City of Ionia

Downtown Development Authority (DDA)

Welcome to Downtown Ionia! A great place to locate your business.

Meet Our DDA Director

Linda Curtis, Director, Downtown Development AuthorityLinda Curtis is Director of the City of Ionia Downtown Development Authority.

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.

Hours
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Contact
203 West Main Street
P.O. Box 496
Ionia, Michigan  48846

Phone 616-527-1420
Fax 616-527-0810
Email lcurtis@ci.ionia.mi.us

About the DDA

City Founding. Ionia was established in 1833, and the development of its downtown commercial district followed shortly after. The growth of the community continued with the establishment of a U.S. Land Office, two railroad lines, and numerous commercial, manufacturing, and agricultural businesses.

Downtown Ionia Today. 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 Downtown Development Authority (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 Board of Directors

Terms Expiring December 31, 2020

  • Dave Cook
  • Chris Sorrell
Terms Expiring December 31, 2021

  • Paul Lentz
  • John Krueger
Terms Expiring December 31, 2022

  • Mike Kirgis
  • Tim Hemenway
Terms Expiring December 31, 2023

  • Ted Paton
  • Margot Cook
  • Mayor Balice

Documents and Links

The Ionia Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was originally organized in 1981. After a period of inactivity, the DDA reorganized in 1989. At this time, a Tax Increment Financing Plan (TIF) and a 2 mill tax were created to generate additional income for improvements. In addition, the boundaries of the DDA were greatly expanded beyond the original central business district. 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.

Download Document:
DDA Bi-Annual Report September 2019 (PDF)

Various businesses in and around Ionia!

Download Document:
Business Directory Brochure (PDF)

Through the Mural Project, the community’s rich history will again come alive on the brick exterior of the majestic Ionia Theatre. The Ionia Theatre is located on the first block of the downtown. It was chosen as a site for the first mural to begin the story.

Download Document:
Ionia Mural Project Brochure and Donor Form (PDF)

An annual garland wrapping of the historical lampposts that line the Streets of the business district, is a most welcome sight! Sponsor a fresh garland wrap in memory or in honor of someone, or something. Thank you for your consideration.

Download Document:
Lamppost Sponsorship Form (PDF)

The DDA Board meets at 8:00 am on the third Wednesday of each month at Ionia City Hall, located at 114 N. Kidd St. The public is welcome to attend.

Download Document:
DDA Meeting Schedule 2020 (PDF)
Go to Link:
City Calendar Page (Shows DDA Board Meetings)

To be vibrant and competitive, Michigan communities must be ready for development. This involves planning for new investment and reinvestment, identifying assets and opportunities, and focusing limited resources. Certified Redevelopment Ready Communities® attract and retain businesses, offer superior customer service and have a streamlined development approval process making pertinent information available around-the clock for anyone to view. Source: RRC website.

Download Documents:
Capital Improvement Plan (PDF)
Community Participation Plan (PDF)

This form must be filled out and returned within 60 days of the request. However, this request does not approve street closures or approval for parade, as that will be determined pending an approval process to follow.

Download Document:
Street Closure/Parade Request Form (PDF)

Explanation of a Downtown Development Authority (DDA; and the financial responsibility of individual entities within a DDA's responsibility.

Download Document:
DDA and Tax Increment Financing Plans (PDF)

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, participants, to the showing of the original film at the historical Ionia theatre, each year grows with enthusiasm for this marvelous event.

Download Documents:
Celebrity Biography Ron Baxley Jr (PDF)
Celebrity Biography Karen Armstrong Owens (PDF)
Celebrity Biography Amanda Wallace (PDF)
Celebrity Biography James C. Wallace, II (PDF)
Celebrity Biography Ralph Zellem (PDF)

Press Release: 2020 Ionia Fireworks Display

2020 Fireworks Cancelled due to Covid-192020 Ionia Fireworks Display Cancelled

The Ionia Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors recently announced the cancellation of the 2020 Fireworks Display originally scheduled for July 2nd. The DDA’s commitment to public health and safety guided the decision to cancel the fireworks event. The decision was not made lightly and is in the best interest of the community during this unprecedented time.

