Insights

Uptown at River’s Edge Recognized by EPA as Brownfield Redevelopment Success

Unique $40 Million Public-Private Partnership Created 500 Jobs, Transformed a Michigan Skyline

The Uptown at River’s Edge project in Bay City has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding contributions to brownfields site redevelopment at the 2015 Brownfields Conference held in Chicago, IL.

The 43-acre Uptown riverfront redevelopment has radically changed a blighted and contaminated industrial site into a vibrant, new mixed-use urban environment. “Uptown is a truly transformational project that continues to positively change Bay City’s skyline,” said Steven Black, Chair of RiversEdge Development Corporation, a public-private partnership. To date, more than $40 million has been invested and over 500 jobs have been created. The redevelopment includes brownstones, condominiums, corporate offices, restaurants, a public riverwalk, and a marina. In addition, a hotel and medical facility are currently under construction.

The redevelopment effort was envisioned by RiversEdge Development Corporation, which ultimately selected Bay Riverfront Development to realize the transformation. “Successful economic development is a team effort and we’ve had a fantastic team,” Steve said. “The Shaheen family shared our vision and have again demonstrated their capabilities and their pride in our region.” Also working closely with the development team, including the City of Bay City and Bay Riverfront Development, were the teams of AKT Peerless and Warner Norcross & Judd who served as valued project partners.

Warner Norcross & Judd provided an array of legal and technical services that began with drafting the public-private partnership to form the RiversEdge Development Corporation. The firm also worked to option and market the property, completing significant risk management evaluations, negotiating purchase agreements, development agreements, and construction contracts, resolving title issues, and negotiating financial incentives totaling more than $49 million to make the project economically viable. “This project is the poster child for teamwork and perseverance,” said Kurt Brauer, partner with Warner Norcross & Judd, who led the firm’s efforts for the project.

AKT Peerless also contributed to the incentives package and provided environmental due diligence, abatement, specifications, and demolition. In addition, the group conducted extensive site remediation, from asbestos assessments to the cleanup of PCB contamination. “This visionary project turned a massive liability for the community into an incredible asset for the City of Bay City and the Great Lakes Bay Region,” said Brian Eggers, Co-Founder & Principal of AKT Peerless. “I’m proud to have contributed to this outstanding project and I’m equally proud of our entire development team.”

EPA Region 5 serves the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and 35 Tribes. For more information, visit their website at http://www.epa.gov/region5brownfields/.

About Rivers Edge Development Corporation

Formed in 2007, RiversEdge Development Corporation is a public-private partnership formed with the City of Bay City. This nine-member, non-profit board is focused on the redevelopment of challenged brownfield properties in the general vicinity of the Bay City, Michigan waterfront. Uptown at River’s Edge was the initial project of the RiversEdge Development Corporation.

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