The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a development agency responsible for many improvements in the downtown area. DDA projects have contributed greatly to the growth and development of downtown. Using incremental property taxes collected from downtown properties, the DDA has financed many public improvements, which have led to unprecedented private investment.
Since 1980, the DDA has invested about $120 million in various improvement projects. This investment has leveraged, directly and indirectly, over $2 billion in private and institutional investment within the downtown area. The DDA has supported many notable projects, including the construction of the Van Andel Arena, expansion of the convention center (now known as DeVos Place), construction of the Interurban Transit Partnership's Rapid Station Transit Center, reconstruction of Monroe Center and Rosa Parks Circle, construction of Heartside Park, reconstruction of historic Ionia Avenue and many other downtown streets, and construction of the new Grand Rapids Art Museum.
In 2010, the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authoirty commissioned a participatory community visioning and priority-setting process to develop a Framework Plan for downtown.The Framework Plan presents an updated market-based vision for downtown, and, perhaps more importantly, provides a new construct for guiding DDA investments, decision-making and organizational structure.
DDA Organizational Plan
The 2011 DDA Framework Plan recommended that the DDA and its key partners adopt a new organizational strategy to advance the near and long-term development and management of Downtown Grand Rapids. The new structure would combine the resources and energies of the downtown Improvement District (DID), the Downtown Alliance (DA), and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to advance a common agenda.
The new structure, tentatively known as the Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., would serve both as a leader and coordinator for all initiatives related to downtown revitalization. Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. would also serve as a centralized management agency for activities funded by the DA Board, the DID Board, and the DDA Board.