After several training sessions, the Richmond Hill Downtown Development Authority held its first official meeting Tuesday, electing officers and discussing what its first project will be.
The DDA was created by a city council resolution in December and is charged with developing and promoting the city’s central business district. The DDA boundaries run the length of Highway 144 and U.S. 17 within the city and includes the commercial centers at exits 87 and 90 of I-95.
DDA members appointed by city council are:
• Eddie Warren, co-owner of Re/Max Accent Real Estate;
• Brad Brookshire, Ameris Bank executive;
• Catherine Grant, partner of Richmond Hill Urgent Care Center;
• Georgene Brazer, city resident;
• Paige Glazer, owner of Richmond Hill Reflections magazine;
• Dallas Daniel, owner of Plantation Lumber; and
• Jan Bass, City Council member.
Assistant City Manager Scott Allison said state law places very strict requirements on who can be appointed to a DDA.
“They have to have some vested economic interest in the success of the downtown area that is designated,” he said. “They have to own or operate a business in the area or be a resident of the city.”
The DDA elected Brookshire to serve as chair, Brazer as vice chair and Warren as secretary/treasurer. The group also approved its bylaws, which call for meetings at 8:15 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. The meetings are open to the public, and several members said they hope to garner interest from other residents and business owners to attend meetings and possibly serve on advisory committees when needed.
“I’ve had some people ask me if we are going to focus more on showcasing businesses or on infrastructure,” Brookshire said. “Our role is to focus on the infrastructure so that the Chamber of Commerce can continue to spotlight Richmond Hill, put on events and market the area.”
One of the first things the board will look at is contracting with a graphic design company to create a logo that can be used on everything from gateway and entry signage to streets signs in order to designate commerce areas within the DDA.
The board will also begin to talk about streetscape projects in the future that will help connect various business districts and give the DDA area a sense of uniformity.