About the DDA
The St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was created in 1981 through an ordinance passed by the City Council. The City Council recognized a need to halt property value deterioration and to promote economic growth. The ordinance outlines the legal description of the DDA District, which the general boundaries are: Lake Huron as the easterly line, north to Johnson Street on the east side and Reagon Street on the west of North State Street; the westerly boundary includes the former Wisconsin Central Railroad property; the southerly line is Fitch Street. All portions of the American Legion Memorial Park and the former Wisconsin Central Railroad property lie within the DDA District.
In the ten years following the creation of the DDA, the Huron Boardwalk and the Museum of Ojibwa Culture were the two major projects that were addressed. In 1993, the DDA Board amended their plan to include the American Legion Park property and the Wisconsin Central Railroad Property. Over the next 20 years, the downtown saw many development projects including a major streetscape project, the development of three downtown waterfront parks, extensions to the Huron Boardwalk and the purchase of the railroad property, which led to the City’s construction of the Little Bear East Arena. There have been many improvements to the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and grounds area and two major partnerships with private investors to fill anchor stores in the DDA District. In addition, the City’s marina and boat launch projects have not only beautified our waterfront but helped bring a substantial economic boost to the area.
In 2013 the DDA Board began working on an updated plan for the downtown area with renewed purpose. They had the opportunity to hold public input sessions and hear what the community thought of the job they had done so far and where they would like to see the downtown in the next 30 years. On December 16, 2013, the St. Ignace City Council, pursuant to the Act 197 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1975, MCL 125.1651, voted to adopt the ordinance to amend and restate the DDA Plan.