What is a Downtown Development Authority?

Downtown development authorities (DDAs) are state-authorized financing mechanisms designed to catalyze the revitalization and redevelopment of the physical components of a downtown.

The most important goal of a DDA is to halt property value deterioration, increase property tax valuations, work toward eliminating the causes of deterioration, promote economic growth, and create and provide for the general operation and maintenance of the physical DDA assets.

Is there a strategy for improvements in the downtown?

Simply, yes.  A Plan of Development (Plan) is a critical first step, and one required by state law, in the long-range master planning efforts for the downtown.

A Plan of Development recognizes the needs of the downtown and is essentially a “plan” for potential projects in the downtown over the next 30-50 year. D[RE]evelopment, infrastructure (including water, sewer, electric, streets, sidewalk, curb and gutter, beautification), and other projects are conceptual and the Plan is not limited to those projects identified, alone. As things have changed in the downtown throughout its rich history, things will continue to change into the future and the work that’s done today will continue speaking for that same rich history in the downtown as the City’s heart and soul.

Plan Elements

The Plan, recently approved by City Council, identifies the physical boundaries of the DDA, and the state law provides that residents, property owners and business entities within that boundary have the potential to be benefitted by the enhanced investment and/or may also be impacted by an additional property tax for maintenance and operations, and therefore these parties have the most vested in the decision making – and, for that reason are identified as the voters of the District.

DDA Mission and Objectives

There is a wide-ranging set of objectives identified in the Plan, but the primary focus of a DDA is to promote the safety, prosperity, security and general welfare of the downtown and to improve and sustain the economic vitality. The DDA is one of many strategies to be implemented that will help to not only rebuild the physical downtown, but give it economic life for years to come.  A heathy downtown provides the motivation for additional private investment, and a healthy downtown will eventually bring prosperity to the entire community.

Leave a Reply