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 September 14, 2022, is available on YouTube.

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

Approved Funding to Support Second Vibess, a Female/Minority-Owned Vintage Retail Store

The Board approved funds for a Retail Innovation Grant to support Second Vibess at 13 Division Ave S.

Second Vibess is activating a storefront with retail offerings including vintage clothing and upcycled goods. Their mission is focused on ethical and sustainable slow fashion. The business joins a growing list of vintage and secondhand retail stores on the Division Ave corridor.

Funds were approved not to exceed $20,250.

Approved a Liquor License for Monsoon GR on Monroe Center

The Board approved a liquor license for Monsoon GR, a locally and minority-owned restaurant at 55 Monroe Center NW.

Monsoon offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant opened in June 2022.

Approved Funding to Continue Calder Plaza Redesign Efforts

The Board approved funds for the existing consultant to proceed with design and planning updates, as well as reengage with the existing steering committee. The overall project was paused during the pandemic and is now reactivated.

Funds were approved not to exceed $42,600.

Approved Additional Funding for Hill and River Network Project Efforts

The Board approved funds for enhanced design and development services to reflect significant changes in the overall project’s goals and scope. Critical changes creating the need for additional services include, but are not limited to, updated plans to change the configuration of Division and Ionia avenues north of I-196, significant additions and changes to planned hillside park amenities and pathways, and engineering enhancements that will be necessary due to discoveries during soil stability investigation on the hillside.

Funds were approved not to exceed $495,322.