City of Ionia receives certification as Redevelopment Ready Community

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Designation facilitates private investment, improves economic development opportunities

LANSING, Mich. – For their efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and further build on municipality assets, the city of Ionia has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today.

The MEDC formally recognizes the city of Ionia as the 46th certified Redevelopment Ready Community in Michigan. Ionia joins communities in all corners of the state that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors. To see the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities, visit here.

“Though the RRC program, Ionia is well-positioned to implement and build upon their vision for the future of the community and deliver a strong quality of life for its residents,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development, Michele Wildman. “We are committed to helping grow vibrant communities and thriving downtowns across Michigan by empowering communities to build economic momentum through strong planning, zoning and development efforts. We look forward to continuing to work together with Ionia on these efforts.”

As an RRC participant, the city of Ionia received a comprehensive assessment that measured current community and economic development practices compared to RRC best practice standards. The program evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into economic development practices. Certification status is a compelling indicator that a community has removed development barriers and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.

To reach certification Ionia worked to improve upon numerous policies and processes. The city’s efforts are highlighted by developing an overarching economic development strategy, the creation of a public participation plan, and the development of flowcharts that clarify the steps in each of the city’s development review processes. The city’s efforts have produced high-quality documents and processes that will continue to generate value.

“Several years ago, our city administration formally recognized that while we had a vision for the future, we needed to do more to ensure that we had a plan in place to let others know of our desire to have community revitalization and our desire to attract and retain businesses, entrepreneurs, and talent to our community,” said Ionia Mayor Daniel Balice. “We discovered the Redevelopment Ready Communities Program and began to actively pursue certification under this program. While it has taken a significant amount of planning and work, it was a wonderful exercise that made us plan for new investment and reinvestment, identify assets and opportunities, and focus limited resources. To have been only the 46th community to obtain certification is a real feather in our cap, and will allow us to enjoy added benefits from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which will provide a springboard for our plans to make Ionia more attractive for projects that create a community where people want to live, work, and invest. We are extremely excited for this new phase in our community’s development and look forward to the benefits attendant to this certification.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.