DDA Buys DeVos Place Bond Deal

November 19, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS—Going around the horn with Tinker, Evers and Chance, baseball's immortalized double-play combo, would be considered amateur's work compared to mapping the route the latest Downtown Development Authority bond issue took.

But City Fiscal Services Director, soon to be County Fiscal Services Director, Robert White made running the course look like just another day in the dugout.

Players involved in the fiscal round-tripper are the DDA, the City Commission, the City-County Building Authority, the Convention and Arena Authority and Kent County. And that's just the first round.

Then the DDA runs the financial bases again with the county, the city goes to bat for the DDA with the county, and the DDA agrees to let the city score some tax-increment dollars to pay the county for the bonds because the county has the area's highest batting average in the bond-market league.

"Kent County will use its Triple A credit rating to get the lowest interest rate possible," said White.

DDA members didn't say much, but they did marvel at the path White carved out.

The bonds should go to market in January.

The $5 million bond package marks the second monetary donation the DDA has made to the DeVos Place construction project.

The bond package brings the agency total contribution to $10 million for the new $220 million convention center.

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