Bay City Wins 2019 Community Excellence Award Competiiton

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Bay City Wins 2019 Community Excellence Award Competiiton

DETROIT, Michigan – The community of Bay City was honored with the Michigan Municipal League’s 2019 Community Excellence Award on Sept. 27 during the League’s annual Convention in Detroit.

The peer-nominated Community Excellence Award (CEA), affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships. It’s the highest and most prestigious award bestowed on a community by the statewide League. The winning community receives a large trophy cup that they get to have on display for the next year. Last year’s winner was the City of Fraser.

Bay City is located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron and has a population of about 34,932. The city won for the Uptown Bay City Project.

“It’s an honor that we were chosen to be a finalist, then chosen by our peers for this award,” said Dana Muscott. city manager of Bay City. “Uptown is a great partner with the City of Bay City. It’s a fantastic place to visit, so we encourage everyone to come to Bay City to see what we’ve accomplished on this formerly blighted property.”

Uptown Bay City took a 43-acre riverfront site that had primarily been a manufacturing/industrial site for over 100 years and transformed it into a mixed-use, walkable, urban feel project. This master-planned new urbanist-inspired development was designed with all the ingredients for success: world-class commercial office space, urban living options, retail, hospitality, and regional destination restaurants. It has brought many of the vital components of job creation and residential living back to the urban core of Bay City.

“This is a great project for our whole region,” said Al Warr, project manager for Shaheen Development. “We have a wonderful working relationship with the city and all of the various companies, from small businesses to large corporations, that have chosen to call Uptown home. We appreciate their faith in us and the dream we had 10 years ago in Bay City.”

Bay City was one of four finalists in the statewide Community Excellence Award competition. The other finalists were:

The finalists were among 17 projects, programs, and initiatives involving 17 Michigan communities vying for the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA)—the most prestigious Michigan Municipal League honor.

The 2019 Race for the Cup began in the spring. Communities submitted projects on topics ranging from civic engagement and innovative delivery of services to placemaking and redevelopment. Each entry was ranked by a panel of judges, and the public had a chance to weigh in through an online voting component. The projects’ final score was based on the judges’ ranking (75 percent) and online voting (25 percent). The top four entries advanced to the final round.

Representatives from the final four presented their projects at the League’s 2019 Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27. After hearing the presentations, Convention attendees voted for their favorite project, with Bay City receiving the most votes. Bay City was awarded the coveted CEA Trophy Cup at the conclusion of the Convention Friday, Sept. 25. View past CEA winners here.

For photos of the CEA winners, go to the “Awards and Honors” album on flickr:

Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Michigan Municipal League/

For more information, contact Matt Bach, director of communications, at [email protected] or 810-874-1073.

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at


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