SAGINAW (WJRT) - (04/03/17) - The SVRC Marketplace project in downtown Saginaw has reached a major milestone.
Demolition inside the old Saginaw News building has been completed. Next up, construction will begin in late spring or early summer.
The future home of the indoor-outdoor market also announced the signing of a major tenant; Spence Brothers, which is already located in Saginaw, is moving to the marketplace.
President and CEO Herb Spence III looks forward to his third floor office with a view.
"Looking out over on the Saginaw River one side and out on to the farmers' market on the other side, I think will be a great view," Spence said.
For Spence Brothers, moving into the SVRC Marketplace is a homecoming of sorts.
"Having built the original Saginaw News building in 1960," Spence said.
Next, the family-owned business will also remodel the building it constructed decades ago, before moving in.
"It's a tremendous statement to the community that someone of such stature would be completely invested in saying, 'We're coming out, right now today, before construction begins, and we're calling this place our new home,'" said Audra Davis, the SVRC Marketplace manager.
Davis hopes the Spence Brothers commitment will help fill up the rest of the space.
Already, more than 70 percent of the year-round, indoor-outdoor market is spoken for, but there's still room for more entrepreneurs.
"This is really the opportunity for them to grow what they've been dreaming of doing," Davis said.
Examples of vendors who have agreed to move in include a smoke meat and jerky vendor, a coffee shop that will also sell smoothies and sandwiches, a Middle Eastern food vendor and a taco vendor, just to name a few.
Aside from some historical features that can't be removed, nearly everything has been demolished in the building, marking an important milestone for this latest project along the Saginaw riverfront.
"A lot of things have happened, but they've kind of been, you know, one at a time, but maybe it hasn't been noticed. Now it seems like a lot of great things are coming to fruition," Spence said.
The marketplace is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.