Multi-million dollar investment signals rebirth for downtown - WNEM TV 5

Multi-million dollar investment signals rebirth for downtown

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File photo (Source: WNEM) File photo (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Jeannie Naylor said she is looking forward to the re-birth of the old Saginaw News building. Dormant since 2009, the structure will soon be home to the farmer's market, shops, offices, and much more.

"I’m excited like I know a lot of other people downtown are excited," Naylor said.

It's part of a multi-million dollar investment by SVRC Industries. Naylor owns Wally's Sandwich Shop across the street.

"We've been looking out our windows and seeing nothing but an empty building so it will be nice to see people walking up and down the streets again," Naylor said.

Dawn Goodrow runs Dawn of a New Day coffee house and cafe. She thinks plans for the new SVRC marketplace is good news for her business.

"We look forward to having the additional people right there on our blocks and using our restaurants that are on that block," Goodrow said.

As part of the redevelopment, SVRC will benefit from the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act or OPRA.

"The property tax is froze at the time of the OPRA. They come in put millions of dollars into it and that allows them not to be taxed on that for a number of years," said Saginaw Mayor Dennis Browning.

Browning said he's glad there are state funds in place to give investors like SVRC OPRAs and said that will mean good things for a more vibrant downtown.

"They're making a huge investment down there. And as Saginaw develops down there we're excited about that," Browning said.

Goodrow and Naylor have been in downtown Saginaw for years, long before the talk of redevelopment in the area.

"It's been great for the community. Not only downtown but the greater community as well because people see some hope and that things are changing in our city," Goodrow said.

Now they said they will soon realize the fruits of their labor, never giving up on the city that they call home.

"I knew it was coming. I saw it coming awhile back and that's why i stuck it out and i think good things are coming for Saginaw," Naylor said.

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