Downtown Development Authorities were authorized by the State of Michigan in 1975, intended to provide a mechanism for stemming economic decay in the downtowns of Michigan's cities. A DDA is a corporation ("public body corporate", similar to a school district) that a city may set up within certain geographic boundaries in order to dedicate public resources to spurring private (re)investment of that area.

Ypsilanti was unique in Michigan for being the only municipality with two DDAs - the Depot Town Downtown Development Authority which covered Depot Town and West Cross Street, and the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority which covered downtown Ypsi. The DDAs have been merged, leaving a single organization that also has tax capture over the Water Street project.

TIF is a mechanism by which all increase in taxable value within the DDA boundaries after the founding date generates taxes for the DDA rather than the ordinary taxing bodies - city, county, etc. (School taxes are not included in a TIF capture.) A DDA can take out bonds guaranteed by future TIF income in order to undertake infrastructure improvements.

Ypsilanti's DDA has been the target of criticism for projects like the North Huron Street parking lot reconstruction in 2005, which went far over schedule.

Board membership

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority board membership current list is published on the On Board site. The list below dates from October 2014.


Amanda Edmonds Chair July 7, 2009 to July 7, 2015

Karen Maurer Board Member July 7, 2009 to July 7, 2016

Leigh Greden Vice-Chair September 7, 2010 to September 7, 2017

Kevin Hill Board Member October 19, 2010 to July 7, 2016

Paul Schreiber Mayor January 1, 2011 to November 12, 2014

Rois Saavides Board Member June 19, 2012 to July 7, 2015

Regan Parker Board Member October 16, 2012 to July 7, 2015

Adam Gainsley Board Member July 7, 2013 to July 7, 2017

Richard Smith Board Member July 7, 2013 to July 7, 2016

News references