(231) 398-3262


Caitlyn M Berard, Executive Director



Board Members

Kyle Mosher – Chair

Karen Goodman- Vice Chair

N/A – Treasurer

Barry Lind- Secretary 

Bruce Allen 

James Beaudrie

Jodi Walter

Thad Taylor

Tamara Deponio 





City Council Bi-Annual Meeting Notes to Council

June 2019-March 2020 


  • Development and TIF Plan Amendment- Effect February 8th, 2020
  • In Agreement with the Economic Development Council with the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce
  • In Agreement with the City for City Services – including maintenance, landscaping, snowplowing in our active downtown spaces
  • In Agreement with Little River Holdings, LLC for American Cleaners – Gateway Project, MSU Study 2017
  • Currently discussing WSCC Agreement for Riverwalk Plaza and available parking
  • Reporting for PA 57 – December 2019 


  • Bond for Executive Director -Chapter 282.08
  • Staff Committee – hiring additional support staff
  • Partnership with Manistee County Library – Act 57 of 2018
  • Fully Support Spark – Successful Event with 5 Successful Finalists
  • Project Rising Tide Initiatives including MEDC Façade Grant Application, Housing Position participation, Consumer’s Energy Pitch Competition
  • Budget – Funding initiatives identified in City of Manistee Economic Development Plan, City of Manistee Housing Plan, Development and TIF amendment: Rental Rehab Program, Façade Grant Program, Riverwalk and Deck Grants, public relations
  • Manistee Magic: Project Bloom, placemaking in downtown, trees, business input 

Committee Initiatives:

Design Committee Initiatives

  • RFP for Sandblasting/Painting of Trashcans and Planters
  • -RFP for Sidewalk Paver repairs and lifting
  • -RFP for Refuse Containers
  • -Capital Improvements Plan for Riverwalk

Business Development Committee

  • Business Development: Step 1) improve Manistee DDA Programs: Revolving Loan Fund, Downtown Dollars, Façade Grant Program, Liquor License Application
  • Business Retention
  • Entrepreneurship/Spark – supporting business start ups year round
  • Increase Public Relations for Small Business investment downtown
Goals for June to December 2019

* Reporting for the DDA
PA 57 requires new reporting and publishing regulations. The Manistee DDA is preparing the right layout to share our programs and projects with you!

* Fully Support Spark
Spark is our local pitch competition for beginning entrepreneurs interested in being located in the DDA District. Spark 2020 is in the planning process now. The new application will open September 2019. We look forward to seeing the community for our January 25th, 2020 Pitch Competition event where we will announce this year’s winner! Please contact the DDA office for more information.

* American Cleaners Project
The DDA purchased the old American Cleaners property on River Street. What development will be next?

* Support the Design Committee Initiatives for 2019-2020
– Project Bloom
– American Cleaners
-Garbage Can/Planter Painting
-Streetscape repairs

* Support Project Rising Tide

* Support the Business Development Committee Initiatives for 2019-2020
-Retention Plan and Process for DDA District Businesses

2019 in a Snapshot

– Business Development Committee Hosted Downtown Business Survey – Feb 2019

2019-2020 Facilitated Planning Report

–  Design Committee and Museum partnership for the Downtown Banners commemorating the 150 year anniversity – March 2019

 – Amended budget to include $80,000 from the general fund for the creation of trash collection enclosurers. – March 2019

-2018 Spark Manistee Winner opens location

-Hired Full time staff person – June 2019

– Approved Spicer Group Facade Grant Application of $5,000 – June 2019

-Project Rising Tide and DDA Applied for MEDC Facade Grant 

-Approval of the Bylaw Revisions: July 2019 

– Board Election of Officers – August 2019

-Approval of Elks Facade Grant – $5,000 for River St, $5,000 for Oak St, $5,000 additional if State Grant is approved. 

– DDA adopted Project Rising Tide Branding Plan, Housing Action Plan and City of Manistee Economic Development Stragetic Plan. – October 2019

-Approval for the budgeting of WSCC Facade Grant and Riverwalk Plaza – October 2019

Continued Projects include: 

January 25th – 2020 Spark Manistee Pitch Day

Development and TIF plan

Contract with City Service Agreement

Contract for Economic Development Services 

Sale of American Cleaners

Capital Improvements Plan for the Riverwalk

RFP for the painting and sandblasting of trashcans and flower planters 


Manistee DDA: A Snapshot

Excerpt from State Legislature Languae from 1975: DDA Act: “Purpose of a DDA is to correct and prevent deterioration in business districts; to enourage historic preservation; to authorize the creation and implementation of development plans in districts; to promote the economic growth of the districts”

April 2nd, 1985: Manistee City Council adopts DDA ordinance: “Council hereby determines that it is necessary for the best interests of the City to hold property value deterioration and increase property tax valuation where possible in the Business Distrcit of the City, to eliminate the causes of that deterioration and to promote economic growth by establishing a downtown development authority” 

Mission statement of Manistee Downtown Development Authority: 

The Mission of the Manistee Main Street Downtown Development Authority is to foster the development and promotion of an identifiable and attractive downtown area that will strengthen business and a sense of community ownership.

