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BOSTON-Design and marketing firms are vying for a $250,000 contract to re-brand Boston’s Downtown Crossing in hope of turning the floundering shopping district into a vibrant marketplace that will draw visitors and residents long after stores close for the night.

Local design and marketing consultants Utile and Minelli Inc., along with Toronto-based Urban Marketing Collaborative and Washington, DC-based ERA Consulting Team, have submitted proposals to the Boston Redevelopment Authority outlining their marketing vision for the retail district.

Among the scenarios suggested are a reduction in the number of fast- food restaurants in the area and the creation of a “restaurant row” that would include high-end bakeries, markets and cafes that would be supported by the area’s growing condominium population.

Other suggestions include developing government-backed incentives to increase the mix of retail stores and bring in more family-style restaurants, home products and clothing stores.

The BRA will review the proposals and make a decision on which of the four will get the re-branding contract within the next few weeks, a spokeswoman for that agency says.

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