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 met Feb. 14, 2018 and considered the following matters:
The DDA Board reelected Brian Harris and Rick Winn as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.
Appointed New Executive Director
The DDA Board recommended appointment of Tim Kelly as executive director of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. Kelly was appointed president/CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. on February 12, 2018. Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. administers the Downtown Development Authority on behalf of the City of Grand Rapids. The City Commission will consider Kelly's appointment on February 20, 2018.
Recommended Approval of Two Liquor Licenses
The Board recommended approval of development area liquor licenses for Ferris Nut & Coffee and the soon-to-be-opened House of Wine. Ferris Nut & Coffee, an existing business at 40 Pearl Street NW, plans to add beer and wine to expand the cafe's existing menu. Ferris also plans to extend their evening closing time to 9:00 PM. They currently close at 6:00 PM.
House of Wine, preparing to open at 53 Monroe Center NW, will primarily serve wine, complimentary food dishes and operate retail space. The business will help activate a long-vacant space on Monroe Center. Both recommendations now move to the City Commission for consideration.
Amended Development Agreement for 150 Ottawa Avenue
The Board approved a resolution clarifying how tax increment revenues resulting from the improvement of the 150 Ottawa Avenue property will help to facilitate the project. The agreement, originally approved in October 2016, supports the development of two new mixed-use towers that include first floor retail space, approximately 450 parking spaces, 120,000 sq ft of commercial office space and a 160-room Hyatt Place hotel.
Amended Development Agreement for The Waters Building Revitalization
The Board approved a resolution clarifying how tax increment revenues resulting from the improvement of the property at 161 Ottawa Avenue will help to facilitate the project. The amendment also adds the owner of the hotel portion of the project - not known at the time of the original agreement - as a party refurbished office space and the 110-room Homewood Suites by Hilton.
Approved PILOT Request for Development of Tapestry Square
The Board agreed to utilize a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes approach to support the development of a housing project at 424 South Division Avenue. The proposed Tapestry Square Senior Living will include 104 rental homes for seniors - 62 of the homes will be designated "affordable" and the remaining homes will be market rate. The ground floor is reserved for commercial space. The Inner City Christian Federation spearheads the proposed project. ICCF aims to file an application for support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority this spring.
Renewed DASH North Contract
The DDA approved the temporary extension of an agreement with Mobile GR and the Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority to continue providing DASH service connecting Monroe North and other Downtown districts. The partners will present a more comprehensive approach to DASH service in summer 2018. This extension provides additional time to hone the details of improved DASH service.