Hotel Developer’s Connections to Albion College

uptown_bay_cityEarlier we posted a link to a WJR Radio interview with Dr. Sam Shaheen about his connections to Albion College and the “Uptown Bay City” project he and his family is working on.  We thought the interview was quite interesting, so we are offering this transcript.

Paul W. Smith Show – WJR

WJR interviews Dr. Shaheen and the link is on this page (about halfway down the page) on May 7:

May 7, 2015

Interview with Dr. Samuel Shaheen


Here we are – we’ve been calling this an area that I had not used the term before when we’ve been to Bay City – this is Uptown Bay City. And I have to tell you, it is something very, very special. Right now, we are in this fabulous facility of Dow Corning Corporation. We heard earlier from Michael about the Real Seafood Company – I didn’t realize it was right outside our window, because it dark and foggy. Went out there and looked during the news, spectacularly right there on the water, which is right where the Real Seafood Company belongs. Along with this Dow Corning Corporation, there’s a Chemical Bank, a Don Angelos Aveda Salon, the Mixed Coffee Shop, Uptown Grille, Marriott Courtyard, McLaren Health Park. There’s so much going here and it’s all because of the Shaheen family. When I tried to give the credit to Dr. Samuel Shaheen, immediately he gives the credit to his brother. So it is a family affair, isn’t it?


Dr. Shaheen: Definitely, definitely.


Interviewer: And this is your home area, because you’ve been doing things here in the Bay City area for a long, long time. I remember ten years ago a birthday party for our friend, John Ahee Jewelers, and I kept thinking that the connection here was because we are all cousins, Lebanese cousins. And the real connection here – I’m out altogether on it – because it’s Albion College!


Dr. Shaheen: (Chuckling) Basically, Paul, yes.


Interviewer: Who knew this?! So it’s John Ahee, it’s Dan Musser from Grand Hotel, and any number of other notables. And you all met at Albion College.


Dr. Shaheen: Absolutely.


Interviewer: And boy as far as I can tell, you’ve all been very successful.


Dr. Shaheen: Well, thank you. Thank you very much.


Interviewer: You still practice medicine.


Dr. Shaheen: I do.


Interviewer: In fact, I know the practice of medicine, along with community development, and support of the arts, in the whole Great Lakes Bay region, are kind of family legacies for you, doctor.


Dr. Shaheen: Yes, I was led, and educated, and taught, and mentored by my father who was also a physician.


Interviewer: And as I say, with all of this development, all these other things you do, you do practice medicine on a daily basis.


Dr. Shaheen: I do, that’s still the most important thing that I do.


Interviewer: Which kind of medicine, what area?


Dr. Shaheen: I’m a surgeon.


Interviewer: Are you? Boy, oh boy… Samuel Shaheen, M.D., President, CEO, Shaheen Development here, it’s now called Uptown Bay City, it’s quite a development. If you’re on your way to Harbor Springs or Bay Harbor, come on by for lunch, maybe spend the night, and you’ll see that this is a great place to do business. And Dr. Shaheen, I know you say it’s the team, you’ve got great leadership with the whole team, like the Dow Corning leadership team.


Dr. Shaheen: Absolutely, Paul. I can’t stress enough how important Dow Corning was to this development – was and is. They provide over 400 employees here on the site – adds a great deal of vitality and energy to the development. When you come in contact with a 45 acre riverfront opportunity, it’s quite a opportunity. There are very few urban areas that lend themselves to this sort of development. We really were able to take a look at the site and design it from a custom standpoint to really take advantage of the riverfront.


Interviewer: It’s beautifully designed and you’ve got it all. You’ve got all the amenities, all the services that one would want. Plus the addition, which now I just see the one area that was pointed out, it’s going to luxury condominiums right on the water. And this close to Detroit, I think is some great, great opportunities for people to have, maybe something they’ve always dreamed of having, but didn’t really weren’t able to find it.


Dr. Shaheen: Thank you, Paul. It’s going to be exceptional. We have living opportunities anywhere from the mid $150,000 up. Luxury condominiums right on the river, urban condominiums, rental brownstones, really walkable. We’re designing a walkable waterfront community for all the people that love a more urban feel. But we don’t have the traffic – we’re closer to up north. So we cut the distance to get to Harbor Springs or Bay Harbor, we cut it in half. So come on out and check us out.


Interviewer: It’s really worth looking at. Is there in fact, Dr. Shaheen, a website that we can go to now to try to see the plan?


Dr. Shaheen: Absolutely. You can go to You can also check out our website at


Interviewer: or And how did this all come about? Somebody had a dream here…


Dr. Shaheen: Well, it’s really been a 20 year vision of the leadership of Bay City, who deserves a great deal of credit. This was an industrial site that requires not only acquisition, but environmental remediation. I came about the site looking for a medical office building – turn the page a couple of years and Uptown’s developed. So we are really fortunate to have great partners – the McLaren Health System, Chemical Bank, Dow Corning. The Courtyard by Marriott is by another developer, who’s actually also part of the Albion clan.


Interviewer: Is that right? Are you kidding me?!


Dr. Shaheen: No, I’m not kidding you.


Interviewer: That’s crazy. Until you pointed it out doctor, I did not even make the connection with Albion. But boy, it’s all making sense now. And when you consider the McLaren Health Park, you mentioned the Marriott Courtyard, the Uptown Grille, the Mixed Coffee Shop, the Don Angelos Aveda Salon, Chemical Bank has a big, beautiful building here now. Of course, this Dow Corning Corporation building, just opening yesterday. This fabulous Real Seafood Company that we spoke about earlier. Certainly, Michael Gibbons, very proud of that, with Mainstreet Ventures who are very familiar to people in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and such. It really is a community. I wondered why it was called Uptown Bay City, now I understand.


Dr. Shaheen: Great. Well, thank you. We are excited. Right across the street from the Real Seafood Company is a first floor retail space that will have between six and eight boutiques, small. So if there’s an entrepreneur from down state that’s been successful in retail and looking for an opportunity up here, we’ve got some great, great space that will walk along the river. There’s day docks where people can bring their boats and stop over and have lunch, do the shopping, and then go about their business and enjoy their day.


Interviewer: I think you’re right. I think entrepreneurs will find that this is a great place to do business. If they’re successful now, they’ll be really successful here.


Dr. Shaheen: Absolutely.


Interviewer: Doctor, thank you so much. The best from John and Connie Ahee to you and your family. Good to see you again, Dr. Samuel Shaheen, President and CEO of Shaheen Development.