BRITE Energy Innovators

Requests for Proposals

Project: Phase II Facility Renovation Conceptual & Schematic Design

Project Overview

BRITE seeks a consultant to guide a conceptual framework and provide schematic design recommendations for a Phase II renovation of the facility. The consultant will address various challenges to the building providing its greatest community and economic impact to Warren, Ohio and the programmatic and operational needs of the nonprofit.

For nearly a decade momentum grew for a place-based incubator to accelerate energy technologies in Northeast Ohio. Leadership from the City of Warren and the Mahoning Valley embraced the concept and incorporated a non-profit in 2010. In 2012, BRITE became part of a statewide network of entrepreneurial advisors. Through the commitment of the Board of Directors, the Department of Energy, the State of Ohio, Congressman Tim Ryan, Youngstown State University and many other collaborators, funding was secured for renovating a facility for research and innovation. The former Kresge department store building was selected and a nearly three-year process took place to abate, rehabilitate and renovate the century old site. To date, components of Phase I design for each of the floors have not been completed and it is unfurnished. An ad-hoc approach has been applied for increasing functionality with the donation of furniture and DIY temporary solutions.

Since opening in 2015, BRITE as an organization has evolved to define its value proposition and its role to various stakeholders including the local community, startups, collaborators and a national network of resources to commercialize new technologies. With experimentation and greater capacity, the organization is opportune for fundraising for a $2.5 – 3.5 million Phase II renovation.

Project Goals

The goals of this project include:

  1. Maximize community and economic impact of the facility with flexible and responsive spaces for gathering, learning and doing.
  2. Create a welcome, healthy and inclusive facility conducive for entrepreneurs from the neighborhood hustle to the big tech unicorn.
  3. Demonstrate and build BRITE’s capacity to communicate emerging energy technologies and get the work done.
  4. Provide guides and communication tools to phase and scale renovation.

Scope of Work

BRITE seeks a consultant to guide a conceptual framework and provide schematic design recommendations for a Phase II renovation of the facility with the goals stated above. BRITE seeks defined uses and transitional zones throughout its building. These uses include individual and community collaborator coworking, training and convening, prototyping and demonstration, research and development, a staff suite, a brewery, storage, mailroom, and other amenities including conference rooms, restrooms and eating areas.

Task 1: Conduct interviews and surveys with staff, tenants, members, users, community partners and other stakeholders to align goals for function. 

Task 2: Identify improvements and creative ideas to differentiate the facility, which is one of the only energy incubators in the country.

Task 3: With leadership team, guide best practices for incubation and coworking space to refine recommendations for the facility.

Task 4: Create schematics for the facility, including floorplans of the basement, warehouse, first floor, mezzanine and second floor and renderings that will be used for budgeting and fundraising.

Task 5: Create a design and resource guide for the organization to guide finishing, materials and furniture purchases.  

Task 6: Provide estimates for renovating and refurbishing the facility. The estimates will be used for creating a capital stack of various funding sources, which will require a breakdown by floor and use type.

Target Deliverable Schedule

RFP Open

January 3rd, 2022

Question Period

January 3rd – February 11th, 2022

Proposals Due

February 11th, 2022

First Round Evaluation

February 18th, 2022


February 21st– March 4th, 2022

Second Round Evaluation

March 11th, 2022

Winner Announced

March 18th, 2022

Finalize Agreement

March 31st, 2022

Scope Begins

March 31st, 2022

Scope Completed

90 days 

Final Project Due: The expected project completion date is July 1st, 2022. If this date needs to be adjusted, please include your readjusted proposed date, as well as your reasoning for shifting the schedule. All proposed date changes will be considered.

Existing Roadblocks or Technical Issues

  • BRITE is a lean nonprofit organization that receives payment through reimbursement for services rendered. Upfront payment for costs is unlikely. 
  • Historic tax credits were utilized for the 2012 renovation. The building is in a historic district with a design review committee.
  • Renovation will be staged based on funding.

Budget Constraints

A target budget for this scope of work is less than $25,000. 

Evaluation Metrics

BRITE will evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Previous experience/past performance history with mixed purpose facilities.
  • Samples and/or case studies from previous projects with references.
  • Estimate of the amount of time the organization would spend in the community performing the research
  • Projected costs and proposed schedule.
  • Experience and technical expertise.
  • Reflection of BRITE’s core values of being Bold, Resilient, Inclusive, Transparent and Empathetic.
  • Responsiveness and answers to questions in the next section.

Questions Bidders Must Answer to be Considered

  1. How do you think physical convening spaces for gathering, learning and doing will look a decade from now? 
  2. What are your favorite examples of places that demonstrate new technologies or concepts?
  3. What’s your biggest concern for this scope of work?

Submission Requirements

Bidders must adhere to the following guidelines to be considered:

  • Proposals must be sent in by February 11th, 2022. 
  • Only bidders who meet all 7 metrics in the evaluation section should submit a proposal. Please answer them separately.
    • Include previous experience/past performance history
    • Include samples and references 
    • Include an estimate of the amount of time in the community
    • Include projected costs and the proposed schedule
    • Include information on the team and its experience
    • Include examples of how your team reflects BRITE’s core values
    • Respond to the three questions

Contact Information

For questions or concerns connected to this RFP, we can be reached at: 

Sara Daugherty

(330) 395 3500