Bay City, Michigan - page 4

Business View Magazine
part of the project and our pledge to the downtown
and the entire city,” he says. “A number of streets have
already been completed and the City plans on finish-
ing up the downtown in the next two to three years.
We’re also looking at all the other commercial areas in
the city, for the same thing. We’ve got four other busi-
ness areas in the city and each one of them is in the
process of being redone and repaved. We’ve upgraded
the street lights to LED. The rest will be done in the
next two years. And all of our commercial areas within
the next three to five years will all have LED lighting.”
Another major city project is the re-purposing of an old
industrial complex area near downtown - one with a
lot of abandoned buildings. “In 2009 the city moved
forward with a very bold plan to create a brownfield
redevelopment area. It functions like a TIF (Tax Incre-
ment Financing) district,” Finn explains. “That gave us
a funding source to come in and purchase the prop-
erties and then clean up the site. We used borrowed
funds that the city had obtained through bonding and,
working with a local development firm, Shaheen Devel-
opment, worked a plan out, where right now, it’s creat-
ed about 500 new jobs and it’s only half built out. The
money that’s coming into the city is actually exceeding
what we need to pay back the bonds – so that’s a very
positive thing. We still have half of the development to
build. We anticipate that if things continue, the devel-
opment will be built out within the next five to seven
years. It brings a lot of credibility to the things we’re
trying to accomplish here.”
Part of what Bay City wants to accomplish is a diverse
economic base that is not dependent upon one indus-
try or one major employer. “We have a GM plant and
it’s still functional and we are grateful for that. There
are about four or five hundred employees there,” Finn
says. “But, when GM was at its height years back,
there were three or four thousand employees at that
plant. We are looking at more diverse types of oppor-
tunities as we work towards more economic develop-
ment. We don’t just want to have one large employer
like we did. So, we’re not really looking for the two and
three-thousand job employer as much as we’re look-
ing for the hundred and two-hundred job opportunities
to come in and locate and stay for a long time. We pro-
vide various economic incentives to do that and we’re
seeing a lot of positive things starting to happen with
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