Plans for the former National Guard Armory in Owosso - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Plans for the former National Guard Armory in Owosso

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OWOSSO (WJRT) -

(03/12/14) - A building in Owosso that is nearly 100 years old could see new life by next year.
The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce has plans for the former National Guard Armory. The armory has been vacant for about seven years.

"We do everything we can to preserve our buildings here," said Jeff Deason, Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

Over the next several months, the armory on Water Street will undergo a transformation. While it will maintain its outside appearance, inside it will be changed into a business incubator.

"If you're an entrepreneur starting out, you can grow into it," Deason said.

Cubicles, single offices and an office suite will be added to help small businesses get on their feet. The Chamber, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Partnership will be located here too.

"We've had interest from foundations, accountants, lawyers, all the different groups you would think of that can potentially support entrepreneurs," Deason said.

Because the armory is considered a historic location, project developers will keep the central features of the buildings while adding modern amenities.

"The whole idea behind it is to keep as much of the building as possible," Deason said.

Plans call for the walls of the Chamber building to be removed and the roof moved to become a pavilion at the nearby farmers market.

"This is just going to be a center for the community and really transform the way this part of downtown looks," Deason said.

It's hoped the project will be completed by May of 2015.

The Chamber has scheduled tours of the building for prospective tenants. To make an appointment, call 989-723-5149.

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