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 February 9, 2022, is available on YouTube.

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

Authorized Support for New Residential Tower at Studio Park

The Board authorized an agreement to support the development of the new 16-story residential tower on top of the existing parking structure at Studio Park.

The base floor of the tower will include a pool, terrace, fitness and community room. The next 11 floors will contain a total of 165 new residential apartments. The remaining four floors will contain a total of 24 residential condominiums.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $52 million. The DDA approved development support not to exceed $600,000 over a period of no longer than 10 years. The DDA funding specifically supports the construction of the elevator needed for the new tower as well as a fire suppression system to meet building code requirements.

Construction of the project is expected to begin by summer 2022.

Approved Funding to Enhance the Crosswalk at Market & Weston Streets

The Board approved funds to add a Rapid Flashing Beacon to the crosswalk at Market Avenue and Weston Street. This enhancement will provide a safer, more predictable pedestrian crossing at an important intersection connecting Downtown to the Grand River.

Funds were approved in an amount not to exceed $67,000. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.

This crosswalk enhancement, designed in collaboration with the City of Grand Rapids’ Mobile GR Department, advances the community’s goal of achieving a stress-free pedestrian for people of all ages and abilities.

Authorized Funds for the Reconstruction of Ottawa Ave

The Board authorized funds for the reconstruction of Ottawa Ave between Hastings and Newberry Streets. DDA funds will specifically support seventeen ornamental streetlights and relocation of the storm sewer.

The project is estimated to cost $1.57 million. With Board approval, the DDA will contribute $725,500. The project is planned to begin on May 2, 2022, and finish by August 12, 2022.

Approved Support for After Dark Night Market Series

The Board approved funding to sponsor the After Dark Night Market series by Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts in collaboration with the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events, the Parks Department, Linear Restaurant, City Built Brewery and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

The program will offer five events occurring in the Monroe North neighborhood on the second Saturday of each month from May through September 2022. Each date will feature a diverse mix of retail and service-based businesses, art, music and education.

This type of programming is a proven strategy to drive foot traffic and opportunity for local businesses.

Funds were approved in the amount of $25,000 to support the After Dark Night Market’s licensing, permitting, coordination, marketing, public art and entertainment.