The concept behind Downtown Development Authorities was to give local communities a multidimensional approach for redeveloping and, in some cases, reinventing their core business areas.
The Trenton DDA was created by the City Council in 1996 with those and other thoughts in mind. The bottom line in creating the DDA, though, was that it just made sense to take advantage of all the governmental tools available to encourage and incentivize new business growth where help is definitely needed.
Our DDA is located within an area roughly bounded by King Road, the Detroit River, Slocum Street and Fort Street, excluding the industrial park area near King and Fort. The district comprises primarily commercial (business) and residentially zoned properties in the area referred to by most residents as “downtown” Trenton or “old town.”
DDAs can serve as a mechanism to eliminate blight, improve public services and encourage controlled growth within the zoning district identified in the DDA Development Plan. Although Trenton’s DDA district is located in just a portion of the city, the entire community is served through the DDA’s protection and enhancement of assets that are shared by all residents.
By maintaining and improving community infrastructure, the DDA can help lessen the impact of overall property value declines, like much of Michigan has experienced over the past four to five years.
Some of the noteworthy projects conducted with the involvement of the DDA include a series of street-end parks along the riverfront, the Trenton Pier condominium project, the multi-phase Downtown Streetscape Project, and the shoreline restoration project conducted just north of Helen Street.
The DDA is working proactively with the new owners of the former Riverside Hospital to help redevelop the site into new commercial and residential uses, and is prepared to assist additional projects as local market conditions and the economy improve.
The current Authority is comprised of nine members, eight of whom are appointed by the City Council. One of the seats is reserved for the current serving mayor.
Additional information about DDA services and capabilities can be obtained through the city’s administrative office at City Hall, or by calling Assistant City Administrator Scott Church at (734) 675-6500.
Look for additional helpful information about DDA programs in future issues of the DDA E-NEWS.