Downtown Development Authority Minutes 09-13-2022

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                                   CITY OF MUSKEGON


                             REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

                                     September 13, 2022

The meeting was held in the City Commission Chambers. Chairperson M. Bottomley called the
meeting to order at 10:30 AM and roll was taken.

MEMBERS PRESENT:            M. Bottomley, J. Riegler, M. Johnson Sr., J. Moore, M. Kleaveland,
                            L. Mikesell (joined meeting at 10:43am), B. Hastings, S. Black
                            (joined meeting at 10:35am), D. Pollock, and H. Sytsema.

MEMBERS ABSENT:             J. Wallace Jr. (excused)

STAFF PRESENT:              P. Wills, Director of Strategic Initiatives; D. Alexander,
                            Downtown Manager, S. Pulos, Administrative Assistant for
                            Development Services, Wes Dault, Muskegon County Appraiser,

OTHERS PRESENT:             Eric Helzer

Motion by M. Kleaveland, second by J. Moore, to approve the regular meeting minutes for June
14, 2022. Voice vote, all approved (L. Mikesell and S. Black were not here yet).


 Beginning Fund Balance:                                       $176,665

 Revenues:                      Tax Increment Collections      $321,446
 BID Administrative Fee:                                       $17,000
 TOTAL:                                                        $338,446

Summer Downtown Numbers (May, June, July):
Total Visits: 741,900 up 4.1% from 2021.
Total Unique Visitors: 399,000 up 7.4% from 2021.
Social District beverage stickers: Sold 64,600 through August, compared to 123,000 in all of
2021 … sales are down this year.
2022 Events: The city provided 75 Special Event Permits for Downtown Muskegon this year.
There were 53 “major event days” (June through September) with some events sharing the same
day. Signature events such as Taste of Muskegon, Parties in the Park, Lakeshore Art Festival,
Rebel Road-Bike Time, Unity and (expected) Irish had successful events.
Welcome these new businesses to downtown Muskegon so far in 2022: The Leonard, 1021
Jefferson, Brass Moon Vintage, Carlisle’s, Servicios de Esperanaza LLC, and PAL’S Diner.
Major downtown developments:
  • Harbor 31 – Construction is underway on a $120 million mixed-use waterfront
      development at Terrace and Shoreline Drive.
  • Adelaide Pointe – Site work is underway and development plans in progress for a $240
      million mixed use waterfront development at the far west end of Western Avenue. This
      development now also includes adjacent Hartshorn Village waterfront residential
  • Samaritas senior housing – 53 units of affordable housing at Spring Street and Clay
      Avenue to be occupied by the end of 2022.
  • Muskegon Museum of Art – major $11-million-plus expansion of the art museum in its
      north parking lot, construction already underway.
  • Lakeview Lofts II and III and 880 First Street (former AmeriBank building) to divide $6
      million in state RAP award announced by the City of Muskegon.
  • In the works – Redevelopment of 1141 Third (former Oldsmobile dealership),
      redevelopment of the Morris Street parking lot (Social Security Administration), second
      building east of The Leonard and completion of Watermark Center under new ownership.
The future of downtown organizations and delivery of services:
The Downtown Muskegon Business Improvement District special assessments for landscaping
and snow removal expire at the end of 2023. Downtown property owners, businesses,
institutions, DDA board, BID board and city management will have critical discussions and
decisions to make in the coming six months to maintain or improve the quality of downtown and
have a sustainable funding plan of support.
Watch Muskegon 2.0: The DDA invested $10,000 last year to launch the digital elements of a
new Watch Campaign on getting people to move to Muskegon, which supports all of the new
downtown living options. The “Find Your … Home, Passion, Place, Self” digital advertising
through Google Ads began June 7, targeting Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing markets,
and those searching “move to Michigan.” Through mid-August, the campaign had 4.27 million
impressions and generated 4,900 responses to the Watch/Livability web page. The campaign will
run through October.


Agenda Item A: Staff is asking the DDA board to review and accept the financial statement for
Aug. 31, 2022.

Staff recommendation: To accept the Aug. 31, 2022 financial statement.

Motion: Motion by L. Mikesell, seconded by B. Hastings, to accept the Aug. 31, 2022 financial

Roll Call Vote:
M. Bottomley: Yes            D. Pollock: Yes              J. Riegler: Yes
J. Moore: Yes                M. Kleaveland: Yes           B. Hastings: Yes
M. Johnson Sr: Yes           L. Mikesell: Yes             S. Black: Yes
H. Sytsema: Yes
All in favor, motion passes.
Agenda Item B: Staff is recommending an outline of a DDA façade grant program for the
current fiscal year through June 30, 2023 as funded in the budget by the DDA board in June.

Staff recommendation: Staff is suggesting a one-to-one match program of grants from $5,000
up to $15,000. That current budget would allow from 15, $5.000 up to five, $15,000 grants. That
would incentivize impactful façade projects of $10,000 and above. Eligible applicants would be
business and/or property owners of commercial buildings (mixed-use with first floor
commercial) within the Muskegon DDA. Applicants must prove ability to fund their half or more
of the project and insure that the work will be completed. Eligible improvements would be on
exterior building elements and need to comply with city regulations and obtain city permits. Staff
would not suggest parking lot or landscaping improvements but improvements that upgrade
actual structures. Grants would be awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Work would not be
able to start until grant approval is given. Grant payments would be reimbursements to the
recipient for work already completed and paid. A committee of staff and DDA board members
would review applications. The DDA board would need to determine if it wanted to approve
suggested awards as a whole.

Motion: Made by B. Hastings, seconded by J. Moore, move to direct staff to formalize a 2022-
23 Muskegon DDA Façade Grant program and return it to the October meeting, with the
following provisions; that its specs include language regarding ADA Accessibility with an
overall program of $62,500.

Motion Tabled: M. Kleaveland, seconded by B. Hastings, move to table the original motion,
bringing the issue back from staff in October incorporating details of the board discussion.
All in favor, motion passes.

Agenda Item C: Summer Events Update (Clerk’s Office-Information Only)

There were time constraints on the presentation of this item, it was not addressed at this meeting.

Agenda Item D: Watch Muskegon 20. Digital Advertising Report (Information Only)

The group was provided information in the form of a handout on this item. No action was taken.


Information about the 880First project was shared by Eric Heizer. We anticipate coming back
with a Brownfield Plan in the coming months.


WATERMARK/JOHN ROOKS: L. Mikesell stated that John Rooks has a signed Purchase
Agreement for the Shaw Walker building (Watermark Center). He has already received one
extension and he is in a hurry because there is a lot of work that needs to be done and there is a
fair amount of environmental investigation that is needed on the building that has not been taken
care of in the past. There is suspicion that there is asbestos in a structural review and will find
PFAS. He has an estimated cost of $150,000 and would like a contribution of $50,000 from the
City. L. Mikesell stated that as a condition of giving the money, that we as a City, have full
access to all environment reports in case the deal does not materialize and a new purchaser is
found. She stated that she would like the DDA to contribute half of that $50,000, which would be

Motion: Made by D. Pollock, seconded by M. Kleaveland, move that if the City decides to move
forward with supporting the program, the DDA would support half of the cost, up to $25,000,
with excess Façade fund balance.

Roll Call Vote:
M. Bottomley: Yes            D. Pollock: Yes                J. Riegler: Yes
J. Moore: Yes                M. Kleaveland: Yes             B. Hastings: Yes
M. Johnson Sr: Yes           L. Mikesell: Yes               S. Black: Yes
H. Sytsema: Yes
All in favor, motion passes.

12:18 pm

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