Downtown Detroit BIZ

Business Improvement Zone (BIZ)

The Downtown Detroit Business (BIZ) is a public organization dedicated to enhancing the attractiveness and overall appeal of Downtown Detroit. It is a special assessment district that was authorized by a vote of property owners in 2014

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 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.

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.

Read the BIZ Bylaws here.

Click here for details about BIZ Events.

Downtown Detroit Map

Board of Directors

Steve Ogden


Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Rock Central

Steve Ogden is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Rock Central. 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 of Real Estate, General Motors Company

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.

Mike McLauchlan


Vice President of 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 Comerica’s local, state and federal government relations activities.

Richard J. Hosey III


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 P. Barnes, Jr.

Founder, Heritage Optical

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, City of Detroit (Retired)

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, 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.

J. Christopher Ferchill

Vice President of Development, 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 D. Forte

Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, and Chief Diversity Officer, Comerica Bank (Retired)

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.

Ken Hayward

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

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

Executive Member, 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

Executive, Atheneum Suite Hotel & Chair and 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 W. Phillips

Member and Shareholder, Phifer, Phillips & White, PC (Retired)

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

Vice President Corporate Services and 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.