About the DDA

About the Ann Arbor DDA

Ann Arbor - 4th & Washington TileThe Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Act was passed by the State of Michigan in 1975 to give municipalities an economic development tool they could use to rebuild and reposition their downtowns, increase taxable values and encourage private investment. Created in 1982, the Ann Arbor DDA  has done a great deal since then to improve the attractiveness, walkability, and vitality of downtown.The DDA is well-known for its large infrastructure projects including constructing parking structures and installing transformative streetscapes, but the DDA also works on a variety of smaller projects in support of its mission, including providing free bus passes for downtown employees, installing bike parking, and providing grants to encourage the creation of new workforce housing units.

The world has changed a great deal in the past 20+ years and so have the priorities of the DDA. What hasn’t changed is that the downtown continues to be the heart of our community and a resource for citizens throughout Washtenaw County. The Ann Arbor DDA works to support a downtown that provides a spectrum of residential, commercial and service offerings, from upscale to funky, including homegrown and one-of-a-kind businesses, historic buildings, places of worship, recreational centers, and a multitude of social gathering opportunities.

Ann Arbor DDA District

The Ann Arbor DDA District encompasses all or part of 67 city blocks, or approximately 271 acres. Of this total, 80 acres are public rights-of-way, 72 acres are in public use, 42 acres contain UM properties, and approximately 1/3 of the DDA District is contained within an historic district.

The work of the DDA is done by a small staff and a Board of twelve citizens appointed by the Mayor and City Council. DDA members volunteer their time, talent, and expertise to the DDA for the benefit of the downtown. They serve four-year terms and work through committees to accomplish the goals of the DDA.

DDA Boundary Map (PDF)