The Monarch Building, an old power plant for the city's electric department, is one of several historic structures on the old Industrial Brownhoist site which may be saved in development of the city's RiversEdge project now in planning stages.
Major Destination Attraction Needed to Fund Future RiversEdge Development
Frankenmuth, Port Huron, Traverse City Among Models, Consultants Say
November 16, 2003
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By: Dave Rogers
They are Bay City's competition for tourist dollars.
They are also models for re-development on the city's waterfront.
They are Frankenmuth, Port Huron, Grand Haven, Traverse City, Bay Harbor, Mackinaw City and Kenoshaand Racine, Wisconsin.
These are the towns and resort developments studied by the Weitzman Group, consultants to the City of Bay City, in connection with planning for development of Uptown at RiversEdge.
The need for such a development was posited by the consultants as "challenges" faced by Bay City, including:
--The population is not expanding;
--The economic base is not growing;
--The seasonal climate is severe;
--Growth is outside the city; and
--Taxes are relatively high and the tax load does not compare favorably with the rest of the region.
As they outlined a massive project to provide a focal point for tourism and development on the riverfront, the consultants admitted that the region can't support such a large scale development.
"You are not a regional or statewide destination; you have limited retail and office development; and there is no market rate rental housing initiative since most of the real estate growth is targeted to upper income groups," said Mark L. Troen, senior vice president, introducing the interim report by the consulting group.
At the same time, said Troen, "Bay City is a very attractive community; it has an excellent image in the region; it is an affordable place to live and work; it is already a local destination; and, it is riverfront and water oriented."
Demographically, Bay City has a stable population and a diversity of age groups and household incomes distributed "rather evenly," said Troen.
"A regional initiative with major destination use is required to seed future phases of development," said Troen, adding: "Housing is critical and we need to involve real estate builders and developers who will be an important part of private sector development on the site."
Marilyn Kramer Weitzman is President of The Weitzman Group, Inc., a nationwide real estate consulting firm headquartered in New York City. She received Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the New York University School of Business Administration.
The firm employs 15 real estate professionals "providing real estate advice and counsel to those engaged in evaluating, buying, selling, leasing, financing or developing real estate." The firm's clientele includes major pension funds, money center banks, insurance companies, investment banking firms, and developers.
Mrs. Weitzman has been a principal in her own firm since 1981. She was formerly an Assistant Vice President of the Investment Services Division at Landauer Associates, Inc. in New York City.
The firm has evaluated majorproperties such as Rockefeller Center, One World Financial Center, One Liberty Plaza, Mall of America and the New York Hilton Hotel.
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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