Alpena, MichiganLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

Alpena DDA Expansion Approved

After two years of constructing it, the Alpena Downtown Development Authority’s boundary expansion was finally approved by Alpena City Council.

It is a 30-year agreement that expands into parts of North 2nd Avenue and Chisholm Street to the Thunder Bay River.

“It’s really exciting that it’s finally approved,” said Alpena DDA Executive Director Anne Gentry. “We’ve been working on this for about two years, so we have an agreement with the county, the city approved it, so technically, our boundaries are expanded as of now, so now the work gets started.”

The city had reservations about the expansion in the early stages of its proposal, but once those questions were answered, gave the DDA full autonomy to proceed.

“I think currently and going forward for the next little while, all of the finances and what they do with that, including what the city gives will have to be budgeted for,” said Alpena Mayor Pro-Tem Cindy Johnson. “The city will approve that budget, but we let the DDA run the DDA, and they do a pretty good job.

Commercial and residential buildings involved in the expansion are now eligible for façade grants so they can improve and preserve the exterior of their building. Those buildings were in favor of the expansion.

“That’s kind of why this whole process started, because we heard from businesses outside of our district,” said Gentry. “What would it take to expand, so we knew they were very supportive of that, and then residential property owners, there’s only about 20 properties that are zoned residential in the new area.”

The city was happy to approve the expansion because of the potentially great things it can provide for downtown Alpena.

“There’s not a downside to the expansion and there’s lots of tax dollars that can be captured in grants right now to help these businesses to fix up their properties, to get the Chisholm Street corridor looking as well as downtown does,” said Johnson. “There’s no downside to this, it’s great.”

The DDA will meet with residents and businesses in the new expansion to discuss next steps in January.