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Posted on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

Ypsilanti DDA seeks more benefits from Michigan Main Street program

By Katrease Stafford

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority voted Thursday to maintain its associate-level membership with the Michigan Main Street Center program, the Ypsilanti Courier reported.

The program, which is funded by the state, encourages the economic development and revitalization of the city's downtown, according to the Courier.


The Ypsilanti DDA voted to retain its membership within the Michigan Main Street program.

File photo

Ypsilanti is looking to become a select-level member within the next year to receive more benefits that would allow access to things such as commercial real estate development tools and market analysis.

Ypsilanti isn't the only city in Washtenaw County to participate in the program. After two years of planning and preparation, Saline was accepted into the program this February. reported the Michigan State Housing Development Authority selected Saline for the program, that provides five years of technical assistance focusing on ways to attract businesses and residents to the downtown area.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has supported the program.

"The Michigan Main Street program will help Saline create opportunities for redevelopment, placemaking and economic growth, just as it has in downtowns throughout Michigan," Snyder said at the time.

Saline leaders saw the program as an incentive to potential business owners looking to open in the area and Ypsilanti leaders are hoping for the same.

To read the full Ypsilanti Courier report, click here.



Sat, Nov 17, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

The problem with this is that YDDA is an organization appointed by a very political mayor with a narrow view of the City and of the many willing citizens, business owners and related organizations. The Main Street Program is supposed to be a grass-roots effort built bottom up, apolitical, and focused on improving a specific business district, which to-date has been identified as the Michigan Avenue corridor, which is distinctively separate from the well-known Depot Town. The Downtown is undergoing a resurgence that has made it the place to have a business in Ypsilanti and it deserves it own focus. So having the YDDA involved in this would be the absolute worst idea possible due to all of the related politics, including having Depot Town elements involved with Downtown decisions, which is never a good idea. If the Main Street Organization is really interested in getting something going in Ypsilanti, it should get with the community instead and help interested people and organizations get something started along Michigan Avenue. As a side note to the members of the Downtown, beware of the Mayor's recent effort to define a new tax district in the Downtown to collect taxes to cover the cost of the trash pickup in the dumpster areas which were installed by the YDDA in a not-to-well-thought-out manner. Yes, this is our mayor who wants to impose a new tax on downtown business and/or property owners to cover something which the YDDA started (all of his appointees) and is now unwilling to follow-through with. None of this is good.


Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

I'm having trouble seeing any concrete deliverables provided by this "program," besides hiring a manager. On the website there seem to be a lot of words that remind me of consultants that sell "synergy." Is this just another middleman association/program/think tank/task force that helps funnel money to unmeasurable "benefit," like SPARK?

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

For more information about the Michigan Main Street program, go here: