10.13.15

Peters Tours Bay City Riverfront

Peters Highlights Bill Supporting Michigan’s Waterfront Communities

BAY CITY, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) toured Bay City’s riverfront today to see firsthand efforts to attract business development to the area. While there, Peters highlighted the Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act, legislation he introduced to support community efforts to attract water-dependent industries and investments that leverage water sustainably, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance recreation and tourism. Annette Rummel, President/CEO of the Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, led today’s riverfront tour, which also included a visit to the Real Seafood Company. 

“With four of the five Great Lakes at our borders, waterfront communities like Bay City are part of Michigan’s way of life,” said Senator Peters. “Our state’s economic future depends on helping places like Bay City revitalize their waterfront areas and make the most of local resources like Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay. The success of the Uptown project and Riverwalk demonstrates what can happen when our communities come together to develop forward-thinking strategies to adapt for the future, and I’m committed to helping waterfront communities across Michigan continue to secure investment and attract new businesses so they can grow and thrive.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Senator Peters to Bay City today to have him see firsthand the economic revitalization happening here on our waterfront,” said Annette Rummel, President/CEO of the Bay Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Bay City’s unique, vibrant waterfront attracts visitors from across Michigan, and redevelopment efforts have made it an even better place to live, work and play. The Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act that Senator Peters has introduced will help communities like ours continue to attract commerce and tourism, improve our infrastructure and expand recreation opportunities.”

“Michigan is blessed with more than 3,200 miles of freshwater coastline – more than any other state in the country – and more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams,” said Thomas L. Hickner, Bay County Executive and Facilitator of the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative. “Communities like Bay City are working hard to revitalize our sense of place as coastal communities on the Great Lakes to bring in more visitors, support local small businesses and boost our growing tourism industry. The Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resilience Act that Senator Peters has introduced will help communities like ours invest in their own success while maximizing their water resources.” 

The Waterfront Community Revitalization and Resiliency Act will help waterfront communities like Bay City plan for their future, provide the tools to implement that plan, and help them attract private and nonprofit investment. This legislation will boost waterfront communities by creating a voluntary Resilient Waterfront Community designation within the U.S. Department of Commerce, a grant program to develop and implement a Resilient Waterfront Community plan, a Resilient Waterfront Communities network, and preferred status in other federal grant and loan programs for Resilient Waterfront Communities.

Many waterfront communities were built around their water resources years ago and are now working to reposition and overcome issues such as limited public access and poor alignment with modern development. Waterfront planning and implementation requires communities to navigate intergovernmental hurdles, work across constituent groups and agencies, and secure financing. Despite the economic returns from revitalization and the payoff that resiliency preparation can provide in the long-term, many communities lack the resources to turn their vision into reality. 

Bay City’s Uptown project is redeveloping a former industrial site and stone dock into a 43-acre complex of new buildings and open space to attract businesses, retail stores, restaurants, and housing on the riverfront. Dow Corning, Chemical Bank, McLaren Bay Region and Michigan Sugar Co. are anchoring the site as business tenants. The Riverwalk connecting Uptown Bay City to the downtown area was completed this summer.

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