Keeping the Doors Open: Commercial District Management Organizations

  •  Gary Sands    
  •  Laura Reese    
  •  Pierre Filion    


Commercial district organizations have been established to enhance public services, area appearance, security and economic viability. The research reported here examines two common models of commercial business district organizations, Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) in Michigan and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in Canada. DDAs and BIAs typically have similar operational profiles, including marketing campaigns, events to bring customers to the area, beautification projects and member services. There are important differences, however. Business development activities are a higher priority among BIAs while capital improvements are the highest priority for DDAs. A mature DDA may face the “problem” of determining how the available funds should be spent; BIAs must find funds for the projects that they wish to undertake.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.