Buildings With A Purpose

Buildings With A Purpose logo

The Problem

Economic decline has resulted in an increase in vacant and underutilized commercial buildings downtown, most directly impacting approximately 4,800 residents.

The Idea

The City of Cheyenne will catalyze the city core’s revitalization by matching owners of underutilized commercial properties with entrepreneurs, supported by creative redevelopment incentives and investment opportunities through a dedicated website for matchmaking purposes. We have branded this process: Buildings With A Purpose.

Who Are The Stakeholders?

Downtown building owners, entrepreneurs, and investors.

How To Get Involved

Over the course of the six-month long testing period for the Mayors Challenge, City officials will host testing phases for stakeholders (building owners, entrepreneurs, and investors). The phases will also be open to the public. These opportunities allow feedback for City officials to better understand unique challenges and hurdles of each stakeholder. This in turn allows City officials to polish their idea during the testing period, and formalize a final product, that best meets the needs of stakeholders in overcoming challenges to produce successful development in the downtown area.

What Will The Testing Phase Consist Of?

During the sixth-months, City officials will host three separate tests to interact with stakeholders and the public. It will serve as an introduction to different elements of the idea and allow feedback to city officials. Note: future test dates will be updated on this page as they’re announced.

Test 1 | Tuesday, April 24th | 7:00 p.m. | 106 E. Lincolnway | Grier Building

Test 1a: Using storyboards at a prominent downtown building this test will gather feedback from building owners and entrepreneurs on challenges and opportunities associated with building redevelopment and business startup/expansion. Each storyboard journey will illustrate from beginning to end the redevelopment of a downtown space, but will be from the perspective of either a building owner or entrepreneur. This test will capture feedback through unstructured think-aloud opportunities and activities at specific storyboards. For example, interactive prioritization of incentives using a card sorting exercise will gather data as to whether or not planned incentives actually meet building owner and entrepreneur needs. This test will help establish whether we understand the building owner and entrepreneur’s context, and gauge level of interest with the Buildings with a Purpose innovation. An open house following the test will serve as an opportunity to excite the public and solicit additional feedback.

Test 1b: Using a focus group of finance and investment professionals, this test consists of interaction with a service journey map of process and considerations for the crowdfunding platform to incorporate into low and hi-fidelity website prototypes. The test will help probe the assumption that there exists a demand for crowdfunded social impact investing in the community. Interacting with the various steps in the service journey, financial professionals will be able to offer insight into the investment opportunity features expected by local investors. This information will then be contrasted against feedback from members of the community who interact with the same service journey prototype as to their level of interest in making a direct investment through crowdfunding into a Building with a Purpose to make an impact into the revitalization of the downtown core.

Test 2: Stakeholder buy-in is essential to the success of Cheyenne’s Business Liaison concept. To explore stakeholder needs and glean the right kinds of insights, we will lead a focus group featuring a number of activities to better understand what the two user groups are looking for. Utilizing idea reaction cards, we will work with the stakeholder groups to identify major barriers to redevelopment. Once we have identified the entire landscape of need, we will work with participants to co-create solutions that will incentivize building rehabilitation

What criteria is being used by Bloomberg to evaluate Champion Cities?

Vision: Ideas should be bold, creative, and, importantly, should tackle the most pressing issues facing your city today.

Impact: In order to be successful, ideas should have the potential to significantly improve citizens’ lives.

Implementation: Though implementation plans may not be fully developed, cities must demonstrate their commitment and a viable path to bringing their ideas to life. This includes garnering support from citizens and key stakeholders.

Transferability: Winning ideas will not only be beneficial to the city generating the idea, but also have the potential to spread – and succeed in – other cities. Issues addressed should be timely and relevant. We are looking for approaches that address problems other cities face. Other cities should be able to import and adapt the best ideas to benefit their own citizens.

What Happens After The Mayors Challenge Testing Period?

After the completion of the testing phase, City officials will resubmit their updated proposal to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Members of the Bloomberg Philanthropies selection committee will review each of the 35 Championship City proposals and announce winners in October 2018. Four cities will receive one million dollars, with one city earning a grand prize of five million dollars.