(10/02/12) - It's been one of the biggest questions in Bay City for two decades. What to do with 40-plus acres of Brownfield property along the Saginaw River?
It was last year when a development company signed a purchase agreement for the Uptown at RiversEdge property, now known as Uptown Bay City.
Now, that company is unveiling the first tenants for the project.
"Uptown Bay City is the phrase that I hope will become a household name in the Great Lakes Bay Region," said Sam Shaheen, of SSP Associates.
Uptown Bay City is scheduled to have new office buildings, retail space, restaurants, apartments and maybe a hotel conference center. SSP Associates, the developer of the project, has signed up three main tenants.
Dow Corning will lease corporate office space in a four-story building.
"It's an extraordinary piece of property, to find a piece of property that is ready to build on, that's on the riverfront in an urban environment in the Midwest, there are not a lot of them," said Don Sheets, Dow Corning vice president.
The plan is to have 400 employees at this new location.
"It will be a combination of jobs we relocate here, and new positions as well," Sheets said.
McLaren Bay Region will have a new building here as well.
"We want to build a medical staff office building," said Alice Gerard, McLaren Bay Region CEO. "Evaluating whether we want to build an ambulatory surgery center here."
Chemical Bank will, too.
"It's going to be a tremendous hub of activity," said David Ramaker, of Chemical Bank.
Shaheen says he believes retailers and restaurants will join the three main tenants in 2014.
"Some of that will happen at that same time," he said.
He says it's one more step in bringing more jobs to Mid-Michigan and keeping those employees here.
The vitality of a downtown is what helps recruit businesses that will employ people," he said.
Shaheen says construction on the first phase of Uptown Bay City should begin in the spring.
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