(07/23/12) - Downtown Saginaw is beginning to get a new look - as one of its tallest buildings is being demolished.
The old Saginaw Plaza Hotel is coming to the ground.
The demolition was getting mixed feelings from people who looked on.
One wrecking ball shot at a time, the 33-year-old building on Johnson came tumbling down, a sight many people had never seen.
Diante Pasha of Saginaw stopped by with his son.
"He loves trucks, so, we rolled past and that's the first thing he said, big trucks, big trucks," Pasha said.
Others agreed, this is something you don't see everyday.
"It's pretty exciting to see. I took pictures," said Ebony Darby of Saginaw.
The big trucks and cranes started bringing down the old Saginaw Plaza Hotel, which went through several name changes and owners, before the Saginaw County Land Bank bought the property. The plan is to knock it down, and put up a parking lot.
Rhonda Berg of Oakley is a little disappointed. "I would have liked them to save the building," she said.
But Berg the area does need some open space. "There isn't a lot of parking around here."
Once the hotel comes down, the plan is to knock down the Saginaw Centre building next door, creating a bigger parking area that won't be just used for parking.
"I look at this as the beginning and an opportunity for us to bring more visitors here, by providing an open area space, for festival and events," said Annette Rummel, Great Lakes Bay Region CVB.
One possibility is that the Saginaw Farmers Market could move here. Many are hoping with the building gone, it will be a step in making the city safer.
"It brought a lot of crime, a lot of shootings happened in that parking lot, a lot of shootings happened in that building," Pasha said.
Darby says more demolitions will be needed to make Saginaw a safe city.
"It's a lot of buildings that need to be cleared out," she said. "A lot."
The building should be down by the end of the week and it will take a month to remove all the debris.
ABC12 Main Station