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Michigan development meets community resistance

On Dec. 4, a number of residents of Bay City, Michigan voiced their displeasure at a proposed development that would sit along the Saginaw River. The $8.6-million West Side project would serve as low-income housing for veterans and others, but construction disputes arose because some who already live in the area claimed that the development would increase dangerous conditions in the neighborhood.

The Bay City Finance and Policy Committee meeting was attended by all Bay City commissioners except one, and one of the officials noted that the gathering saw a marked increase in attendees as compared to most commission meetings. Depending on information presented at this meeting and others, commissioners will choose whether they should grant the developer, WODA Group, Inc., a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes.

The senior vice president of WODA claimed that the development would help the region by providing affordable housing for its struggling veteran community. A local outreach director echoed this sentiment, and the proposed property manager said that the individuals who applied for tenancy would have to pass background checks.

Firms that want to develop properties may be forced to delay their plans or rework significant aspects of their development strategies. Such changes could cause significant fiscal losses for companies that work with outside firms, such as contractors or construction specialists. Furthermore, shareholders and other parties with vested interest may withdraw their support when projects encounter problems. Real estate attorneys might be able to help firms get their developments off the ground more successfully by guiding them through the planning stages, negotiating with local zoning boards or city representatives and speaking on their behalf at public interest meetings.

Source: M Live, "Dozens of Bay City residents turn out to voice concerns over proposed Victor's Landing development", Sam Easter, December 04, 2013

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