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Outdoor Dining and Retail Design Services

February 11, 2022
March 11, 2022

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals from architectural and engineering and/or design professionals familiar with the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure and Permits Licenses and Inspections requirements to provide design services to assist business district organizations, chambers of commerce or community development corporations to conceptualize the utilization of outdoor space and public rights of way in business district corridors for conducting business outdoors.

Interested applicants must register for an account with Ion Wave Technologies (IWT), the URA's new electronic bidding and sourcing software.

For more information on how to register on IWT, please click here

This RFP posting can be accessed on IWT here.

Contact Information

Josette Fitzgibbons
Manager, Neighborhood Business District Programs

Resources & Addendums


The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) requests proposals from architectural and engineering and/or design professionals familiar with the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure and Permits Licenses and Inspections requirements to design and craft design templates for outdoor sidewalk café infrastructure. The firm will work with business district organizations, chambers of commerce or community development corporations to conceptualize the utilization of outdoor space and public rights of way in business district corridors for conducting business outdoors.  

  • May include infrastructure on sidewalks, in parking spaces, full street closures, and utilizing vacant lots.   

Firm will be retained on an on-call basis as consultant to provide technical assistance to organizations and/or businesses in submitting their applications for permitting through the City of Pittsburgh, design/budgeting for Outdoor Dining and Retail Program, webinar training, and other services as needed.  

This RFP opens for proposals on February 11, 2022 and closes March 11, 2022. Contracts will be executed mid-April and will extend through December 31, 2022. Interested parties are requested to submit a detailed proposal package that clearly defines the relevant experience of the proposed staff and sub-consultant team members, proposed methods and strategy to carry out the project scope of work, as well as a fee proposal.


The COVID-19 pandemic placed an immense strain on small businesses, restaurants, and retailers across the nation. The City of Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) allowed flexibility for restaurants and shops to conduct business outdoors on a temporary basis through flexible guidelines and permitting. Conducting business outdoors was a lifeline for these businesses, providing them with much needed revenue they would not have otherwise been able to receive, as customers were not comfortable returning to indoor dining or shopping. There has been an overwhelming amount of interest in continuing this flexibility of outdoor dining and retail given by DOMI, and an increased need for funding these initiatives.   

In addition to the permitting efforts described above, in the spring of 2020 the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) initiated the Sidewalk Sales program. Sidewalk Sales was designed to provide small grants ($1,500 - $3,000) to business district organizations throughout the City, to enable them to help their entrepreneurs as they moved their business activities outside. These small grants were used to purchase equipment and cleaning supplies, provide micro grants to businesses, and to plan outdoor promotional events.  

In 2021, The City of Pittsburgh was awarded funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to develop a larger grant program, to provide funding to organizations serving business districts across the City of Pittsburgh to support permanent outdoor business activities. In order to expedite the process, retaining a design firm will be essential to the program’s success. 

Project Description

This project seeks an architectural or design firm to: 

  • create up to three (3) templates for outdoor infrastructure for organizations and their participating businesses to select from to allow them to conduct business outdoors  
  • Refine the design guidelines that were created by DOMI for the ReOpen Pittsburgh effort in 2020. 
  • Assist business district groups and their participating businesses through the design and permitting process on an on-call basis participate in educational webinars as organized by the URA and its partners.  

Process and Timeline

Responses to the RFP will be evaluated by a selection committee. One or more proposers may be asked to meet with the selection committee in a formal interview process. The URA reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, to request additional information from applicants, and/or to waive any deficiencies in a proposal.  

A tentative schedule has been prepared for this selection process. Firms interested in this project must be available on the interview meeting dates. 

  • Proposal Due Date:  5 PM ET, Friday, March 11, 2022
  • Firms notified for interview: by end of March, 2022
  • Interviews: Early Aprill, 2022  

Upon notification of selection by URA staff, the successful respondent is required to enter into a contract within four weeks of notification. If the successful respondent is unwilling or unable to execute the agreement as required by the RFP, the URA has the right to request another respondent to enter into the contract with the URA.

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