Bay City, Michigan redeveloper wins historic preservation award for her first project

Bay City is a city of about 35,000 people in Bay County, Michigan, located near the base of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron.

Now, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network has given the first completed project of a local redeveloper, Jenifer Acosta, the Tax Credit Project Award.

The award is given to “an outstanding building preservation completed within the past three years,” for her preservation of the old Bay City Times office and flipping it into The Times Lofts, a set of 31 completely different-looking luxury apartments.

To win the award, the project could have been either a restoration or rehabilitation project and had to include exterior rehabilitation work. It also was required to use federal or state tax credit programs.

Converting a commercial building into residential is an adaptive reuse of the property,” Acosta explained. “Incorporating preservation means keeping the character and historic elements of the commercial building and featuring them in the new residential use.

The building’s owners, Rod Hildebrant and Matthew Meehan, say, “there is a considerable investment occurring right now in downtown. From new retail, restaurant, art galleries, and activities; we are excited to be a part of this revitalization.

I don’t do basic,” Acosta says. “I don’t do dropped ceilings. I don’t do cookie-cutter construction. What I do is revitalize communities – and I do it by preserving one historic building at a time.

I’m deeply dedicated to creating meaningful spaces that have character and quality. That’s why I’m passionate about resurrecting historic buildings, with a focus on downtown neighborhoods, energy efficiency and sustainability,” she continues.

I’m a giant nerd who’s happiest when I’m finding the highest and best use for a long-forgotten building. I love getting my hands dirty inside old buildings, unearthing architectural treasures and sharing them with folks who value the special things in life. Why? Because when historic character intersects with timeless elegance, you’ve created something special. And we’re all better because of it.

In a March 25, 2017 communication with REVITALIZATION, Jenifer added: “We’re proud to be investing in our hometown, and hope these redevelopment projects serve as catalysts; inspiring people to buy and fix up a historic home or properties.

Founded in 1981, the Michigan Historic Preservation Network is the largest membership organization in the state dedicated to recognizing and preserving Michigan’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.

The founders saw a need for a nonprofit organization that fostered the protection of the state’s irreplaceable historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, features, and open spaces. They saw the benefits of informing others that these were community assets appropriate for continued use or creative adaptive reuse. They wanted to give recognition to successful preservation projects and coordinate and publicize efforts across the state.

Midland Street, Bay City in 2012. Photo by:
Andrew Jameson via Wikimedia Commons

Membership includes owners of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and agricultural property; students and educators; governmental officials and appointees; archaeologists, architects and designers; landscape architects and landscapers; interior designers, contractors, developers, realtors, bankers and insurance agents; and preservation volunteers and professionals.

The volunteer board of directors and staff help Network members maintain the neighborhoods where they live and the downtowns where they work, build new in ways that respect and reinforce local character, revitalize some of Michigan’s oldest urban centers, adapt all types of buildings for current uses and use to best advantage the rich rural, agricultural and maritime heritage of Michigan.

See full MLive article by Von Lozon.

See full ABC12 article.

See Jenifer Acosta Development website & photo credits.

See Michigan Historic Preservation Network website.

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