Historic Armory will see new life

Source: Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce

The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce is the official owner of the Armory in downtown Owosso.

The deal means the 102-year-old building, which has been vacant for a decade, will see new life.

Plans call for a $5 million renovation that will create an interior that is modern but still reflects the facility’s history.

The changes will also keep the building’s historic exterior intact.

During World War I, soldiers from the 144th National Guard unit deployed from the Armory for France.

They were among the first American troops to set foot on German soil.

In 2007 the 144th left the building and it has been vacant since.

Funding for the project came in the form of the Small Deal Fund. The $1.24 million project is being supported by both federal Historic Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits through the National Trust Community Investment Corporation.

A $1.47 million grant was also secured in 2016 from the Michigan Strategic Fund, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“The Armory project has been nearly four years in the making. It’s not unusual for historic renovation projects to take a long time to come together because the financing and regulatory elements are complex. We’re very thankful for all the partners who have worked with us along the way, and for the way our board members over these past four years have supported and molded this bold vision,” said Jay Slingerland, chamber board chair.

So far the chamber, Shiawassee Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, a satellite office of the Michigan Small Business Development Center & Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership have been announced as anchor tenants.

For more information on the project, click here.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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