“With credit markets becoming more aggressive and the hangover from the recession nearly cleared, we anticipate increased development activity in downtown Grand Rapids in the next year. Both the public and private sectors are gearing up for a strong 2013, and the DDA is working toward evolving its toolbox to meet the needs of contemporary development while expanding the quality of life within ... our downtown.
"The DDA is interested in furthering its investment and those types of projects that have the ability to catalyze additional investment. Our primary focus is leveraging and how can we spend a dollar and (have) that dollar leverage four. First and foremost, it’s going to be a continued investment in the river, and (projects that don’t) equate to large dollar signs.
"It does open the opportunity to explore partnerships with the federal government, state government and others to transform the project in such a way that — at the end of the day — can transform our downtown and its skyline. The opportunity for high-density growth ... brings residents and employees to our downtown and those individuals are going to bring consumer spending. So for us, it’s about making the right upstream decisions that are going to help leverage the greatest return over time.”