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 November 9, 2022, is available on YouTube.

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

Authorized Contract with McAlvey Merchant & Associates

The Board authorized a contract with McAlvey Merchant & Associates for government relations and legislative advocacy.

The DDA and McAlvey Merchant & Associates have worked together at the state level to modernize liquor laws related to refreshment areas and social districts, secure state funding for Grand River corridor revitalization and modernize economic development tools, among other efforts.

The contract authorizes a retainer agreement with a monthly value of $5,500.

Approved a Liquor License for Nagoya Japanese Restaurant

The Board approved a liquor license for Nagoya Japanese Restaurant at 16 Monroe Center NW.

Approved a Liquor License for GinGin d/b/a General Woodshop

The Board approved a liquor license for Gin Gin d/b/a General Woodshop at 507 Bridge St.

Approved Funding for Wayfinding System Installation

The Board approved funds for Wayfinding signage fabrication and installation of the second phase of the Downtown Wayfinding project.

Universal Sign System was awarded the contract after a competitive bid process and will conduct remediation of outdated, existing deployed signage, in addition to the fabrication and installation work.

Funds were approved not to exceed $371,277.

Approved Funding for World of Winter Projection Art

The Board approved funds for two projection art installations to be featured during the World of Winter 2023 festival.

Projection art and projection mapping have been identified as priorities by DGRI's citizen stakeholders for public space activation and these two installations will fulfill that goal during World of Winter. Dark Days, Bright Skies: Isolation and Quarantine by Kendra Sollars will be projected on the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Tropical Tundra by LiveSpace will activate the Gillett Bridge Tunnel. Funding will cover rental fees, equipment, logistics and other expenses incurred by the artists.

Funds were approved not to exceed $100,000.

Approved Funding for Grand River Greenway Project Efforts

The Board approved funds to support project management and administrative costs associated with the $55 million Grand River Greenway grant from the State of Michigan.

The Grand River Greenway project led by DGRI is working to align project priorities, raise and allocate strategic funds and ensure appropriate fiscal and technical compliance and reporting related to the Grand River Greenway grant. The funds support continued efforts with Kennari Consulting and will engage Guidehouse to assist with all efforts related to the project.

Funds were approved not to exceed $240,000.