Downtown Development Authority

Downtown St. Louis has changed tremendously over the past several years!
In recent years, with the assistance of several grant programs, the DDA and City have produced nearly $3 million in physical improvements to the downtown area.  Newly paved parking lots and alleyways along with Victorian lighting, banners, benches, landscaping, stamped concrete and new curb and gutter can be found in the majority of the DDA area.  In 2019 the "main street" of St. Louis, North Mill Street was completely resurfaced, many curbs redone and sidewalks upgraded.  The downtown has a nice mix of businesses that serve both the citizens as well as the many visitors who stop in St. Louis throughout the year. 
Business activity has increased over this time period as well, with many new businesses locating downtown. Some of the newer businesses include:
  • Mom & Dad's Designs & Decor
  • 4Seasons Gym & Tanning
  • St. Louis Optics
  • The Snack Guys
  • Flegel Tech Repair
  • Uptown Treasures
  • LINK Learning
  • Gratiot Integrated Health Network & Clinic
  • The Shop Graphics & Design
The DDA has been a driving force in the development of the downtown, as they hired a director in 1998 and began having monthly meetings to best serve the needs of the growing community. Two different buildings downtown were purchased by the DDA in order to renovate them in preparation for new businesses.  The two projects together required an investment of over $250,000 by the DDA.
A Tax Increment Financing Program was also put into effect in 1999 as was the expansion of the DDA area to include some sections of M-46. Zoning was also improved in this area, as a Transitional Zone was created allowing for homes along M-46 to be used for low-impact businesses such as antique shops, etc. The TIF program provides a steady stream of income for downtown projects and the Central Business District and M-46 continue to develop at a good pace.
2015 saw the construction of a new City Hall, Police Department and Community Center in the Central Business District as well as a new St. Louis Area Fire Department building on the edge of the DDA area.  Both of these wonderful projects now serve the St. Louis community with top-notch facilities and equipment as well as generating traffic into our business district. 
In 2017 the downtown saw completion of the 24-unit senior apartment building, River View Place right across from the new City Hall.  The four-story building is a beautiful facility and a tremendous addition to our downtown. 
Also complementing Downtown St. Louis is the location of St. Louis High School, just one block from the Central Business District and beautiful Clapp Park on M-46 the official "Middle of the Mitten" as it is the geographic center of the Lower Peninsula. In addition, the area is dotted with many Victorian homes and the St. Louis Area Historical Society depot museum is only three blocks away. Finally, the City-owned W.T. Morris Memorial Swimming Pool has been rebuilt with help from the DNR and is again an attraction downtown in 2005.  The $400,000 project has been an exciting improvement in the downtown.  In 2019 the pool's change house received a $150,000 renovation as well.
DDA meetings are currently held the fourth Thursday of every month at 12:15 in Council Chambers in City Hall. Should you have any questions on DDA work, contact DDA Director Phil Hansen, whose phone and e-mail are below.  We especially welcome inquiries into available properties to buy or lease, in or near our downtown. We are ready to assist anyone considering starting a business here, and would be anxious to talk to anyone interested.
Downtown Development Authority Board Members 2020:
Scott Morrow
Peters Hardware 

Bill Coty

Coty Properties

Lenore Worden

HairWorx Plus 

Mary Peterman Chemical Bank
Carla McDaid
McDaid's Chop Shop

George Kubin

Kubin's Furniture & Gifts 

Kurt Giles

City Manager 

Jerry Lewis

Jim's Barber Shop 

Dr. Stephen Near


Corey Bailey Commercial Bank

Dana Saurman

River Rock
Brandon Flegel Flegel Tech Repair
Dan Eilts 4Seasons Gym & Tanning

Contact Information

Philip Hansen
DDA Director
Phone: (989) 681-3017
Fax: (989) 681-3842
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