Old Saginaw News building could house farmers market

Mark Tower
Saginaw News

Saginaw — The three-story building in downtown Saginaw that once housed the Saginaw News has sat vacant since the newspaper’s staff moved out in 2010.

But a partnership forged between three local groups aims to breathe new life into the structure, providing both outdoor and indoor space for a year-round farmers market in downtown Saginaw.

The partnership between SVRC Industries, the Saginaw Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market, as well as that group’s vision for the property was announced recently in a press release.

The groups’ plans include redeveloping the parking lot across the street from the building, along the Saginaw River. That property will become the outdoor home for the Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market, the release states.

The future of the existing farmers market location has been increasingly uncertain as leaders eye the publicly-owned parcel for development. A string of several properties, including the present farmers market site, has been presented as a possible location for the downtown Saginaw campus of Delta College.

Besides hosting the farmers market, the rest of the old newspaper building will be developed as a marketplace, office space, commercial kitchen space, space for training programs and other offerings to complement downtown.

According to the group, redevelopment of the property will be done in phases. The first phase will include restoration of the building’s infrastructure, construction of the public farmers market space on the riverfront and the redevelopment of the first floor into space for retailers and food vendors.

The Saginaw News moved to its present-day home in the Ippel Building, across from the Saginaw County courthouse, in 2010.

In 2012, the old building was sold to 203 S. Washington LLC, owned by Bingham Farms-based ProVisions. ProVisions President Murray Wikol branded the property as “Riverview Center” in 2013 and stepped up efforts to sell or develop the property.

SVRC Industries Inc. purchased the structure for $500,000 on Dec. 30, according to Saginaw County property records.

The building is nearly 100,000 square feet, including its basement. In 2014, it had a taxable value and SEV of $242,104, records show. The land, nearly an acre, is valued at $86,597.