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.

To maintain a high level of openness and transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) will host all meetings on the virtual platform Microsoft Teams. This includes all DDA Board Meetings for the foreseeable future.

The full recording of the DDA Board meeting on March 10, 2021, is available on YouTube.

The Board met on this agenda and took the following action:

Authorized Funds to Continue Organizing a River Revitalization Governance Strategy

The Board endorsed a community governance model to develop, manage, program and maintain the public capital assets associated with the revitalization and activation of the Grand River Corridor from Riverside to Millenium Parks.

The proposed governance model will be designed to deliberately and intentionally cultivate collaboration, joint effort and support to implement the community’s vision for river corridor revitalization as expressed through community plans such as GR Forward and River For All.

More specifically, the proposed governance model includes establishing a new nonprofit with the mission to quarterback river corridor revitalization and establishing a Recreational Authority, under state law, to marshall the regional collaboration and funding resources necessary to support revitalization efforts.

With the endorsement of this governance recommendation, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. staff will support organizing and startup efforts.

The Board also approved funds not to exceed $42,000 to retain the services of Kathy Blaha Consulting to support the formation of the new nonprofit entity.

Authorized Funds for New Trash Cans Throughout Downtown

The Board authorized funds to replace 36 trash cans throughout Downtown. With the deployment of the new cans, more than 90 percent of Downtown’s trash infrastructure will be brought up to the quality and design standards set by the 2019 Streetspace guidelines.

The Board authorized the expenditure of $84,580 to support the project.

Supported a liquor license request for the Rutledge

The Board recommended approval of a Development Area Liquor License for Verdigris Venues, LLC, which operates The Rutledge located at 120 Ionia Ave SW.

With the DDA’s support, the requests now proceed to the City Commission for consideration.