www.mybaycity.com January 10, 2012
Rotary Article 6651

Bay City's Steve Black Speaks on Uptown At Rivers Edge Property

January 10, 2012
By: Stephen Kent

Steve Black - Bay City
Steve Black, Deputy City Manager for Community Development, shared some information about the redevelopment of the Uptown at Riversedge property, the location of the former Industrial Brownhoist (IB) company.

In the 1930's the IB site was classical heavy industry. "Big cranes were build there; Panama Canal cranes; cranes so big that when they tested them they actually reached across the river and touched the West Side." The entire site was covered with buildings, train tracks, and heavy equipment. The long industrial history of the site goes back 140 years to the lumber era.

The City took title to the property in 2002. After several attempts to go to market, the city regrouped and came up with a strategy for a non-profit, public/private partnership called the Riversedge Development Corp. (RDC), which was authorized in 2007. Over 23 businesses invested in the new corporation and many prominent leaders serve the RDC.

The RDC structure combined the best of both worlds. The public side has the ability to tap various grant programs and has various legal powers. The private sector brings market expertise and their understanding of what does and doesn't work in the current economy.

The project followed two strategies: remove barriers to redevelopment and to market the property. The City took lead to remove barriers. It would do the environmental cleanup, demolition, public infrastructure, and would collect information to be posted on the web. RDC took the lead on marketing, investigating potential uses and investors. As a public entity the city had access to laws, regulations and certain grants. As a private corporation, REDC could conduct negotiations in private.

RDC took a "deep dive" on numerous ideas and studied land uses around the country including markets, water parks. In 2008 they took delivery of the parcel but it turned out that the timing was terrible. That year the economic world changed. What had been viable no longer was.

RDC hired consultants, many formerly with Dow, to help. At the end of 2010 they engaged national real estate broker CBRE and specifically Bruce Rasher, formerly of Dow.

Although everyone wanted to reuse the remaining buildings that just didn't work and most were eventually demolished. Thanks to the price of steel, the three largest buildings actually netted over $11,500 profit for the city. Other grants include MEDC money for the 11th Street Boulevard and a million dollars from the EPA.

A year ago the RDC strategy and hard work paid off when they entered an agreement with Dr. Samuel Shaheen's SSP Associates, Inc. of Saginaw. SSP is knows for work in Saginaw including the Temple Theater and for recent developments across from City Hall.

"The Deal", based on complex negotiations held in confidence since February 2011, includes an initial $25M investment and 440 jobs. The property will be purchased for $3.3M. SSP has a detailed vision for the entire site.

Black outlined the plans for the site and the cash flow plan for the project. He went over the purchase agreement plans, timeline, and funding. Among the first steps are infrastructure improvements and Brownfield remediation. The city will also work with Consumers Power to relocate the elevated power lines underground and under the river.

The RDC is composed of local businesses and business leaders. None of these participants stand to make a killing off the project. To date there have been almost no cost. Grants have paid for 11th street. Demolition made money rather than cost the city. The RDC is a Public/Private Partnership established as a 501c4 corporation. Most development will be done largely with private funds and bonds.

For more information visit www.baycitymi.org and www.riverfrontbaycity.com Also see Rivers Edge Talking Points PDF


Kevin Alaya receives Paul Harris
Congratulations and thanks to Paul Harris recipients who were recognized today for first time or continuing support. Those members included: Tom Birch, Kevin Alaya, Bob Chadwick, and Andreas Teich.

The club held it's monthly board meeting Tuesday. Patti Stowell from the City talked to the board about the Way Finding project and Rotary recognition on the signs. Although the state will not allow club recognition on the city entrance signs, as proposed, the city has jurisdiction over in-town signs. Rotary's contributions will be features on all of these signs giving greater coverage than anticipated.

Lee Newton announced that the date for International Night is being set for 2011. The first organizational meeting will be held before the regular meeting on January 24. Committee members and interested parties are welcomed!

With the help of Jenna Schrumpf the club plans to start a Face Book web page. More information will be posted when that happens.

Vocational Days Chair Griff Acker said "I know you guys always do this to me" then went on to say that Vocational Days are Tuesday March 13 and March 27. Assignments are being handed out in 3 weeks so commitments are needed ASAP! Bay Med will take students on the 13th and Delta College will take the 27th. Additional places are needed for other job shadowing students. There are six schools so it would help if groups of six students work well.

Dues invoices for the first half of 2011 were mailed recently. The Club's board change the dues structure to no longer require pre-paying a portion of the meals. Two options are offered: Option 1 calls for payment of dues only. Meals are paid at the door. Option 2 allows pre-payment of the full meal cost must as it is now.
Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center

Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at RotaryBayCity.org )

January 17, 2011: Rob Clark will talk about recent changes with local Media groups MLive.com and the Bay City Times.

January 24, 2011: George Puia, Chair in Global Business at SVSU will speak about the European economy and its impact on the US.

January 31, 2011: John Decker and Ellen Crane from Braun Kendrick PLC, will talk about Social media in the workplace (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and the impact on the work place. What are the emerging issues, trends and claims.

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RotaryBayCity.org BayCityMorningRotary.com
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The Rotary Global History Fellowship rotaryfirst100.org
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