Changes coming to downtown Saginaw - WNEM TV 5

Changes coming to downtown Saginaw

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Saginaw has a new downtown project on its hands thanks to a development plan approved on Tuesday.

"I had read in the papers that it was going to be demolished. I called my good friend John and said we have a building to save and he said, 'Yes we do,'" said David Strouse.

Saginaw native Strouse, now an executive at CBS television in California, is investing in Saginaw once again.

"John and I saved a building on Hamilton, opened it less than a year ago, and when we saw this corner downtown, we said we can do this again," said Strouse.

The Leo Kahan building and others around it on the corner of Washington and Genesee Avenue were set to be demolished. But Strouse and his team want to see them restored - not torn down.

The project was originally going to include apartments as well as a hotel and a restaurant. But Strouse and his team had to modify those plans in order to get the financing approved. Now the project will be mostly residential - including 28 apartments, with some room for commercial space.

Architect John Meyer is excited about the project.

"They'll be nice, cool, loft-type apartments. Some will have terraces. It's going to be very exciting," commented Meyer.

Strouse and his architects had to convince the Downtown Development Authority that the buildings were worth saving. Members, like Wallace Hill, are eager to see it done and gave the project a green light.

"I think it's wonderful. It's another piece of the puzzle of what we've been struggling for so long in the downtown area," Hill said.

Strouse says Saginaw is worth saving, and projects like this and others will help the city get back on track.

"It's a diamond in the rough," he said. "We want to polish one more facet of the diamond, and it's not going to be so rough."

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin next summer.

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