Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone

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The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) creates a clean, safe, and vibrant Downtown through services provided to property owners, businesses, residents and employees. The BIZ works in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The team is dedicated to enhancing the overall appeal of the Downtown Detroit Central Business District. BIZ services include hospitality, cleaning, a robust lighting program, safety, parks maintenance, urban planning and business outreach and engagement that benefits Downtown patrons, visitors and stakeholders.

The BIZ is led by a volunteer Board of Directors who represent the community of dedicated property owners. The BIZ Board contracts with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to manage its day-to-day operations.

The BIZ Board of Directors is a public body that complies with Michigan’s BIZ law, 1961 PA 120, MCL 125.990 to 125.990n, as amended, and follows the City of Detroit’s process for BIZ assessment collection. We share the essentials about the BIZ budget, BIZ Plan, and City process for you here.

Who is the BIZ

2020-2021 Annual Report in Video

BIZ Fast Facts 2020-2021

615

Tons of trash removed.

13,227

Motorists and pedestrians assisted.

2,022

Instances of graffiti removed.

BIZ District Map

In support of our commitment to transparency, all official records that relate to the BIZ can be found here.

The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone is funded completely through a special assessment paid by owners of assessable property within the BIZ boundaries. Defined in The BIZ Plan, assessable properties are exclusively taxable properties. Tax-exempt, . . .

As a matter of policy, the BIZ allocates less than 20% of revenue on administration. More than 80% of the funds collected from property owners go directly to providing services to our stakeholders.

The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone provides support and resources to Detroit businesses, opportunities to network, as well as in-depth economic and market analysis.

Small businesses are critical to the growth and economic health of a Downtown. The BIZ works to support this community and step in when a need arises. Small Business Spotlights take a snapshot in time . . .

The BIZ Ambassador Team works hard to keep Downtown clean, beautiful and welcoming to all. About 90 percent of the team are Detroit residents whose hard work and pride for their community does not go . . .

BIZ Board of Directors

The BIZ is led by a volunteer Board of Directors who represent the community of dedicated property owners. The BIZ Board contracts with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to manage its day-to-day operations.

Steve Ogden

Executive Board Chair

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs - Rocket Companies

STEVE OGDEN is the Vice President of State and Local Government Affairs at Quicken Loans. Ogden leads a small team of people focused on strategy development, policy creation and engagement for the organization. Prior to his current role, Ogden played a significant role, leading initiatives throughout the family of companies, specifically as a Director of Corporate & Government Affairs at Rock Ventures and as the Director of Real Estate Development for Bedrock Real Estate Services (Bedrock).

Debra Homic Hoge

Vice Chair

Global Director, Real Estate - General Motors

Debra Homic Hoge is the global director of real estate at GM and is responsible for the acquisition, disposition and redevelopment of corporate real estate throughout the world. GM's portfolio consists of over 335 million square feet. She maintains a State of Michigan Brokers License, and has also received a Master of Corporate Real Estate (MCR) designation from CoreNet, a global real estate consortium where she now serves on the Global Board of Directors.

Michael McLauchlan

Secretary

Vice President Government Relations - Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

Mike McLauchlan is the Vice President of Government Relations and joined Ilitch Holdings, Inc. in 2008. McLauchlan has spent more than 26 years building strong relationships at all levels of the community. Previously, he was senior vice president and manager of government relations for Comerica Incorporated. There he was responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of Comeric's local, state and federal government relations activities.

Richard Hosey

Treasurer

President/Founder - Hosey Development LLC

Richard J. Hosey III's real estate experience entails development, consulting, financing and asset management of more than 80 projects totaling over $2.75 billion in development costs. Hosey Development is currently developing a 25-unit market rate multifamily loft development in Midtown Detroit in the former Tushiyah United Hebrew School and co-developing 1212 Griswold, 1145 Griswold and 1249 Griswold into 240 units of market rate loft apartments and 80,000 square feet of office and commercial space in Downtown Detroit.

