What is the DDA? And what does it do?

The DDA stands for the Downtown Development Authority. The organization is a component unit of the City of Traverse City and is charged with maintaining the vitality of Downtown Traverse City

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How are projects funded through the DDA? 

The DDA utilizes funding tools such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF)  to fund public improvement projects. TIF is also utilized to leverage additional dollars through grants and state and federal funding. 

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Where do I find the DDA’s meeting schedule?

The DDA meets on the third Friday of each month at 8 am. Meetings are held in the Commission Chambers at the Governmental Center, 400 Boardman Avenue. Meeting minutes, packets and agendas  may be found here.


What is Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?

Tax Increment Financing is a funding tool that DDAs use for economic develop. Revenue is generated from an increase tax base and then directed into downtown purposes with the goal of encouraging economic growth, greater tax values, and private reinvestment. 

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Do we still need a DDA?

We ofter hear, “Downtown is great, why do we need a DDA anymore.” Just because a city center may be appear to be thriving, it does not mean that careful planning and thought are not put into the everyday activities and the future of the district. Advocating for small business, promoting private investment and economic development, and working with community members on the wants and needs for Downtown TC are all areas of focus for the DDA and should remain a priority for the community. 

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Can public improvement projects happen without the DDA?

Public improvement projects within the DDA that are outlined in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan, Master Plan and DDA TIF Plans are typically funded through TIF financing. While the some projects could happen, it is likely that most projects such as the Hardy and Old Town Parking Garages could not have been funded by the City’s General Fund. 

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Who is on the DDA Board and how can I serve on the Board? 

The DDA Board is served by 12 members, including the sitting Mayor of Traverse City. Criteria developed by the DDA Public Act of Michigan can be found here. The DDA Board is appointed by the Mayor in concurrence with the City Commission. 

Interested in learning more? Contact [email protected]

What projects has the DDA accomplished?

The DDA has had many project wins the have contributed to not only a healthy city center, but a healthy region. Check out our current projects and major accomplishments.

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Why does the DDA manage parking?

Managing the parking system is a delicate balance between parking employees, visitors, and residents in Downtown Traverse City. The City of Traverse City eliminated parking minimums in various locations in the DDA District and therefore, the responsibility to provide parking falls under the DDA. Parking serves as an economic development tool, and the DDA cares about the management of not only parking, but other modes of mobility throughout the district.

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Where do I pay a parking violation?

Parking violations may be paid online, at the Hardy Parking Garage in person, or through the mail. Find more info here.

When are the Parking Subcommittee Meetings?

The Parking Subcommittee Meeting are on the first Thursday of each month. Meeting schedule may be found here.


What is the Lower Boardman River Unified Plan?

The DDA created the Lower Boardman River Leadership Team in 2018. The goal is to develop a unified plan for the Lower Boardman River from the mouth of the river at Boardman Lake to the mouth of the river at the bay.

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When are the Lower Boardman River Leadership Team Meetings?

Find the LBR Meeting schedule here.

Where can I find studies/past plans about the Boardman River?

Several studies have been done regarding the Boardman River.

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Where is the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Markets?

The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is located in beautiful Downtown Traverse City along the Grandview Parkway between Cass and Union Streets.

When is the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market

The market begins on the first Saturday in May, 7:30 am to Noon, and runs through October. The Wednesday market begins on the first Wednesday in June, 8 am to Noon, and runs through October.

How do I become a vendor at the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market?

The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is a “growers market,” which means most vendors are providing produce. A cap has been set on value added products such as baked goods. You find the market rules and info on how to apply here.


What is the Downtown Traverse City Association (DTCA)?

The DTCA is the merchants association in Downtown Traverse City and serves as the marketing arm for the district. The DTCA entered into an agreement with the DDA for management services in the 1990’s and the partnership has proved successful over the years. Interested in shopping, dining, and more fun in Downtown TC?

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When do the stores and restaurants close?

Stores in Downtown Traverse City, Michigan are independently owned and operated and each location’s hours vary. Check the merchant’s page for specific hours for each store.

Where do I purchase Downtown Gift Certificates?

Downtown Gift Certificates are available at a number of outlets! You can find them at:

The Downtown Office: 303 E. State St. Ste. C

Traverse City Parking Services: 303 E. State St. 

Independent Bank: 333 W. Grandview Parkway

or Online!


Who is responsible for shoveling sidewalks in Downtown?

The City of Traverse City conducts a unique snow removal program for the downtown area. During significant snowfalls, the City Streets Department utilizes a contractor to remove the large amounts of snow in the early morning hours. Per city ordinance, sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner/tenant. If you see a sidewalk that is not clear and difficult to navigate, please contact the City Code Enforcement Office at: 231.922.4414


Who do I contact when street lights are blinking in Downtown TC?

From time to time, a street light may malfunction and need attention. Traverse City Light & Power may be contacted at 231.922.4942 or [email protected] if you spot a faulty street light.

Where are the public restrooms in Downtown Traverse City?

The DDA runs a unique program where a stipend is provided to certain businesses for offering a public restrooms. The DDA also, built a public restroom facility on Park Street that opened in 2018. 

Public Restroom Map