Downtown Manistee is an asset to the City and larger community in many ways: 

Major employer: Currently there are approx. 440 full time equivalent jobs within the DDA boundaries. According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, that makes it the 2nd larger employer in the Manistee County behind the Little River Casino. 

Business: Downtown Manistee is by far the largest conentration of businesses (largely locally-owned, community oriented independents) which make it the shopping, commercial and entrepreneurial center of Manistee County. 

Historical: Manistee’s tagline – “The Victorian Port City” is based on the historic archietecture of the downtown’s commercial buildings. The DDA has focused on historic preservation of these buildings isnce its inception. 

Tourism and Culture: The Downtown is home to music and art events, parades, sginature festivals such as the Victoiran Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend, and of course the Riverwalk – one of the area’s crown jewels. 

It is crucial to preserve, enhance and promote these assets – especially during challenging economic times. The Downtown Development Authoirty is completely devoted to this goal and must retain adequate funding in order to accomplish this. 

Downtown Development Authoiryt revenue comes from Tax Incrememnt Financing (TIF): When the DDA was created in 1985, the property taxes collected on downtown properties was established as the baseline taxes that all jurisdictions would continue to recieve going foward. Any increases in taxes – due to increased property values – would be captured by the DDA. The City, County, etc. still recieve the same amount of tax dollars from the downtown properties that they recieved when the DDA was established. There are no “extra” taxes or millages applied to downtown property because of the DDA. 

Downtown Development Authority grew out of a movement which began in 1970, called “Project Facelift”. 

Millions of dollars have been invested into the physical downtown by the DDA over the years. Just within the last 25 years:

– $445,000 Riverwalk East Bond Issue. Issued 3/97 and paid off 9/05. total paid was $549,200

– $1,480,000 Streetscape Bond Issue. Issued 1999 and matures 3/20. Total repayment is $2,371,550. 

$25,000 Dial a Ride restrrom, 3/31/02

$100,000 Given to City for cost overruns on Streetscape, 12/31/00

$30,000 Reimburse City for bank stabilization project on river front, 6/30/00

$60,000 Contribution towars Washington Street improvement project, 6/03

$150,000 Pending expenditure related to marina boathouse project. 

$100,000 Given to City for downtown rivrwalk maintenance endownment. 

$62,239 Purchase and dmeolish hom on 62 Clay Street used for Parking, 1/03

$15,000 Purchase way finding signs

$31,000 DDA contribution to MSHDA facade grants for three downtown properties, 9/08

$83,000 Paid to City since 2006 for enhanced maintenance and Christmas Decorations

Programs initiated and/or leveraged by the Downtown Developmen Authority: 

Revolving Loan Fund:

Manistee Farmer’s Market: has become a staple in the community drawing hundreds downtown while supporitng local farmers and producers. Thank you to the Manistee Community Kitchen for your lead! https://manisteekitchen.org/farmers-market/

MSHDA Facade Grants 2009: approx: $400,000 in private and state moneies invested. Significant positive impact on aesthetic of downtown. 

Rental Rehab MSHDA grant: 15 housing units downtown; estimated $1.5 Million added to tax base investmnet. 

Operation and Management of Sleighbell Weekend: 

Marketing of downtown: $15,000 used to advertise and market regionally in FY 09-10. 2009 9&10 TV ad campaign used $3,000 DDA dollars to leverage merchant buy – in. Achieved approx. $135,000worth of aritime over th e6-month campaign. 

$10,000 annually budgeted for local facade grant program. Recent successful projects include Spicer and the Elks Lodge!

Main Street Design Services: Over $5,000 worth of facade design work nearly completed for Manistee Variety/Artist Mall building through Michigan Main Street  designation. 3 properties/year are eligible. 

$45,000 for 2008 Downtown Strategic Plan: Included comprehensive market analysis & study which has been used for potential businesses. 

$20,000 (USDA Grant) and managment of Vogue Theatre fesibility Study (2010): to address a long-time issue in our city and to catalyze redevelopment of that community resource. Identified as a major goal by the public at 2009 City Strategic Plan update public forum. 

Guidance & assistance with first-ever Historic Tax Credit application in 2009-2010. 

$9,000 annually for downtown hanging flower baskets and sidewalk planters to beautifu the community. 

Organization, management, initiation of ongoing evetns and promotions to increase traffic and purchasing downtown: Downtown Dollars, Sleighbell, Hops and Props, Spark Manistee

Partnership and support from the City of Manistee has been – and will be- crucial for the success of the Downtown Development Authority and the downtown as a whole. From distributing barricades for parades and events to being the grant agent for MSHDA grants to maintaining our district; the City of Manistee has been a major supporter of the downtown development authority. 

Office Phone

(231) 398-3262


70 Maple St
Manistee, MI 49660

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