Only on the Web! A century old limestone quarry and cement plant have been turned into what some have declared “one of the most sought after vacation gems in the world.”



The Wall Street Journal described Michigan's Bay Harbor community as “a magnet for the world's magnates.” It's not surprising then that architects and builders alike are demanding only high quality building materials in this luxury development.

A century old limestone quarry and cement plant have been turned into what some have declared “one of the most sought after vacation gems in the world.” More than just a planned community, Bay Harbor, Mich., is a reflection of the commitment of a few developers to build, as developer David V. Johnson puts it, “something that our children—and grandchildren—can be proud of.” Given the response to this stunningly beautiful lakefront community, they appear to have met their goal.

Cooperation and Vision

Bay Harbor is the result of a 50/50 partnership between Victor International Corp. and CMS Energy. Under this partnership, the Bay Harbor Co. and a handful of Michigan developers have turned what the Detroit Free Press once called “the bleakest [site] in the state” into a treasure. Through it all, David Johnson has been guided by his belief that, “if you make it beautiful and timeless, it will endure.”

Developed along a five-mile stretch of the Lake Michigan waterfront, the Bay Harbor community reflects the historic lakeside life of Northern Michigan. The homes are divided into 25 secluded neighborhoods, and many of them recreate Victorian architecture. Development began in 1994 and has grown from “The Cliffs,” condominiums perched high on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, to the 12,000-square-foot manor homes in the community’s “Peninsula” section. Along the shore or secluded in the woods, the homes and landscape of Bay Harbor are breathtakingly beautiful.

Top Quality Materials

The community’s largest developer, John R. Watson, concurs with Johnson’s sentiment about the beauty and timelessness of Bay Harbor. Watson built “The Cliffs,” with its 100-plus condominiums. He quickly followed with “Harbor View Ridge,” which has more than 400 larger condominiums; 12 single homes in the “Wildwinds;” and “Quarry View,” a townhouse development. Like Johnson, Watson has built homes that will be passed down from generation to generation. To accomplish this, he uses nothing but the best building materials.

Blair Brown, Watson’s director of purchasing and estimating, explains why. Says Brown, “Nearly every project we do uses CertainTeed Independence Shangle®. We started with it — on The Cliffs — and have kept using it because it looks great and does the job in a very harsh climate. The oldest roofs have been on since 1995, and we’ve had no problems with them. We get 85 mile-per-hour winds off the lake, and the CertainTeed shingle is holding up.”

Watson uses CertainTeed’s Independence, 15-pound felt, and waterproofing shingle underlayment. Independence features a 12-inch by 36-inch one-piece fiberglass-based shingle with randomly applied laminated tabs. For architectural appeal, there are 11 colors — including the very natural looking Colonial Slate and Resawn Shake — to choose from. Independence (300 pounds per square) gives each home the luxurious look of slate with the rich depth of wood shakes. Because of the wind, the self-sealing shingles are installed with twice as many fasteners and an adhesive. Any blow off that has occurred, says Brown, “is an installation problem.” But homeowners need not worry because the Independence Shangle is protected by a 40-year limited warranty including CertainTeed’s exclusive SureStart™ warranty. SureStart covers both materials and labor for the first five years after installation in the unlikely event of a manufacturing defect.

Year-round Recreation

Bay Harbor sits along the Little Traverse Bay, which is one of the focal points of the development. The Bay Harbor Marina District features shopping, restaurants, and 115 state-of-the-art floating docks. Outdoor sports facilities also include an equestrian club with a 42,000-square-foot stable and arena, a 27-hole championship golf course, shoreline parks, and public nature trails.

The newly constructed Inn at Bay Harbor has been described as an entertainment venue unto itself. The 175,000-square-foot inn, which has almost 1,000 feet of shoreline, is the only lakefront resort hotel on the Great Lakes. It features a lavish spa and fitness center, outdoor pool, and beach bar. Though completely new, its architecture is reminiscent of 19th century northern Michigan hotels. Once again, the roof reflects the demands of the harsh lakefront locale.

The Inn at Bay Harbor features CertainTeed’s XT™ 30 asphalt roofing shingle in Maple Red Blend. The builders chose XT 30 because, at 250 pounds per square, it will stand up to Michigan winters. Also, its tough fiberglass base is extra resistant to wind stress, which prevents tearing and blow-off. Special sealant strips use the sun’s heat for additional weatherproofing. The XT 30 roofing shingle is warranted for 30 years, and, like the Independence Shangle, is protected by CertainTeed’s exclusive SureStart™ warranty.

Nod to Nature

The architecture is also consistent with the developers’ master plan to keep “nature” in Bay Harbor. This planned community donated land to the local township to create two publicly accessible parks, a permanent nature preserve, and miles of green. Even though the land was once approved for 3,500 residences, the community actually comprises fewer than 1000. So while Bay Harbor has been correctly identified as a luxury vacation spot, it has also become the permanent jewel of the Michigan coastline.