The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a funding tool that 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, the full recording of the live-streamed DDA Board meeting on August 11, 2021, is available on YouTube and Facebook.

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

Approved Downtown Enhancement Grant for 144 S. Division Ave

The Board approved a Downtown Enhancement Grant for Degage Ministries to improve their space at 144 South Division Ave.

Improvements will include, among other physical changes, converting the current dining room into a retail space for Paul’s Mom’s Cookies.

Degage also will move the building’s main entrance from S. Division Ave to Sheldon Blvd, add a publicly accessible green space on Sheldon and increase accessibility to the building for people with differing abilities.

The total project cost is $7,377,016. The Board approved investing $45,000 in Downtown Enhancement Grant funds to support the improvements.

Engaged MKSK for Van Andel Alley Design Services

The Board authorized staff to engage the design and landscape architecture firm MKSK to redesign Van Andel Alley.

This Alley redesign - from Fulton to Oakes Streets - is the next step in a substantial transformation of the public space surrounding the Arena that began in 2019.

Work will include refining the initial concept for the alley rehab, developing the construction documents and bidding the project for implementation.

The Board approved funding for this design project not to exceed $230,100.