The Downtown Detroit Partnership is reaching out to property and business owners in an effort to establish a $4 million a year business improvement zone.
DDP says the funding for the BIZ would ensure the continuation of cleaning and maintenance for public streets, safety and marketing that bolster city services.
“This level of supplemental service began in preparation for the 2006 Super Bowl XL, when programs such as Clean Downtown were created to improve the appearance of downtown Detroit,” said David Blaszkiewicz, DDP president and CEO, in a statement.
“The changes in visitors’ experiences of downtown were so transformational that we’ve worked hard to maintain Clean Downtown ever since, raising $16.5 million in private donations in the last seven years.”
The proposed boundaries for the BIZ would lie within the borders of the Lodge Freeway, Interstate 375, Interstate 75 and the Detroit River, and comprise 253 property owners. Under the plan, the owners would pay an average of 10 cents per square foot per year.
DDP, a private-public partnership of corporate and civic leaders that supports and develops initiatives to improve downtown, has begun speaking with businesses and property owners, and City Council members, Blaszkiewicz said.
“... We have been meeting with members one-on-one,” Blaszkiewicz said in an email to The Detroit News. “These meetings have also gone very well.”
The downtown Detroit BIZ would be headed by a 15-member board of directors composed of downtown property and small-business owners, who would be elected by the property owners, and an appointee of the mayor.
“Downtown is looking better and seeing more investment than it has in years,” said Cynthia J. Pasky, chairwoman of the DDP board of directors, in a statement. “It’s our responsibility as downtown stakeholders to collectively support and maintain a clean, safe and inviting neighborhood for our residents, employees, tenants and visitors.”
The DDP expects to hold meetings for property owners Tuesday at Junior Achievement of Southeast Michigan, 577 E. Larned Street, and Feb. 19 at the Boll Family YMCA, 1401 Broadway in Detroit.