Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Board

*Updated DDA Parking Map*

The Chelsea DDA was established in 1985 under local ordinance 97 with the following goals:
  • To maintain the strength of the downtown as an active marketplace.
  • To continue to enhance the historic character of the downtown through restoration and renovation
  • To focus on the importance of off-street parking
  • To maintain the distinction of the different character and function of the highway commercial district and downtown Chelsea
National Register of Historic PlacesOn February 22, 2011 the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) announced the addition of the Chelsea Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Chelsea Commercial Historic District comprises 61 buildings that form the historic core of Chelsea's commercial district. Near the north end of the district are the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, historically part of the Michigan Central Railroad. The district focuses on Main Street (state highway M-52), and includes properties on either side containing historic commercial, public, and institutional buildings. Also included are properties on Park Street, East and West Middle Streets, Jackson Street, and the former Glazier Stove Works complex in the northeast end of the district.

"The recognition and preservation of historic properties is vital to the economic success of Michigan's communities, both large and small, and necessary for maintaining the sense of place that so many people desire" said Gary Heidel, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), of which the SHPO is a part. According to State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway, "Chelsea's downtown has a fantastic stock of historic buildings for a small town that already attracts people to the community. They are what sets Chelsea apart from other towns. Chelsea has an opportunity to market itself as a heritage tourism destination and to take advantage of economic incentives for rehabilitating historic buildings."

Preservation Chelsea prepared the nomination. In addition to the Glazier Stove Works, the district includes the McKune Memorial Library, the former post office and several churches. The Chelsea House Livery Stable, the Daniels Showroom, and the Mack Building, which make up what is commonly known as the Longworth Complex, are also listed. These buildings are currently owned by the DDA, which is proposing to demolish the buildings. The national register designation gives the DDA an opportunity to market the buildings to a developer who wants to capitalize on the historic character of the buildings and use federal historic preservation tax credits.

There are more than 1,800 Michigan listings in the National Register of Historic Places. In Michigan the national register is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, which assists property owners with the nomination process. Properties are nominated to the national register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which meets three times per year. National register designation makes the owners of income-producing properties eligible to apply for federal historic preservation tax credits for the rehabilitation of those properties. For information about the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/nrhp.

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Service Information
Reports Projects  DDA By-Laws
Meetings & Minutes  DDA@city-chelsea.org  

Background
Origination

The Downtown Development Authority was created in December, 1985 by action of the Village Council at the urging of the Downtown Development Committee of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. The Public Act of the State of Michigan under which the DDA was created (P.A. 197 of 1975), provided an “additional tool for use by municipal officials and business men of a city, village or township for revitalization and economic development of the downtown district of the community.”

The Articles of Incorporation of the Chelsea DDA stated that it is organized “for the purpose of correcting and preventing deterioration in the downtown business district.” The proposal to establish the DDA was the result of a study by the planning firm of Johnson, Johnson & Roy, Inc. commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and paid for by local businesses who donated $3,900 in February, 1984.

Funding

There are two sources of funds. The first is a levy of up to 2 mils on all the property in the district, which is generally used for operations as allowed under P.A. 197. The second comes from the Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA) which allows the DDA to collect a large portion of taxes generated by an increase in State Equalized Valuation from the base year (1987).

For example: Property A was assessed at $100,000 in 1987. Today it is valued at $150,000. DDA collects taxes on the $50,000 increase.

Authority

The State of Michigan passed Public Act 197 in 1975 and amended it in 1983 and several times since. Chelsea adopted DDA Ordinance #97 in 1985 and TIFA in 1987, establishing the base year.

DDA Tax Increment Financing and Development Plan - Amended 2017
Exhibit A
Appendix B
SEQ No Name Department Name
1.00 Ron Livengood Chair (December 31, 2026)
2.00 Jane Pacheco Council Member (November 2025)
3.00 Howard Merkel Board Member (December 31, 2025)
4.00 Stephanie Merkel Board Member (December 31, 2025)
5.00 Robert Mida Secretary (December 31, 2026)
6.00 Jason Povlich Board Member (December 31, 2026)
7.00 Michelle Tuplin Board Member (December 31, 2025)
8.00 Martin Colburn Staff Liaison