Downtown Saginaw getting a facelift from new grant

A grant to fight residential blight in Saginaw is already being pit into use, but a second $1.7 million grant is now being used to fight commercial blight.

Store owners along Washington Avenue are ready for downtown to get what they say is a much needed facelift.

"20 or 30 years ago downtown was the hub of Saginaw" says floral designer Selena Patrick.

"I think its on its way to becoming that again".

County leaders say the additional funds are rare when a blight grant is already in place.

"To see true things, tangible things happening in downtown Saginawhasn't happened in 50 years or so, so its really cool" says Saginaw County Treasurer Tim Novak.

Once finished city officials say the new buildings will be home to shops, restaurants, and affordable housing, something that was decided based on input from incoming medical students for the new Central Michigan University medical school.

Store owners say they are hopeful the change will draw new people downtown.

"I think it will bring more people that aren't from around here in to try our food and just bring a whole new clientele" says Wallys Sandwich Shop manager Cassi Naylor.

Construction is planned to begin almost immediately following the demolition.