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Village DDA to Seek Proposals for Marketing Evaluation, Plan

The Downtown Development Authority voted Monday to seek proposals for a marketing evaluation and plan for the Village.

The City of Grosse Pointe's Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, is searching for a marketing proposal that will include an evaluation of the marketing efforts to date as well as a potential plan for the future.

DDA members voted Monday for City Manager Pete Dame to put out a request for proposals related to marketing. The decision came after much discussion about the process thus far in trying to find a company to do the work, which has been in process for since the DDA officially took over some of the responsibilities of the Village Association.

The association served as the point of coordination and marketing for all events in the Village and was member-based, meaning only those stores who paid an annual fee were part.

Since the DDA is only associated with the Village, a decision was made last year to align the two so the DDA performs the marketing and event planning while the association will provide manpower, volunteers and communication among the members to the City, said President Mike Kramer, who owns Kramer's in the Village.

Under the DDA's operation, all of the stores and businesses located in the Village are a part of the organization. Currently, the association and DDA are trying to update all of the information for each business in the Village so the website may be updated to include everyone and so communication can happen with ease going forth, Kramer said.

Monday's vote of 6 to 1 in favor of a formal request for proposals is the result of much frustration felt by board members and Dame regarding the process to select a vendor. Dame received three proposals so far and had one present to the board last month.

The board wished to have more proposals presented, leading to Monday's vote and discussion. The only dissenting vote was city councilman Chris Walsh, who said he felt it was unnecessary to take such a formal approach. Walsh noted Dame's professional experience in seeking such professional services and the board's need to acknowledge that by allowing him to perform his duties and respecting the process.

A timeline developed Monday is set up so that Dame can return up to three of the best proposals from the total number submitted to the City for presentations before the board. The next meeting has been scheduled for April 8--a week later than normal due to spring break.

catherine clark March 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Ask each new business to march in Christmas Parade
GP For Life March 05, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Can you add some color to that, please?
catherine clark March 06, 2013 at 01:09 AM
How about a FULL service bridal salon? Gowns, tuxes, flowers, invitations. Borders spot is perfect.
GpGr67 March 06, 2013 at 01:46 PM
The City Council and Mayor need to start doing something different immediately to revive the Village and fill the vacancies. For years, they've operated on the "keep doing the same thing and expect different results" philosophy which hasn't work. We now have an entire empty block in the Village with no plans, and several other vacancies. Other business are suffering because there isn't enough walk-around traffic that was generated from Borders and Ace when they were open. And, the rents are too high and drive out businesses or keep them from coming in. How does Royal Oak, Birmingham, downtown Rochester, even Ferndale manage to thrive or at least keep evolving? How many studies are we going to do? Start doing something that gets results.
GP For Life March 06, 2013 at 02:15 PM
1. Populations of young people 2. Places for young people to hang out, i.e., nightlife 3. Better demorgraphics with more reasonable rents 4. Mix of retail/office
Sarah March 06, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I always thought that the vacated Jacobsons building was a perfect space to develop a two-floor Galleria of shops. It would have been a great location to have a variety of niche businesses that are too small to support their own space but offer unique items that would draw customers (perhaps a Reba's fudge satellite kiosk, Pewabic Pottery, art for sale managed by the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, small niche jewelry kiosks, etc). Although on one floor, the ACE hardware and Borders buildings seem perfect for this - great access to both buildings from the front and back, very walkable, great parking, increased traffic would likely benefit the rest of the Village businesses...
Tim Guthat March 06, 2013 at 05:02 PM
This topic seems to be coming up more and more. And significantly, comparing the Grosse Pointes to Birmingham and Royal Oak are often part of the conversation. Some want the Grosse Pointes to be more like those communities. Indeed, the Cottons are pretty open about their desire to turn Kercheval in the Park into a dinning/entertainment district like those in Birmingham, etc. But what does an "entertainment district", or "night life" look like? What do Birmingham, Royal Oak, and Ferndale have that the GPs don't? Well for a start, Birmingham has two movie theaters, Royal Oak has two movies theaters and live music venues, and Ferndale has "brew and view" at the Magic Bag - just to name a few. Could the Borders/Ace hardware building house a two-screen art house theater/screening room? Yes it could - I've been in art house theaters housed in smaller buildings. The question is, would Grosse Pointers want this? Or do most prefer the side walks rolled up at 9pm? The community needs to decide which way it wants to go. And since "night life" like an art house theater would require re-zoning (movie theaters are actually banned by Grosse Pointe Park ordinances), City council elections may be the place to have this conversation. Just my two cents.
Katie March 06, 2013 at 08:06 PM
It seems like every time the topic comes up the consensus has two competing variables: It's good for the community for the obvious reason that GP is Boooohrrrring and hypothetically would attract visitors, new home buyers and additional business as well. Realistically, unlike Birmingham, Royal Oak and Ferndale, GP is an island...as someone on an earlier post noted - surrounded by water and ghetto. The obvious solution is for each Pointe to hire more of our Finest and literally create a gated berlin wall type community with check points. Kind of a real bubble with awesome entertainment. Pray that Snyder appoints an EM. For GP and for the good residents and our neighbors and friends in Detroit that are stuck in the current Detroit. For the businesses in Detroit and the business growth that is beginning to occur…Time for all of us to take our neighborhoods and economies back and unload taxpayer funded and elected government junk.

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