Uptown Bay City's first tenant moves in, more on the way - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Uptown Bay City's first tenant moves in, more on the way

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BAY CITY (WJRT) - (08/04/14) - A once empty piece of land in Bay City is getting a new lease on life.

Monday, the first tenant inside the Uptown Bay City development opened for business. The new Dow Corning Business Services Center comes with quite the view.

"It is amazing. There's really not a bad view," said Dow Corning Change Management leader, Amy Sanborn.

The roughly 100,000 square foot building sits right along the Saginaw River, and you can see the river from three sides inside the building. You can also see the historic City Hall, the Dow Bay Area Y and parts of downtown.

Many of the employees came from the Dow Corning corporate headquarters in Bay County's Williams Township.

"A lot of time in our other work space, you'd go a whole day and wouldn't know that it thunderstormed or it snowed," Sanborn said.

The view is just one aspect of this building that is getting rave reviews from employees. They're also pretty excited about the open space design.

Right now, about 310 employees are at the building, but the building can hold up to 425.

Most of them work in human resources, information technology and project management. They are the problem solvers, so when something goes wrong, the new open space concept allows them to get together and brainstorm easier.

"Having that open space and open feeling in the workspace makes it a lot easier for us to be able to have those conversations that we need to have," said Dow Corning human resource generalist Laurie Shell.

Another big plus, according to the Dow Corning workers, is the close proximity to downtown. It's easy to run errands before or after work, and even on lunch.

There's even a new bus route that runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will take Uptown Bay City workers, downtown.

"Maybe 5 minutes to get down to Heather's on Third Street and they picked us up and brought us back," said Sanborn, who used the service on her first day.

All these amenities are meant to give a better quality of life to current and future workers.          

"What actually I am really excited about too is from an HR perspective and recruiting top talent to the area and to Dow Corning, is being able to showcase a building like this and the city center, and more things to do will be more appealing to, especially the younger generation just coming out of college," Sanborn said.

Soon they won't have to go far, if they don't want to.

"It's supposed to be warm, professional, inviting," said Jack Rechsteiner, who is opening The Fix. It's a coffee shop that will go in the second of several buildings at Uptown Bay City.

Rechsteiner and a business partner are working on the shop.

"Being able to come in here and see that they got the brick put up or that they're starting to sand down the floors, it's really exciting to see it all come together," Rechsteiner said.

The 19-year-old is new to business ownership, but not new to the coffee trade. His family has owned coffee shops, and he recently spent time in Chicago taking classes about coffee.

Rechsteiner said he wants to learn as much as he can about "coffee culture".

A restaurant, salon, Chemical Bank and residential lofts will fill out the second building along with The Fix.

While it's just the framework now, the building will soon become Rechsteiner's dream coffee shop.

"Hopefully they'll see a community. That's what I want people to see is a group of people that are all in this together," Rechsteiner said.

Rechsteiner doesn't have an exact opening date, as construction is still ongoing, but he's hoping to start serving coffee late this month.

Uptown Bay City is being built by SSP Associates based in Saginaw.
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