The City of St. Joseph’s Downtown Development Authority was created on October 11, 1976 by the City Commission as authorized under the current Public Act 57 of 2018 by the state of Michigan which replaced the original Public Act 197 of 1975.            

Contact Information:

DDA Director:               
                                      Economic Development and Communications

Address:                        City Hall, 700 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085 
Phone:                           (269) 983-5541
Fax:                               (269) 985-0346

Purpose of the Downtown Development Authority

The DDA can carry out tasks associated with the planning and improvement of the downtown area through a range of eligible public projects, including streetscape, landscaping or utilities along with assistance to developers in the improvement of real estate with the DDA boundaries.

Properties within the DDA boundaries are assessed a 1.977 mills per $1,000 taxable value for the 2020-21 fiscal year, with that levy being reduced to 1.9505 mills for the 2021-22 fiscal year due to a Headlee rollback. Money is spent on the following: 1) staff that keeps the sidewalks clean throughout the year; 2) seasonal decorations and plantings; 3) cardboard recycling containers; 4) special projects as needed; and 5) financial support of St. Joseph Today.  As allowed support is given to other activities within the DDA boundaries.

Downtown Development Authority

The Downtown Development Authority Board (DDA) is made up of nine (9) members who are appointed by the City Commission to a four (4) year term, unless appointed to fill a vacant seat.  In accordance with Michigan state law, the DDA Board shall consist of nine members under the following:

(a)  The members shall be appointed for a term of four years and the appointments shall be staggered for two appointments each year;
(b)  One Board member shall be the Mayor, as Chief Executive Officer, of the City of St. Joseph, however, the term of the Mayor shall expire upon resignation from or expiration of his/her position as Mayor; 
(c)  At least a majority of the members shall be persons having an interest in property located in the downtown district or officers, members, trustees, principals, or employees of a legal entity having in interest in property located in the downtown district; and
(d)  At least one of the members shall be a resident of the downtown district if 100 or more persons reside within the district.

 Current Members and Appointments

The City Clerk’s Office maintains the list of current members and the application for appointment to all City Boards and Commissions.  All completed applications must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 700 Broad Street for processing.


Beginning in 2019 the DDA Board regular meetings are generally scheduled for the first Thursday of each month beginning at 8:00 a.m.  All meetings are open to the public and take place in the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 700 Broad Street. Public Act 57 of 2018 requires that the Downtown Development Authority hold two Informational Meetings during the calendar year.

Agenda packets, Informational Meeting Agendas and approved meeting minutes are posted on the website.

Downtown Development Authority Boundaries

Since the creation of the DDA in 1975 the boundaries of the district have been changed by City Ordinance twice.  The last change took place in 2013.
Below is general information of the current 2013 boundaries:

Total land area:                  41 acres
Number of parcels:            144 individual parcels
Number of dwelling units:  185 (including 136 units at the Whitcomb)
Number of parcels owned
by the City of St. Joseph:  10 parcels which includes 9 surface parking lots.

Development Plan

The Downtown Vision Master Plan adopted in early 2020, is available at the following link:  2020 Downtown Vision Master Plan .  The Existing Conditions Analysis that supported development of the Plan is separately available here

Tax Increment Revenues and Tax Increment Finance Plan

The City of St. Joseph Downtown Development Authority is not capturing any tax increment revenues as part of tax increment finance (TIF) district and does not have a Tax Increment Finance Plan.

Synopsis of events and promotional campaigns completed during the fiscal year

2018-2019 Fiscal Year Synopsis and Promotional Campaigns adopted October 3, 2019

Annual Budget Information

2020-2021 Annual DDA Budget

2019-2020 Annual Budget

Annual Fiscal Year Contracts

2019 - 2020 Downtown Development Authority Contracts

Annual Audit Information

The annual audit of the Downtown Development Authority is found under the City of St. Joseph annual audits.

Goals and Objectives

2015 Adoped Goals and Objectives

Downtown Development Authority  Bylaws - Febuary 2019

Miscellaneous Other Information and Documents

2020 Downtown Sidewalk Amenities Policy.  The 2020 Downtown Sidewalk Amenities Policy was adopted in 2014 and allows businesses to temporarily place chairs and tables on the public sidewalk from April 1st through November 1st and advertising sandwich board signs year-round.  The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for granting annual permission for placement of public tables and chairs or advertising sandwich boards on the public sidewalk.

2015 Downtown Area Parking Map.  Within the DDA boundaries there are over 1,200 surface public parking spaces found on the street and in surface parking lots.  In addition, there are several private lots.  These lots are used by customers, residents, visitors and business owners.  The 2015 Downtown Area Parking Map depicts the hourly limits of the different public parking options.  Currently parking is free within the DDA boundaries.

The St. Joseph Public Safety Department is responsible for the enforcement of parking regulations. 

2019 Business and Property Owner Information.  The 2019 Business and Property Owner Information brochure provides general information regarding the Downtown Development Authority.

St. Joseph TodaySt. Joseph Today is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1979.  Its mission is to enhance the image and recognition of St. Joseph and its surrounding communities, promote business and tourism development and to augment the effort of local governmental units.  It is dedicated to serving visitors, residents and local businesses.

It coordinates and organize more than 60 events that take place within the City of St. Joseph, including the weekly seasonal farmers market.


Agenda Packets and Minutes for the Downtown Development Authority prior to August 2013 can be viewed below:




St Joseph Downtown Vision

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