George Barnes

Executive Committee Member

Founder - Heritage Optical Center

Active in the Detroit community since 1975, George P. Barnes, Jr. is the founder of Heritage Optical Center, Inc. and Heritage Vision Plans, Inc. (HVP). Heritage Optical Center, Inc. is Michigan's first African-American-owned and operated full service optical dispensary and today comprises three Detroit retail locations. HVP is a full-service vision benefit plan management company which manages and administers vision programs for a range of national public and private clients utilizing the HVP national provider network.

Charles Beckham

Group Executive for Neighborhoods (Retired) - City of Detroit

Charles Beckham served as the Group Executive for Neighborhoods, where he oversaw the Detroit’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department and the Department of Neighborhoods. Having served at an executive level over five administrations over the last 40+ years, Beckham has also runs his own management consulting firm, held numerous engineering management positions at General Motors Company and co-founded and served as Executive Director of the African American Association of Businesses Contractors.

David Di Rita

Principal - The Roxbury Group

David Di Rita serves as the principal at the Roxbury Group. Di Rita is actively involved in real estate development projects as well as its advisory work with corporate, governmental and nonprofit clients. The Roxbury Group has advanced numerous development projects in greater Downtown Detroit, including the Auburn, the David Whitney Building, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Activity Center, and the Griswold.

Chris Ferchill

President - The Ferchill Group

As the President of Development for The Ferchill Group, J. Christopher Ferchill partnered with his father to complete the $180 million rehabilitation of the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel and Residences in 2008. As an owner of the hotel, Ferchill maintains direct involvement in hotel operations. In addition, Ferchill opens and operates Michael Symon's Roast in the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, noted as one of the country's best steak restaurants.

Linda Forte

Member-at-Large

Retired - Comerica Bank

Linda D. Forte served as the senior vice president of Business Affairs and chief diversity officer for Comerica Bank. She was responsible for defining and driving business strategies that establish Comerica as a leader in diversity and work life practices and has achieved national recognition for the bank’s diversity efforts. Forte also was responsible for the Comerica Charitable Foundation, Corporate Contributions and Civic Affairs, overseeing corporate giving and community involvement programs.

Rainy Hamilton

President - Hamilton Anderson Associates

Rainy Hamilton, Jr. is a native Detroiter and graduate of the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Architecture. Rainy has a comprehensive understanding of the design industry and has built a national practice that has created award winning designs in the areas of entertainment/hospitality, higher education, residential and recreational facilities. He has a keen ability to quickly develop design solutions, organize and solve complex issues and craft solutions that are environmentally responsible and financially feasible.

Kenneth Hayward

Executive Committee Member

Vice President, Special Assistant to the President for Community Relations - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Ken Hayward joined the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan team in January 2021 and is responsible for leading and directing the company’s social mission and community affairs functions. Prior to joining Blue Cross, Ken spent over 35 years representing the iconic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, as executive vice president and managing director.

Christos Moisides

None

400 Monroe Associates

Christos Moisides is a Detroit based real estate developer, restaurateur and entrepreneur. As an executive member in the family owned Detroit development and management company, 400 Monroe Associates, Christos oversees the real estate holdings and management of nearly 3 million square feet of commercial, mixed-use, hospitality and industrial property. With a family company that has been real estate developers in Detroit for over 40 years, Christos utilizes his relationships in the private and public sector to manage all his projects especially with local, state and federal incentives. Christos was also an accomplished Cinematographer for over 20 years and has used his keen eye and artistic sensibility towards all of his developments. Christos is a board member of the Wayne County Sheriff Youth; Senior Education Fund as well as a Mayoral appointee on the Detroit Entertainment Commission.

