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About the Berkley Downtown Development Authority


The Berkley Downtown Development Authority is a community-driven organization striving to enhance the shopping experience, economic vitality and physical appearance of Coolidge Highway and Twelve-Mile Road — Berkley’s traditional commercial Districts.

We strive to achieve our mission by being creative, focused, transparent, forward-thinking and engaged with our Downtown stakeholders and community.

DDA Board Meetings

The DDA Board of Directors meets monthly on the second Wednesday of every month at 8:30 a.m. at the Berkley Public Library.

Purpose of the Downtown Development Authority

Public Act 57 of 2018, commonly referred to as the Downtown Development Authority Act, was created in part to correct and prevent deterioration of business districts; to promote economic growth and revitalization; to encourage historic preservation; to authorize the acquisition and disposal of interests in real and personal property; to authorize the creation of downtown development authorities; to authorize the levy and collection of taxes, the issuance of bonds and the use of tax increment financing in the accomplishment of specific downtown development activities contained in locally-adopted development plans.

The Act seeks to reverse historical trends that have led to the loss of population, jobs, businesses and the quality of life in our cities by attacking the problems of urban decline, strengthening existing areas and encourage new private developments in the downtown districts of Michigan communities. It seeks to accomplish this goal by providing communities with the necessary legal, monetary and organizational tools to revitalize downtown districts either through public-initiated projects or in concert with privately motivated development projects.

Creation of the Berkley Downtown Development Authority

On October 18, 1993, the City of Berkley City Council adopted an ordinance that created the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Berkley (DDA). The Downtown Development Authority District created by this Ordinance is illustrated in the map below at the bottom of this page.

The DDA was given all the powers and duties prescribed for a Downtown Development Authority pursuant to Public Act 197 of 1975. Further, the operational structure of the DDA was approved pursuant to its By-Laws.

How TIF Funding Works

(by Drew Krogulecki, MI Legislative Analyst)

Tax increment financing (TIF) has been described as "the first tool that local governments pull out of their economic development toolbox".  It is a method that many communities use to finance different projects for commercial development, neighborhood revitalization, or other economic development purposes.

Tax increment financing allows an established TIF authority to "capture" property tax revenue from incremental increases in value in a determined area and spend the "tax increment revenue", or a percentage of the total increased collections, to develop the area or finance a specific project. In other words, the value of any improvements to property located in a designated TIF district does not go into the overall tax base of the community, but instead is reserved for, or "captured" by, the TIF district.

In Michigan, statutes that authorize TIF and the decision to develop a TIF plan rests with a municipality. A municipality is given the authority both to create a TIF authority and designate the district where the TIF plan will be applied. The district does not necessarily have a limit in regard to its size, so districts range from relatively small to rather large. The assessed valuation of the property in the TIF district that is determined when a TIF plan is being implemented is called the "base value". The base value is used to measure increases in property taxable value over time. The taxable value of property can increase due to such events as a sale or transfer of ownership, major renovations or changes to the property itself, or inflation.

Property Owners in a newly created TIF district will continue to pay their taxes as they normally do and will not see any change in the amount they pay compared to the amount they would pay absent the TIF district. Local governments and authorities also continue to receive a share of local property taxes from taxpayers as they normally would. However, any increase in revenue attributable to an increase in assessed property values from the base value going forward is captured by the TIF authority. The increase in valuation is multiplied by the applicable tax rate, and the result is considered the tax increment revenue available for use by the authority. The revenue may be used to pay for economic development projects in the district or used to secure bond issues for large public expenditures. The municipality and TIF authority ultimately determine how the tax increment revenue will be spent.

The improvements resulting from TIF spending should attract private investment to further develop the district. The district should then see an increase in assessed property values because of the improvements, generating more tax increment revenue to pay for public expenditures. The TIF plan, therefore, ideally will pay for itself while spurring development and private investment until it expires. The reality may be different, however, when property values decline due to economic downturns or other circumstances, or if the development does not generate the anticipated economic activity.

A municipality establishes a TIF plan for the broad purpose of promoting economic growth, in addition to any specific purpose listed in the individual act. This provision is significant because it gives a municipality freedom and flexibility to determine a use for tax increment revenue as long as it falls under that purpose of "economic growth".

DDA Projects and accomplishments February 2017 to March 2019

Download the 08.14.19 update as a PDF.

