Why does the Great Lakes Bay Region need a community development organization? | Jenifer Acosta

Why does the Great Lakes Bay Region need a community development organization? | Jenifer Acosta

Two years ago I was in Detroit, sitting in a leadership program dedicated to responsible land use and community leadership. A panelist dropped a simple sentence, “When Detroit’s renaissance began there were 4 community development organizations, now there are 16, each dedicated to the priorities of the neighborhoods they serve.” Immediately, I began to think how this collaboration and advocacy has been the true catalyst driving Detroit. You cannot change anyone, let alone a group or community, that isn’t ready or doesn’t find value in what you’re offering. As the city saw growth in some neighborhoods, others with different needs and goals banded together in pursuit of their own progress. 

Historic Bay City bank building reopens and apartments are going fast

Historic Bay City bank building reopens and apartments are going fast

BAY CITY, MI -- The doors to a historic building in downtown Bay City are open again after a nearly three year redevelopment project transformed the building into a multi-use structure with restaurant, commercial and residential space.

News Release: City of Bay City awarded Brownfield Grant to redevelop 1113 Center Avenue

News Release: City of Bay City awarded Brownfield Grant to redevelop 1113 Center Avenue

City of Bay City awarded Brownfield Grant to redevelop 1113 Center Avenue

Bay City, Mich. After sitting vacant for over a decade, a contaminated lot in Bay City will be returned to productive use with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). A $200,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant was awarded to the city to revitalize the former Fletcher’s Marathon filling station property located in the Center Avenue Historic District. 

The MDEQ brownfield grant will assess and mitigate environmental contamination and demolish the gas station’s foundation and pavement that remains from the previously demolished building. 


Transformation of historic Bay City bank building nears completion

Transformation of historic Bay City bank building nears completion

Write here…BAY CITY, MI -- The redevelopment of the historic Crapo building in downtown Bay City has a little more than two months to go before it's finished, but more than a handful of future tenants are ready to call it home.

The 127-year-old building, now called The Legacy, is going to feature 26 apartments with hardwood floors, open-concepts, modern amenities and large windows -- some as tall as 9-feet -- that allow for plenty of natural light. Remnants of the former bank building are being left throughout the development, giving its residents a look into Bay City's glory days.

If you want a strong town... stop with the suburban office parks please

If you want a strong town... stop with the suburban office parks please

“Can we talk about the elephant in the room?” always garners an eyebrow raise during a meeting. Especially when it comes from someone as straightforward and candid as I. There’s a look of, “Shit, if you’re holding back a thought then what in the hell could it be?” 

Last week I had a coffee meeting to discuss community development with a leader of an interior design company whose niche is optimizing workplace design for businesses. As we discussed the need to revitalize downtown, encourage entrepreneurs, and how many things our city is doing right, it reiterated why I love living here. It reminded me how many amazing elements are within the foundation of this city and its values that we can build upon. 

Women Entrepreneurs Helping Shape the Future of Detroit

Women Entrepreneurs Helping Shape the Future of Detroit

According to a 2015 estimate by industry group Commercial Real Estate Women, women make up just 32 percent of all real estate development jobs in the United States. But that number represents an increase of 60 percent since 2000.

A recent article in Crain’s Detroit Business explored the ways in which women in development in Michigan are making their mark on the industry and the state—including a number of revealing and informative quotes from women who are on the front lines in shifting demographics and outdated assumptions in this traditionally male-dominated space.

Apartments proposed for construction on historic Center Avenue

BAY CITY, MI -- Jenifer Acosta successfully brought a century-old newspaper building back to life and she's currently in the middle of revitalizing a 125-year-old bank building in downtown Bay City.

Pending environmental approvals from the state, the developer now has plans for new construction on historic Center Avenue

eleven thirteen center

eleven thirteen center

I had an hour between meetings last year and decided to take a drive through Bay City’s Center Avenue Historic District. In particular, I was thinking of developing a small-scale infill project and wanted it to be in close proximity to downtown and other projects I’ve worked on.

I’ve driven down Center Ave countless times, but that day this vacant parcel with concrete slabs jumped out at me. It’s located at the corner of Center and Sherman. A large 100’ x 100’ parcel with the unsightly remains of a gas/auto shop. It’s walkable to Downtown Bay City, about a half a mile away. I called the realtor listed on it’s for sale sign and started digging for information. It has been for sale for 10 years.