Athina Papas

Member-at-Large

Chair & President - Greektown Neighborhood Partnership

Athina Papas is an Executive at the Atheneum Suite Hotel and Chair and President of the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership, Greektown’s community and economic development nonprofit organization. With longstanding roots in Downtown, her family’s legacy has helped shape our Central Business District through real estate development and management, hospitality, and small business. Papas also serves on the Boards of the Wayne County Airport Authority and Hellenic Museum of Michigan.

Dwight Phillips

Attorney - Phifer, Phillips & White

A native Detroiter, Dwight W. Phillips was a practicing attorney and shareholder in the law firm of Phifer, Phillips & White, P.C. The firm has been located in Downtown Detroit since its inception in 1981. Phillips was also the managing partner of Annis Historic Properties, P. C, which purchased and developed the L.B. King Building in 1986.

Tony Tomczak

Executive Committee Member

Vice President Corporate Services & Chief Procurement Officer - DTE Energy

Tony Tomczak is the vice president of Corporate Services and Chief Procurement Officer for DTE Energy. Tomczak is responsible for strategic management of the company's procurement, supplier performance management, warehousing, fleet, facilities and real estate organizations. In addition, he leads implementation of environmental sustainability projects within DTE's buildings, fleet vehicles and supply chain. He is also responsible for the company's local and diverse supplier initiatives.

Community Partners

Property Owners

The BIZ represents 581 properties and individuals, who own a building or property, ranging from commercial to residential.

Businesses

The BIZ works directly with Downtown business owners to provide resources, information, and services to support their company.

Employees

With over 75,000 employees in Downtown, the BIZ manages the day-to-day appearance of the urban core.

Residents

The Downtown neighborhood continues to grow, with over 6,900 residents. The BIZ gives residents a clean, safe, and vibrant Downtown.

Visitors

Events Downtown are flourishing and are expanding. The BIZ keeps the Downtown inviting to visitors from around the globe.

News & Insights

Recent BIZ News

Find out what's happening inside the Business Improvement Zone.

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Downtown Detroit Perceptions Survey

April 8, 2022

Downtown Detroit Perceptions Survey

The 2022 Downtown Detroit Perceptions Survey is ready and needs your input! This biannual survey aims to gather input from people who live in, work in, and visit Detroit and use . . .

Downtown Detroit Partnership Introduces New Website and “Insider’s Guide” Mobile Application

May 21, 2014

Downtown Detroit Partnership Introduces New Website and “Insider’s Guide” Mobile Application

Website & Mobile Guide Helps Locals, Visitors Explore Downtown Detroit DETROIT— May 21, 2014 — The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) today introduced a refreshed website and the Detroit Insider’s Guide . . .

Downtown Detroit Property Owners Approve Business Improvement Zone Catalyzing Downtown Revitalization

April 16, 2014

Downtown Detroit Property Owners Approve Business Improvement Zone Catalyzing Downtown Revitalization

Detroit – It was announced, today, that Downtown Detroit property owners have voted to create a Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), passing with 86% approval. The announcement came from the Downtown . . .

Downtown Detroit Partnership Brings More Placemaking To Urban Core; Basketball Court Opens In Cadillac Square

September 17, 2013

Downtown Detroit Partnership Brings More Placemaking To Urban Core; Basketball Court Opens In Cadillac Square

The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) today announced it is bringing more placemaking to the city’s urban core, including a new basketball court that will open this week in Cadillac Square . . .

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Additional Information

The BIZ is guided by rules set out in a BIZ Plan and governed by a Board of Directors. On April 15, 2014, property owners approved the Downtown BIZ Plan, which establishes a formula for BIZ assessment calculations, rules for governing the election of Board members, and the scope of projects the BIZ will undertake. The BIZ charges the BIZ Board of Directors, a volunteer group of Downtown leaders, with the responsibility of creating a budget that aligns with the BIZ service delivery goals and needs. The BIZ Plan is valid for ten years.

Contact the DDP

We welcome and encourage your feedback and questions. Let us know if you have a comment, suggestion, or concern. We’re here to help!

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