The DDA would like to express our sincere appreciation to supporters and attendees of the annual celebration. Plans for the 2021 Fireworks Display are well underway.

Contact: Linda Curtis, Ionia DDA Director, (616) 527-1420) lcurtis@ci.ionia.mi.us

Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival - Virtual

The Virtual 2020 MI Wizard of Oz FestivalThe Ionia Downtown Development Authority will be transitioning the 2020 Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival from an in-person event to a virtual experience. The health and safety of our patrons, vendors, celebrity guests, volunteers, and Official Characters is of utmost importance to the Festival Committee and guided the decision to change the previous format.

A virtual celebration with FB live videos courtesy of our Celebrity Guests, Official Characters and friends is scheduled for June 12th – 13th.

Business "Start Back Up" - 4/24/20 Update (The Right Place)

The Right PlaceMessage content from: Travis Alden, Director of Business Development, The Right Place, Inc.
I want to share just a handful of quick updates & resources on behalf of the Ionia County Economic Alliance and The Right Place: (Click on the document file to view)

Ionia Farmers' Market

Ionia Farmers' MarketCome to the Ionia Farmers' Market and enjoy a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, honey, maple syrup, baked goods, flowers, plants, art work, hand crafts, and other items too.

OPEN: Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - Saturday, October 31, 2020

MARKET HOURS: Wednesday, 2PM - 6PM and Saturday, 9AM - 1PM

VENDORS: For details, click on the hyperlink 2020 Vendor Application and Regulations.

LOCATION: The Robert Hoppough Farmers' Market Pavilion at the corner of Adams Street and Steele Street.

DIRECTIONS: Located in Downtown Ionia at the NE corner of Adams and Steele Streets, one block west of Dexter/M-66 and one block south of Main Street. Ample free parking is available in the adjacent public lot near the Robert Hoppough Farmers' Market Pavilion.

Congratulations Linda Badder-Curtis! 2019 Business Woman of the Year!

DDA Director Linda Badder-Curtis, her Grandson Hunter Wylie, and City Council member John Milewski,IThe City of Ionia, is pleased to recognize one of our very own; Linda Badder-Curtis, selected as the 2019 Business Woman of the Year! Congratulations Linda,on this outstanding and prestigious award. On Saturday, January 26, 2020, Linda Badder-Curtis's name was announced at the annual 'Ionia Community Awards' event prepared and hosted by the Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce. Linda serves on several area committies; addressing housing, workforce development, connectivity, economic development, and downtown revitalization through Project Rising Tide. She also has the lead role in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Community program, which prepares the City to be ready for new investment, attract and retain businesses, and streamlining the developmental approval process.

Linda has also been an volunteer and advisor for the Michigan State University Rodeo Club for 9+ years, where she mentors students with skill building in seeking sponsorship, marketing and promotion of the annual MSU Spartan Stampede Rodeo. The morning prior to the event, the club hosts a Youth Day, to which Linda has arranged for many Ionia area students to attend free of charge. She has also chaperoned students to the Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City on several occasions and to state competitions in Nebraska. Her commitment doesn’t stop there. Linda is currently assisting a national rodeo series in developing a full sponsorship and marketing campaign. In each of these volunteer positions, she promotes local business by contracting with vendors/businesses whenever possible. Linda is not only a fierce advocate for local businesses, but is a giving and caring person who has assisted with countless fundraising projects for organizations and individuals. Although she may not be the face of every project that provides community support, any organizer of these groups can tell you that she is always just a phone call away. A tradition instilled in her by her mother, Linda is a truly giving and welcoming woman who is always willing to provide a helping hand to those in need. This is a tradition she hopes to instill in her grandson, who often assists her with her selfless endeavors.

Other Nominees: Marley Camacho from Ionia Community Theatre and Tracy Hodgkins Just Like Home Adult Day Center. Source: Ionia Community Awards Ceremony

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City Calendar

City of Ionia City Calendar

114 North Kidd Street  Map
Ionia, Michigan 48846
Phone 616-527-4170

Fax 616-527-0810

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00a - 4:00p
(Holiday exception)

EMERGENCIES: PHONE 911

For local news and information,
tune to WION AM 1430/FM 92.7
or read the Ionia Sentinel-Standard