About the Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ)

BIZ-statueEstablished by commercial property owners in April 2014, the Downtown Detroit BIZ will cultivate a vibrant neighborhood that builds on its history as the region’s premier walkable urban environment.  At the direction of Downtown’s business community, the BIZ will expand cleaning and hospitality services, helping to foster positive perceptions of Downtown Detroit.

 
The BIZ is an independent non-profit organization that is managed by the Downtown Detroit Partnership.  A Board of Directors consisting of 15 property owners, business leaders and civic partners governs the BIZ.  BIZ services, funded primarily by commercial property assessments, will supplement Detroit’s basic municipal services and fundamental property owner responsibilities.

BIZ Area and Budget

BIZ-boundary-with-transit-and-street-names

The BIZ encompasses the Detroit region’s historic urban core and serves the heart of the country’s 14th largest metropolitan area of 4.3 million residents. Approximately 140 city blocks encompass the BIZ’s 1.1 square mile area, stretching between three major highways, and the area between Rivard Street and Riverfront Drive along the Detroit River.

The BIZ is designed to generate an annual budget of $4M through assessment revenue that will be contributed by approximately 575 assessable commercial properties in the BIZ area. The City of Detroit remits annual revenues to the BIZ in October and in March following the receipt of summer property tax payments.

BIZ Assessments and Authorization

Assessments are calculated by applying an Assessed Value Rate to a property’s assessed value and a Floor Area Rate to a property’s floor area. The sum of these values represents the annual BIZ assessment. These rates are consistent throughout the 10-year life of the BIZ. Annual BIZ assessments cannot increase by more than 3% except in the cases of new construction, substantial rehabilitation or transfer of ownership. The maximum BIZ assessment is $150,000 on any individual property. Unpaid BIZ assessments are subject to collection action and lien. Non-assessable properties benefitting from BIZ services are requested to voluntarily contribute payments in lieu of assessments.

The BIZ Plan contains detailed information about BIZ assessment calculations. Legal background regarding BIZ authorization can be found in Michigan statute Chapter 2 of 1961 PA 120, MCL 125.990 to 125.990n.