1. The DDA Strategic Plan, April, 2017

  • Completed: a set of goals and actions to guide the DDA; one of the sessions was done in tandem with City Council

  • Next step: update the plan as part of the Downtown Master Plan process in spring 2019

2.   Facade Grant Program, started May 2017

  • Purpose: to encourage business and property owners to enhance their building facades with free design services and a 50/50 matching grant program

  • Completed: The DDA has helped 13 business owners with design services and/or facade grants over the past 15 months

  • Next steps: continue to expand the program

3.   Cooperative Advertising Program, started May 2017

  • Purpose: to help business owners expand their marketing dollars by partnering with them on a variety of advertising initiatives including print and radio

  • Completed: Over 20 businesses have been able to take advantage of incredibly affordable rates for one or all of the following: six months of radio advertising on WCSX 94.7, two four-page stand along tab sections in three C&G papers, a two-page spread in Edible Wow Magazine.

  • Next steps: continue to look for innovative ways to partner to expand advertising budgets for business owners and the DDA

4.   New Events 2017 and 2018

  • Purpose: to increase the economic viability of the DDA district with a variety of events the bring both awareness about our great merchants as well as ring cash registers while drawing new shoppers and visitors into the District

  • Completed: Added new Second Friday Art & About events throughout the summer of 2017 and 2018; expanded a one-day Holiday event into a month-long series of events with MerriMonth

  • Next steps: continue to fine-tune current events and look at ways to partner with other community events

5.   Wayfinding Strategy and Sign Concepts, Summer, 2017

  • Completed: Signage concepts and placement. The team included the City Manager, DDA staff, business owners, a Council member, and a Planning Commissioner

  • Next step: Implementation third quarter 2019

6.   Downtown Market Analysis, February, 2018

  • Completed: a comprehensive retail strategy for Downtown Berkley (12 Mile and Coolidge Corridors)

  • Completed: a branded Downtown Berkley Retail Recruitment Brochure

  • Current actions: working with DDA property owners, key commercial brokers and Oakland County’s retail recruitment specialist to recruit specialty retail independent businesses and small chainlets

7.  MSOC Select Level Membership And NATIONAL MAin Street accreditation

  • Purpose: Become a National Main Street Community as a Select Level Member of Main Street Oakland County in order to better leverage community and DDA resources to create and develop a proven economic development strategy

  • Completed: Successfully submitted the application and accepted as a Select Level MSOC community in April, 2818

  • Completed: January 2019, Accreditation by the National Main Street Program

  • Next steps: continue to grow the program locally by recruiting more volunteers to engage in the four committee work plans, educate the public about the value of being a Main Street Program, create a non-profit partner for long-term sustainability, and leverage county and local resources as we continue to revitalize the community’s business districts

8.   DDA Design Guidelines, June 2018

  • Completed: comprehensive set of design standards for new development and renovations in the Downtown District

  • In progress: creating a Design Overlay District (similar to a historic overlay district) and advisory Design Review Board in order to enhance the quality and compatibility of development, establish consistent architectural and design guidelines, and encourage the most appropriate use of land in the DDA District

9.   Coolidge Highway Complete Streets Project

  • Completed: a TIA traffic analysis that assessed the feasibility of a lane reduction on Coolidge in order to slow traffic, increase safety, and strengthen the economic vitality of the business district

  • Completed: three public input sessions - 120 plus people participated either in person or online

  • Completed: Council Resolution of Support

  • Completed: Comprehensive Metrix Matrix

  • Next Step: Implementation April 2019

10.  Downtown Master Plan & Parking Study Update

  • Completed: First Community Open House and online feedback - November 2018; Draft State of the Downtown Report; Second Community Open House and online feedback -  March 2019

  • Timeline:

    • April: Second Draft Downtown Plan and updated DDA Strategic Plan, Task Force meeting

    • May: Third Draft Downtown Plan, DDA Board presentation

    • June: Joint presentation to City Council and Planning Commission of Final Draft

11. Multi-Community Planning Process, January 2019

  • Purpose: to assess transportation, cyclist, pedestrian, and sustainable infrastructure improvements along the shared Coolidge and 11 Mile corridors

  • Completed: Grant received from SEMCOG for planning process, Spalding DeDecker hired to lead the process

  • Completed: public input sessions to be held in each of the three communities in February and March 2019

  • Upcoming: draft and final report, presentation of Final Draft

  • Mid- to long term plans: TAP grant funds, local foundation support to support potential road diets, mid-block crosswalks, bike lanes, sustainable infrastructure to help mitigate stormwater run-off in HW, OP, and Berkley, and major streetscape, road reconstruction on Coolidge in Berkley

Current DDA Contracts and management services

In compliance with Public Act 57 and the DDA’s desire to be transparent with the community, a listing of current contracts and management services are provided below. They are available for public review by request to the DDA.

Franks Landscaping

  • Summer maintenance and flower program

P.K. Contracting

  • Coolidge Road Re-striping Project

The Lakota Group

  • Downtown Master Plan

Spalding DeDecker

  • As needed traffic engineering services

PA Morris Co.

  • Secretarial Services

Gregory Elliot, PLC

  • As needed legal services