The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a funding tool Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) administers to help catalyze public and private investment in Grand Rapids' urban core. The DDA Board of Directors today took action on the following measures:

Reconstruction of Michigan St. from Monroe Ave. to Ionia Ave.

The Downtown Development Authority authorized $180,000 to support enhancements in the Michigan St. corridor. The project consists of the reconstruction of Michigan Avenue from Monroe Avenue to Ionia Avenue. The project will include reconstruction of the street including infiltration planters, street trees, landscaping, ADA sidewalk ramps, curb and gutter, street lighting and traffic signals. This project is the first of a series of improvements surrounding the MSU facility area which will be constructed over the next several years. The design work will utilize the newly adopted Vital Streets guidelines and the GR Forward Plan.

This project was brought to the DGRI Alliance for Investment on March 14, 2017 for its concurrence. The base project was approved along with a recommendation to add street trees and enhanced electrical improvements for holiday tree lights in the parkway. The street trees will be added to the project with Vital Streets funding and the costs of the electrical improvements for tree lighting has been added to the DDA's share of costs.

Michigan Street Improvements from Monroe Ave. to Ionia Ave.
Michigan Street Improvements from Monroe Ave. to Ionia Ave.

Funding for Division Ave. Mural

The Board authorized up to $20,000 towards a fourth mural to complete the Division Ave. series of murals in collaboration with the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts' Exit Space Project. Public space activation and connectivity are key themes that derive from the work of DGRI's three Alliances and the GR Forward Plan. DGRI pursued a relationship with UICA to partner in deploying the Exit Space mural program to help add life and art to expansive public and privately owned walls in Downtown. The goal of the Exit Space mural in this specific location was to help activate the public realm which has been proven to be effective through more pedestrian activity within the area.