Holland’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was established in 1978, with Downtown receiving “Main Street” designation in 1984. In 1989 the DDA Board and Main Street Committee merged, with a single board guiding Downtown public policies and management.
The board has worked toward securing comprehensive public and private support for Downtown revitalization, stressing historic preservation within the context of economic development, striving towards innovation, and pursuing creative ways to plan for Downtown's physical and organizational development. Downtown Holland is seen nationally as one of the most successful Downtown revitalization programs in the country and received a Great American Main Street Award in 1997.
DDA staff currently consists of a director and assistant, with many committees and task forces set up to review and make recommendations on Downtown issues. Through the DDA Board, many of DDA’s recommendations and management decisions are passed along in some way to City Council or the City Manager’s office for review and/or approval.
Downtown Development Authority legislation was created through a public act by the State of Michigan in 1975. DDA’s were established as a vehicle to combat economic decline in urban areas, with powers quite broad including economic analysis, strategic study, planning and implementation, construction and maintenance of public facilities and improvement and/or acquisition of land or property. DDA funds are received through an assessment on property within the district, i.e. property owners.