What's next for Bay City?

The new Uptown Bay City development is on the move. Dow Corning has arrived in Uptown Bay City. So when you head to there for a bite to eat, or a trip to the market, expect new faces. Scads of of them.
The much-anticipated move is finished--300 employees began work at Dow Corning's Uptown Bay City offices on August 4.

Kristy Folkwein, Dow Corning's senior vice president and chief information officer of Global Business Services, is pumped about it.

"Dow Corning is proud to call the Great Lakes Bay Region home. We are committed to seeing this area grow and flourish," she says. "Our involvement in the Uptown Bay City development further demonstrates our commitment to economic development in the regions where our employees live and work.

"We're excited for our employees to experience the benefits of Bay City and all that this new, collaborative workspace offers."

Uptown Bay City is a mixed-use development, with corporate offices, retail stores, residential condominiums, and restaurants. Its development company, Shaheen Development, is a family-owned, Saginaw-based real estate development firm that focuses on promoting growth and redevelopment within the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan.

The head of Shaheen Development proudly concurs.

"I know the people who already live, work and play in Bay City will welcome this new group of people," says the firm's president, Dr. Samuel Shaheen. "We are all proud of our region and excited for all the possibilities that Uptown brings to Bay City."

Dow Corning's Business Services Center at Uptown was designed to supply employees with an open-office work environment--created specifically to encourage greater collaboration, inspiration and productivity, while taking advantage of the latest technologies.

"Dow Corning, with its long history and roots in the Great Lakes Bay Region continues its commitment to our community by choosing to advance their business goals as residents of Uptown," says Pete Shaheen, VP of Shaheen Development.

The city is helping out with connecting the new businesses to the community, too. A whole new extension of the Bay City Riverwalk now runs along the Uptown Bay City development on the Saginaw River side, complete with day docks for boaters. Once another small section is finished, it will connect into the main Riverwalk system. That section should be done next summer with the help of grants, according to some recent Mlive reporting.

So many more Bay City-based folks. Workers and visitors--they'll need more places to work, rest and dine, too, right?

No problem. Other occupants include a new coffee shop called The Fix, an Aveda Salon, and several new restaurants in Uptown.

Uptown Grill, earlier targeted for a September debut, is now preparing, with pre-opening specials, for an eatery that will be open soon, although the date hasn't yet been nailed down.  
Uptown Grill will be, according to owner Vince Stuart, an upscale breakfast and lunch venue with dishes such as sweet potato pancakes topped with brown sugar and walnuts, avocado-topped omelets and a garden quiche, which is a zesty combination of onions, red peppers, fresh spinach, tomatoes and three cheeses.
Craving something more traditional? How about a BLT? A salmon BLT is among the lunch selections--it's a wild-caught salmon sandwich with apple wood bacon, lettuce and tomato all dressed up with a cusabi dressing on a grilled ciabatta roll. Sorta traditional, right?
That's quite a dish … especially accompanied by a soup like the butternut squash bisque (created with curry, roasted red peppers and smoked Gouda cheese) among soups offered daily.

"High-end class with a twist," Stuart calls it--the twist being reasonably priced meals and what promises to be an incredible atmosphere with chandeliers dangling from the ceilings and a décor of polished mahogany throughout.
"It's not a Mom and Pop-type breakfast place," he says. "It's completely different. It's elegant and very beautiful. Uptown Grill is a beautiful restaurant with a unique menu and decent prices. 

Stuart is also the well-known proprietor of the Stockpot Diner in downtown Bay City, which he has operated for 25 years.
If you're more in the mood for more surf than turf, you'll have to wait a bit for a menu selection that may include dishes of lobster, crab, cold water oysters, escargot in garlic butter, and Alaskan king crab legs. The Real Seafood Co. is now slated for an opening at Uptown Bay City in the spring of 2015 after a hard-winter delay.  
Other businesses joining the Uptown development, according to Shaheen Development, include McLaren Bay Region, Chemical Bank and a Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

In fact, the Chemical Bank offices are already open in a new building--they'll host a Business After Hours November 13 to welcome local business colleagues, according to the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Work is also progressing at the Marriott, where the foundations have been laid. More residential construction also is underway.

It's a place people love to eat, sleep, work, and live. What more could you ask?

Jeff Barr is a freelance writer who has lived in Michigan for more than 46 years. He can be reached by email at jeffbarr88@gmail.com or on Twitter, @jeffbarr88.
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