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 9, 2023, is available on YouTube.

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

Downtown Ambassador Program Support

The Board approved a contract with Block By Block to continue operational management of the Downtown Ambassador program. The Downtown Ambassadors provide hospitality, beautification, maintenance and placemaking services. The Downtown Improvement District provides the majority of the funding for the $1,043,755.88 contract to cover services for FY 24. This action approved the DDA's funding portion of the contract.

Funds were approved not to exceed $295,917.

Jefferson Avenue Improvements

The board approved funding for the construction of pedestrian safety, traffic calming and landscaping improvements on Jefferson Avenue from Wealthy Street to Cherry Street. This project is a partnership with the City of Grand Rapids and Trinity Health. Construction is expected to be completed by November.

Funds were approved not to exceed $500,000.

Pedestrian Safety Improvements

The Board approved funding for evaluation, design and pre-construction activities for pedestrian safety improvements at four Downtown intersections: Jefferson Avenue at Weston Street, State Street and Oakes Street, as well as Monroe Avenue and Trowbridge Street. Safety improvements include enhanced crosswalks and other changes. Construction of these projects is expected to start in 2024.

Funds were approved not to exceed $30,000.

Van Andel Alley Professional Services

The Board approved funding to cover additional project costs related to permits and document requirements from the City of Grand Rapids. Project construction is expected to start in spring 2024.

Funds were approved not to exceed $29,000.