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Schwartz Tells Chamber Eye Opener Group That Rivers Edge Project Is In Gear

January 15, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Josh Sharrow

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The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce recently held their Monthly Eye Opener Breakfast series January 10th at Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center.

The topic - Uptown at Rivers Edge.

Eric Jylha, Weather Reporter for WNEM TV 5, serves as Emcee for the Chamber Of Commerce Eye Opener Breakfast series. "This is an historic time in Bay City," said Jylha. "We are in a Renaissance time period, where as a community, we will re-invent ourselves," Jylha continued.

Karl Schwartz
Karl Schwartz, key note speaker for the Chamber Breakfast, is the Vice-President of Business Development for Dore & Associates. Schwartz also serves as Vice President of Rivers Edge Development Corporation (RDC) which is the private/public partnership organization instrumental in attracting economic activity at the Uptown at Rivers Edge Site.

The RDC is a group of business people who have made significant financial contributions to become a volunteer in this organization. "We knew we had a piece of property that needed to be nurtured," Schwartz told the Eye Opener gathering. "We couldn't let the focus on this piece of property go away," added Schwartz.

SSP & Associates Inc, led by the familiar Dr. Sam Shaheen, approached the RDC in 2011 with stellar development credentials. Shaheen's portfolio of successful ventures includes: $7 Million Dollar renovation of The Temple Theatre, Horizon's Conference Center and previous waterfront development on Washington St. in Downtown Saginaw.

"This is a big deal!" said Schwartz.

Phase One is planned in the form of a $25 Million Dollar, 100,000 square foot building that is touted with having the potential to add approximately 440 jobs to Bay City over a 5 year span.

Along with the first structure, plans include a boulevard circling the entire property, which will help serve as a grand entrance to Phase One.

"We're very sensitive to the asset we have," Schwartz went on. Regarding the waterfront, Schwartz added that plans also include development of a river walk connecting Downtown Bay City to the Uptown Site.

Dr. Sam Shaheen
Developers, SSP & Associates are also paying close attention to The Downtown Merchants and do not plan on trying to re-create the Downtown Area, but more importantly are trying to ensure that River's Edge is compatible with those current merchants.

The plans on the drawing board for future infrastructure will include streets, sewer lines, water lines, sidewalks & river walks. "The tax-payers will not be responsible for the building of this infrastructure," said Schwartz

"The sale proceeds from the property, government grants and a bond taken out by the city will be used to finance the infrastructure," Schwartz added.

In a recent MyBayCity article by Dave Rogers, Dr. Shaheen was quoted as saying, "Over the next five to ten years, Uptown at RiversEdge will enhance riverfront activity in Bay City, and will continue to bring statewide attention to the Great Lakes Bay Region," said Dr. Samuel Shaheen.

Shaheen added, "This will be a development the entire community can take pride in."

Proposed Rivers Edge Development Plan -- Courtesy of City of Bay City.

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Josh Sharrow

Sharrow is the Sales Manager, columnist, writer, coffee maker for O.J. Advertising and an on-air personality for 98 KCQ.

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