Mystery surrounds Saginaw development - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mystery surrounds Saginaw development

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(02/04/13) - Demolition crews have been busy in downtown Saginaw across from the Dow Event Center.

Last year, an old hotel was knocked down to make room for a parking lot, and demolition continues on the building that was next to it. That was also slated to become a parking lot, but it appears those plans have changed.

"Over the last several months, we've been able to tear down both the hotel and the International Center," said Matt Blasy, general manager of the Dow Event Center.

The Saginaw Plaza Hotel came crumbling to the ground last summer. Several different owners tried to make the hotel a success, but it struggled to stay open. There is a parking lot there now, which has helped visitors who came to the Dow Event Center for Saginaw Spirit hockey games and other events.

The Saginaw Centre used to stand next to the hotel, but that is gone now, too. Crews are doing work there now, on what many thought would be another parking lot, but Blasy says things have changed.

"Right now, the plan is to nix the parking lot area, and put something different there that will have a bigger impact," he said.

So something will be built here, but what? All Blasy will say is that whatever is there will be owned by the county and run by SMG, the company that manages the event center.

"A lot of interest will come with it once its completed," he said.

Several groups are involved in the project, including the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. One possibility mentioned last summer was that the space could be used by the Saginaw Farmers Market, but Blasy says at this point, that is not an option. One possibility is an outdoor pavilion for hosting concerts.

"We think that we have come up with something that will not only be beneficial for downtown Saginaw, but for the entire region," he said.

More information will be released Thursday morning at a news conference at the Dow Event Center following the state of the city and county addresses in Saginaw.

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