About DDA

Get to know us better!

The Alpena Downtown Development Authority was established in 1980, enabled by Michigan Public Act 197 of 1975, City of Alpena ordinance, and governed by the DDA BY-LAWS.

The DDA is guided by its Strategic Plan which was developed through many months of study and public input sessions The final market analysis and STRATEGIC PLAN was finalized in 2003 and continues to be the guiding document which guides the DDA when establishing its workplan. The DDA is also guided by its Development and Tax Increment Financing Plan.

The DDA is an authority of the City of Alpena, and works very closely with City Council and City Staff as it establishes and implements its goals, including participating annually in the City’s 5 year Capital Improvement Planning process..  City Staff works closely with the Executive Director and the DDA committees in order to create a seamless process of implementation of both City and DDA goals.

The DDA works closely with the City of Alpena, Downtown Alpena Business Association, Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce, Target Alpena Development Corporation and many other groups throughout the community to support activities which help grow both downtown and the community.

Through the years, the board has maximized its budget by matching for grants monies, partnering with the City, working with other community organizations, and by using its funds wisely.

Mike Mahler

Mike Mahler

President CEO First Federal of Northern Michigan

Chad Esch

Chad Esch

Owner Bannan Funeral Home

Joanna Cooper

Joanna Cooper

Owner, As You Wish Special Events

Matt Wojda

Matt Wojda

Attorney, White and Wojda

Aaron Buza

Aaron Buza

Manager, Scoops, LeFave Pharmacy, JIBB, TB Properties

Shawn Straley

Shawn Straley

Owner, Masters-LaLonde Shoes

Todd Britton

Todd Britton

Meridian Contracting Services, LLC

Greg Sundin

Greg Sundin

Alpena City Manager

Lesslee Dort

Lesslee Dort

Executive Director, DDA

WHAT ARE THE DDA DISTRICT BOUNDARIES?

Please see the map.

MISSION

The Downtown Development Authority Mission as established by Public Act 197 of 1975 is: To correct and prevent deterioration in the established DDA district; to encourage historic preservation; to acquire and dispose of interests in real and personal property; to create and implement development plans in the district; and to promote the economic growth of the district. 

GOALS

The primary goal of the DDA is to implement positive economic, physical, and aesthetic changes in downtown Alpena according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Program through a 4 committee structure.  Other committees may be established as needed according to the DDA goals. Each committee reports to the DDA board.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

The DDA regularly reviews its strategic plan as it sets its workplan, and annually participates in the City’ 5 year capital improvement planning process.
The DDA has 5 established committees, 4 of which are  based on the National Main Street Program.  The tasks and goals of the strategic plan will be implemented through the work of these committees, who will then report to the DDA Board for final action.
Each committee is chaired by a DDA Board member, and composed of DDA board members, and volunteers from the community at large.

HOW DO I BECOME INVOLVED?

Just call Lesslee Dort, 356-6422 to learn about involvement as a committee member.

COMMITTEES

DESIGN:
Getting downtown into top physical shape.  Capitalizing on its best assets—such as historic buildings and traditional downtown layout as well as an inviting atmosphere created through window displays, parking areas, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping conveying a visual message about what downtown has to offer.

PROMOTION:
Selling the image and promise of Downtown to all prospects by marketing the district’s unique characteristics to shoppers, investors, new businesses, and visitors.  An effective promotion strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns.


ECONOMIC:
Finding a new purpose for downtown enterprises by helping existing downtown businesses expand and recruiting new ones to respond to today’s market.  Program will help convert unused space into productive property and sharpen the competitiveness of business enterprises.


PARKING COMMITTEE:
The parking committee continues to review the downtown parking plan for all day and two hour parking.  The two hour parking zones were established to guarantee a regular turn-over in the most convenient spaces on the streets and in parking lots, so that our visitors can be assured that a convenient parking space will be available when they come to downtown.


ORGANIZATION:  DDA BOARD
Getting everyone working toward the same goal—building consensus and cooperation among the groups that have an important state in the district by using the common sense formula of a volunteer-driven program and an organizational structure of board and committees.  These goals are pursued by the DDA board as a whole.

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