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 met February 13, 2019 and took the following action:

Renewed Management Agreement with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

The DDA Board approved extending its service agreement with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. DGRI was established in 2013 to serve as the single management entity for the combined operations of the DDA, the Downtown Improvement District (DID) the Monroe North TIFA (MTIFA). The DDA-DGRI serve agreement articulates and formalizes the operating relationship between the two organizations. Under the agreement, DGRI is responsible for administering various DDA city building tools, facilitating the DDA Board meetings, overseeing the budget and generally advancing programs and projects in accordance with the DDA plan. The Board action today extends the agreement through June 30, 2022.

Authorized Additional Funding to Support Renovation of Lyon Square

The DDA Board approved funding to develop final designs for additional improvements to the Lyon Street streetspace between the DeVos Place Convention Center and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. The additional improvements will complement planned renovations of Lyon Square and along the river's edge with the overarching goal to make the public space more inviting and comfortable for people, enhance access to the Grand River and improve flood protection.

More specifically, improvements to the Lyon Street streetspace aim to better utilize Lyon Street to connect the riverfront with Monroe Avenue. Improvements will incorporate new paving materials, snowmelt, lighting, bollards and nature-based infrastructure such as trees and grasses. The DDA Board approved an amount not to exceed $280,000 to fund the work of designing the improvements. The Board also authorized funding not to exceed $53,966 to engage a construction manager to help refine the project budget, coordinate with neighboring stakeholders and otherwise support project planning and implementation.

Received the 2018 Annual Report from the Downtown Ambassadors

Downtown Ambassadors Operations Manager Rebecca Krenz presented the Board with an overview of the Downtown Ambassadors performance in 2018. The Ambassadors are the helping hands that keep Downtown clean, beautiful and friendly. Highlights of their 2018 work include planting 21,000 plants and flowers, cleaning up and recycling more than 411,000 cigarette butts off of Downtown streets and removing more than 544,000 pounds of trash from the Downtown district. Click here to read the full annual report (PDF).

View the full agenda