Saginaw auto plant coming down, but hopes remain for jobs in warehouse

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (1/9/2019) - A big part of Saginaw's automotive history is being dismantled piece by piece.

A closed auto plant on the east side of the city is coming down. But a warehouse will remain -- and so does hope that someone will put some jobs there.

TRW Automotive was the last company to occupy the building on Saginaw's east side. It closed its doors in 2014, when 600 people lost their jobs.

Before that, the building was a Chevrolet plant with thousands of workers. But now there is uncertainty.

"If they are going to demolition, that's fine, but if you are going to demolition, put something there that is going to be beneficial to the east side," said Jesse Randle at King Fish & More across the street from the vacant plant.

Applied Partners bought the property in July and is knocking down the auto plant, but remediating the warehouse so it can be sold again. The entire property is 77 acres.

"Definitely some downfall when the business closed around here," said Eddie King, who has owned the King Fish & More for seven years. "A lot of families depended on the jobs that were over there."

He remembers that day when TRW closed, but he's hoping the demolition leads to a rebirth.

"Get some jobs over there, hopefully something successful where some kids can get jobs and even some older people, maybe, to get good jobs," King said.

Randle sees parts of Saginaw making a nice comeback and believes it's time the east side does the same.

"I remember when this plant was going, south side plants were going, plants on Washington, Buena Vista," he said. "It was alive. The community thrived. We need to get the east side thriving again and our leaders need to come together and do exactly that for us."

Mark Cenit, the owner of Applied Partners, said two entities have expressed interest in the property. No purchase or lease deals have been signed, however.

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