contract shall comply with all relative Federal Requirements. Provide a statement on how information will be provided to satisfy reporting requirements of the Texas Historical Commission.
  • A statement showing how public involvement will be achieved, including remote public participation opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • At least three examples of similar studies of previous similar work, which may include but are not limited to historic preservation plans, design guidelines and standards, preservation ordinances, rehabilitation plans, or adaptive reuse plans.
  • A minimum of three (3) references from similar work clients
  • Optional: Suggestions for modification to the proposed scope of services along with associated cost, assigned team member, and additional time frame required for suggested service.

Request Type
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Monday, May 31, 2021
Contact Information Website
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Bid Due: 1/20/2022