The Traverse City Downtown Development (DDA) Authority is a component unit of government of the City of Traverse City. Guided by our mission, vision, and Guiding Principles, the DDA is responsible for providing leadership and funding for public infrastructure projects and services located within its district boundaries. Downtown development authorities are governed by state statute. They exist to enhance downtown areas by investing in public spaces, infrastructure, events, mobility and access, and services that support the success of local businesses.

City leaders established the Traverse City DDA in 1978 to combat a lack of private investment, job loss, empty storefronts, crumbling infrastructure, polluted properties and underutilized parcels. Today, the City faces new and different challenges in the downtown: stormwater management and water quality protection, transportation and mobility, post-COVID changes in the demand for office space and in consumer behavior, the availability of affordable and attainable housing, the rising costs of real estate, and barriers to employee and business attraction and retention. The DDA plays a role in creating solutions to these challenges.

The DDA has a relatively small staff who are responsible for managing a wide variety of public infrastructure projects and services. The DDA has a City-appointed board of directors with diverse experiences and perspectives. The City Commissioners set goals and priorities and approve and adopt plans, policies, and budgets for the City as a whole, including the DDA’s annual budget and the Tax Increment Financing Plans that guide its work. The City Commission also approves, owns, and maintains public infrastructure projects financed by the DDA in the downtown, including streets and sidewalks, bridges, boardwalks, parks and public spaces, and parking structures.

What happens downtown impacts our entire community. We want to hear from you if you have an idea, a question, a suggestion, a thought, or a resource. We invite you to share by:

  • Participating in a public meeting: The DDA board meets the 3rd Friday of every month in the Chamber Room of the Governmental Center at 9:00 AM.
  • Emailing the DDA staff.
  • Emailing the DDA board.
  • Making an appointment with a staff member by calling (231) 922-2050.