Downtown Development Authority (DDA)


In downtown Ionia you will find a variety of restaurants, shops, and businesses located in a historic setting.  Take a moment to enjoy the picturesque atmosphere and the friendly, personal service our local businesses provide.

Downtown Ionia retains much of its historical commercial architecture with many buildings dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Ionia County Courthouse (1886), City Hall (1908), Armory Community Center (1908), Post Office (1912), and Ionia Theatre (1931) all remain in use today.

DDA Establishment

The Ionia DDA was established in 1989 as specified in Public Act 197 of 1975. Funding for projects is directed to improving the downtown district area through economic development, business recruitment and retention, public improvements, downtown beautification, marketing and promotion, and special events.

The mission of the Ionia DDA is to promote and control economic growth which enhances the quality of life through planning and implementation of activities and projects within the Development District.

Since its establishment, the DDA has been involved with these projects and many more:

  • Acquisition and restoration of the historic Ionia Theatre
  • Development of "the Point" area along South Steele Street
  • Façade improvements and grant programs
  • Improvements to the Ionia Free Fair grandstands
  • Street, sidewalk, and parking lot improvements including the installation of red bricks along Main Street
  • Water and sewer upgrades

DDA District Map

The City of Ionia has a large Downtown Development Authority District that extends through the downtown and to the main commercial and industrial corridors of the City. The full DDA District Map (PDF) is provided for reference.

Vacant Property Inventory For Downtown

The City of Ionia has compiled a list of vacant properties in the DDA District. The owners of these properties are actively looking for new tenants. The Vacant Property Inventory for Downtown (PDF) serves as an inventory of these properties. Basic details of the available spaces and property owner contact information have been included.

If you have questions regarding this list please email DDA Director Linda Curtis.

Bridge Light Display

City Council can approve lighting display requests for the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail Pedestrian Bridge. A non-profit organization or government unit must submit a Bridge Light Display Application (PDF) for the request.

Food Truck Permits

The City of Ionia regulates all food trucks as Mobile Food Vending Units (MFVUs) in Chapter 1293 of the City Codified Ordinances. A permit is required to operate anywhere within the City's corporate boundary. Food trucks associated with a public event/street closure will need to be included on the Parade and Street Closure permit application.

All regulations related to food trucks can be found in the attached Chapter 1293. View the permit applications associated with food trucks:

Street Banner Application

Requests to hang banners on the City lampposts and poles can be made to City Council when the purpose is related to a general public interest. A non-profit organization or governmental unit must submit the Vertical Pole Banner Application (PDF) for the request.

Wizard of Oz Festival

This annual event occurs in downtown Ionia. The DDA director and committee, plan the details to make each year of the festival the best it can be. From 'official characters' to activities, vendors, and participants, to the showing of the original film at the historical Ionia theatre, each year grows with enthusiasm for this marvelous event.