Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority

Roger Hewitt
Roger Hewittt / Red Hawk

This week's "Art and Soul" is about the culinary arts.  This week, Lisa Barry talks with the owner of the Red Hawk restaurant in Ann Arbor, Roger Hewitt, about the many challenges of staying in business and moving forward as an independently owned and operated restaurant during a global health crisis.

State of Michigan /

It was just over a year ago that residents of Michigan were told to “stay home...stay safe” by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, otherwise referred to as “lockdown” by some people due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor city administrator Tom Crawford to find out what impact that has had on the city and what else has been going on in City Hall as work continues, despite the global health crisis.

Susan Pollay
Susan Pollay

Susan Pollay has been executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority since 1996.  She decided to step down from that position at the end of this year and talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about how she has seen the city change and grow in her 24 years in the position.


The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has released findings from a Healthy Streets pilot project it implemented in September to create more space for social distancing during the pandemic.  

Ann Arbor DDA

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, also known as the DDA, has made changes to its 15-minute, curbside carryout parking spaces customers are using during the pandemic.  

Ann Arbor
Kellie Bambach

On the pavement at the intersection of Main and Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor, there is a very large mural as part of an initiative by the Ann Arbor DDA and The Arts Alliance.  Lisa Barry and Omari Rush talk to one of the artists who created the mural, Kellie Bambach, who explains that, during this time of uncertainty, they wanted to bring a little bit of "nature" and color to the urban space and remind everyone that we can be #AllTogetherOutside. 

City of Ann Arbor

The weekend street closures in Ann Arbor that provided additional outdoor space for businesses during COVID-19 have ended.  

Ann Arbor Healthy Streets Project Has Concluded

Nov 5, 2020
City of Ann Arbor

The City of Ann Arbor's Healthy Streets pilot project has ended.

City of Ann Arbor

After a controversial discussion Monday night, Ann Arbor City Council approved a resolution that directs the city attorney to make public a 2019 city memo on whether city council has the authority to dissolve the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.  

City of Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti’s City Council will begin discussing Tuesday night how the city wants to plan for trick or treating this year during COVID-19. 

City of Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority was caught by surprise when they learned that Ann Arbor’s city council will discuss two resolutions tonight to consider dissolving the DDA.  

Ann Arbor
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

When the Ann Arbor city council meets tonight, there will be two recently added resolutions on the agenda concerning the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.

Kathy Griswold, along with councilwoman Anne Bannister, are the council members who are sponsoring the resolutions.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Kathy Griswold about her intentions concerning the DDA and what she hopes the resolutions will bring about.

Ann Arbor
Maura Thomson / Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority

Between a declaration from the governor and an extension of street closures, downtown Ann Arbor is expected to remain busy despite the continuing pandemic.

WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with the executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, Susan Pollay, about the latest efforts to keep the downtown area safely active during our current global health crisis.

Natsume Ono

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority thinks our streetscapes can be much more fun and have asked artists to help us reimagine our downtown spaces.  Deb and David talk with Natsume Ono, a member of the Studio Kaleidoscape team, who recently pained a streetscape at South State Street and North University as part of the ReVIVE All Zones project.  Hear their conversation on "creative:impact" here.

City of Ann Arbor

The City of Ann Arbor is working with the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to reconfigure some city streets for 90 days.  

City of Ann Arbor

The City of Ann Arbor may close more streets in the downtown area to allow businesses to expand their operations outdoors during the pandemic for social distancing.  

City of Ann Arbor

Various streets in downtown Ann Arbor have closed to vehicle traffic to allow restaurants, bars, and retail businesses to offer patio services because of COVID-19.  

Micah Bartelme
Micah Bartelme

As Ann Arbor bars and restaurants prepare to reopen after being closed by the pandemic since mid-March, things will definitely be different.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Micah Bartelme, principal and CEO of BarStar Group, which owns and operates several Ann Arbor area bars and restaurants, including Nightcap, LoFi, and Babs Underground in the downtown area.  Also a board member of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, he talks about the far-reaching effects the global health crisis has had on the Ann Arbor restaurant scene.

November Election 2018: Ann Arbor's 'Proposal A'

Nov 2, 2018
Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

Passion and politics. Development versus preservation.  Controversy, divisiveness, and even litigation.  All of it surrounds a relatively small parcel of land in downtown Ann Arbor.  What happens next with the so-called “Library Lot” will be decided on November 6th.  89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan has more on Ann Arbor’s Proposal A.

"Library Lot" Panel Discussion Held In Ann Arbor

Oct 25, 2018
Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Over 130 people attended a panel discussion held at the downtown Ann Arbor Public Library branch Thursday night.  Proposal A, which will appear on the November 6th ballot in the City of Ann Arbor, was the topic of discussion.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan attended and has the story.

Voter Registration
Mary Morgan / CivCity Initiative

October 9th is the voter registration deadline for this year's midterm elections, but there's still time to get signed up.  Voter registration events, ballot initiative panels, and upcoming meetings in Ann Arbor government are the topics of discussion in this week's "Civic Matters" with WEMU's David Fair and the CivCity Initiative's Mary Morgan.

Susan Pollay
Susan Pollay

Downtown Ann Arbor has become a major hub for the art scene, and it takes a lot of work maintaining that ideal.  Susan Pollay, executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, talks to WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich about the efforts Ann Arbor takes to keep public art thriving in this week's "creative:impact."

Courtesy Photo / Transforming Justice Washtenaw-

There are plenty of ways to participate in local civics this week.  Tonight, Ann Arbor City Council is prepared to vote on formation of a task force to create an oversight board for the police department.  Join WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan, executive director of the CivCity Initiative, for a discussion on that and other important topics in this week's edition of "Civic Matters." 

Every Monday morning, the executive director of the CivCity Initiative joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation on topics pertinent to Washtenaw County and the city of Ann Arbor.  Mary Morgan will provide news, analysis, commentary and explain the various ways residents can become more engaged.

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority
Courtesy Photo /

Ann Arbor's South University Area is getting some improvements.   


The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has released a study that indicates that more parking is needed in downtown. 

City of Ann Arbor Logo
City of Ann Arbor /

A proposal to increase the hours of parking meter enforcement in downtown Ann Arbor is causing a stir online and in the community today.

Wikimedia Commons

Ann Arbor's City Council and the Downtown Development Authority will discuss possible modifications to their parking agreement tonight.  

City of Ann Arbor Logo
Ann Arbor District Library /

Ann Arbor City Council will host a working session tonight.  

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority
Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority /

Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has started focusing on what it can do to improve the city in 2016.