Saginaw community discusses ideas for reshaping Riverfront area

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SAGINAW (WJRT)- (8/10/16)- Walk inside this business off South Hamilton Street in
Saginaw, and you'll be treated to some fine wine and art.

"I own Ume Paint Experience, a paint and wine studio in Old Town," Owner of Ume Paint Experience Kujuanna Ray said.

Ray has been in business for about a year and a half now. She says she enjoys bringing a new dose of fun to her town. However, Ray says she would like to see more entrepreneurs up and down the block.

"I'd like to see more activity in Downtown, more activity in Old Town and just bringing that connection together," Ray said.

Wednesday afternoon, Ray joined several Saginaw stakeholders hoping to revamp the Riverfront, stretching from Genesee and Washington to Court Street and Hamilton. The group of business owners and community leaders brainstormed, kicking around different ideas, such as adding franchise businesses and chains, to more mom and pop stores.

"We heard a lot about the need to redevelop a lot of the industrial sites and vacant and empty sights along the Riverfront. To allow for more access and involvement with the river itself and to the community," Michell Foster, Project Planner with LSL Planning said.

One thing is for certain. Planners and city leaders say they want people who live and work in Saginaw to have a definite say in their city's future.

"I think it's awesome, instead of just sitting in a room and deciding what the community wants, they are bringing the community int he room and developing from the inside out," Ray said.

Organizers tell ABC 12 News they plan on having a meeting within the next few weeks to discuss today's kick off meeting. Next month, the will have an open house for the public.

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