MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
WHICH TOOK PLACE ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 2008
COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CITY HALL,
Denise Hufford read Roll Call.
PRESENT: DDA MEMBERS – Bo Brines, Mike Hayes, Jon Lynch, Jack McCandless, Marty McGuire, Sue Rabbage, Ranny Riecker, Jim Stamas, Claudia Wallin
ABSENT: Jenny Anderson, Paula Liveris, Mark Ruhle
PRESENT: STAFF – Denise Hufford, Keith Baker, Margaret Maday, Stephanie Szostak, Daryl Poprave
PRESENT: OTHERS – Tony Kulick (City of Mt. Pleasant, New DDA Director), Rich Pomeroy (Farm Bureau Insurance and MDBA Representative), John Palen (Midland Issues), Northwood University Students
Wallin called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
a) Approval of past meeting minutes
Motion to approve the April 9, 2008 meeting minutes by Riecker. Seconded by Hayes. Approved unanimously.
b) Financial Reports for March 2008
Maday presented the April 2008 financial statement. Motion to approve financials by Riecker. Seconded by McGuire. Approved unanimously.
a) Creating Cool Committee
Northwood University students presented their Downtown Marketing Study.
Wallin reported on some upcoming downtown events:
· Tunes by the Tridge begins June 5, 7-9 pm
· Artist Market begins June 5, 5-9 pm
· Summer of the Dragons Kick Off Party, June 6, 5-7 pm (3 dragon designs shown)
· Midland Highland Festival, June 14
· Great Lakes Loons All-Star Game and Activities, June 15-17
· MCV presents the Summer Solstice Stroll, June 21
· Parade your Pet was held on May 10 and had 95 pets registered for the event. Thank you to Sandy Clark of I’ve Been Framed for all her work chairing this event.
Riecker suggested that the DDA promote the Farmer’s Market when promoting their downtown events. Wallin and Hufford agreed. Lynch will check on the city website.
b) Design Committee
Baker reported that the Riverfront survey is now available and the DDA is seeking the community’s input on the redevelopment of the riverfront plan. Survey is available online at www.downtownmidland.com and in the Midland Daily News. Surveys due May 23, 2008.
Baker reported that the bench replacement program is to have started this week with replacement of the wood material with a composite material and posts to be painted red to match the wayfinding signage.
Baker reported that the kiosk project is moving forward. Three kiosks have been ordered to be placed – one at the Farmer’s Market, one in front of Daddy O’s, and one on the corner of Main and Ashman.
Wallin reported that an ad hoc committee has been formed for the Riverfront project. Mrs. Riecker has agreed to chair this committee.
Szostak updated the board on the downtown flower displays. Spring bulbs are up and will soon be taken down for the annual flowers, weather dependent. Corner beds should be planted by Friday, May 23 with long beds planted after the Memorial Day parade. Portable pots will be placed next week along with the hanging baskets.
Riecker commented on how beautiful the flowers are this year. Stamas asked about the success of the soil treatment. Szostak responded that she won’t know for sure until she sees how the first flats of flowers perform.
c) Organization Committee
Baker introduced the new Executive Director of the DDA as Tony Kulick. Kulick thanked the board and reported that he is excited to get to Midland and get started.
d) Economic Restructuring Committee
Hayes reported on available property downtown. Nine properties are available for lease and one property for sale. Paper Jems will be transitioning to an online store and vacating their Main Street property.
Hayes reported that the committee is discussing hiring a retail recruitment firm to help the DDA and possibly the Chamber of Commerce match our market with retailers interested in opening in a downtown area. Hope to report at next DDA board meeting.
Hayes reported that the committee passed an action item that needs to be discussed and possibly updated before being voted on by the board. A developer is interested in possibly building some downtown housing, but needs some updated data. The data from last year’s Hamilton Anderson Redevelopment and Design study is 12 months old and with all the changes in the housing market they feel it’s important to get some updated and in in-depth understanding and data of the downtown housing market. Committee felt it was a great idea, but since yesterday Hayes has found through Baker that the Housing Commission is also interested in this data. Would like to do this study, but without overlapping of work
Baker commented that the Housing Commission is looking for a housing market study and even though they will be looking at two different areas, there will be some overlapping of the demographic data. Baker feels it would be beneficial to work together on a housing study that will “kill two birds with one stone” to gather information for both the Housing Commission and the DDA.
Hayes moved that we proceed with the updated economic housing study by Hamilton Anderson Associates in conjunction with and in cooperation with the Housing Commission and with authorization for Keith Baker and himself to spend up to $10,000 for that additional research on the part of Hamilton Anderson.
McGuire asked if the $10,000 is DDA money or Housing money. Hayes responded that it would be up to $10,000 of DDA money and it is available in the DDA budget. Depending on the partnership with the Housing Commission the final cost to the DDA may be less.
Lynch commented that integrating the research and outcomes is very important. Developing downtown has been a cornerstone of the DDA plan. City Council has a strong interest in providing housing at different price points. The data will be the same for part of the research. So integrating the discussion and the research is good for the downtown and good for the community.
Hayes also commented that there are a number of developers interested in this information and the results of this study would be available to all developers, which is the role of government and the DDA to help facilitate this type of development. Lynch wants to make sure the market is there before units are built and also be sure to not have new housing units compete with existing housing.
Rabbage asked if developers will want this data updated each year. Riecker modified the question to ask if the study will look at more than just current conditions, but will focus on prospective conditions. Hayes responded that the study will be prospective and should hopefully last into the future.
Action item passed unanimously.
e) Midland Downtown Business Association
Rich Pomeroy reported on upcoming MDBA events. June 1 is Music on Main Street – a Sunday stroll organized by Molly’s Bistro, July 10-12 will be Main Street Marketplace, kicked up Sidewalk Sales, July 29 the MDBA will hold their annual dinner to present legacy awards, Business person of the year, and Volunteer of the year awards.
Rich also wanted to thank the DDA from himself and his wife for their support of his 2nd story apartment project. Open Houses will be held on June 5 from 4-8 pm and on June 7 from 12-3 pm to show off their new apartment above Willow at 131 E. Main St.
Rich suggested that help with architects and their fees might also be helpful, especially in the zoning process. Hayes asked if working with the City was a learning process and if a checklist would be helpful? Rich responded that a “Cliff Notes” for developers would have been very helpful.
There was no further business to come before the Board. Hayes moved that the meeting be adjourned. McGuire seconded. Meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.