Saginaw council could sweeten deal to open tallest apartment complex in town
SAGINAW, MI — A Lansing-based nonprofit could soon take another step toward transforming one of downtown Saginaw’s landmark historic buildings into a 120-unit apartment complex.
Saginaw City Council will consider creating a 12-year obsolete property rehabilitation district in the 12-story Huntington Bank building at the intersection of Genesee and North Washington.
The planned vote at a meeting on Monday 20 June would create state tax benefits to reduce redevelopment costs in the tallest building in Saginaw.
No redevelopment plan is set in stone, but the council’s blessing would represent one of many hurdles overcome as Michigan Community Capital officials continue to consider purchasing and repurposing the property, Eric said. Hanna, president and CEO of the Lansing-based nonprofit.
“We’ve made great incremental progress, but there’s still a lot of ongoing, ongoing due diligence,” he said. “The building is 170,000 square feet, so the financial aspect and the physical aspect of it is going to take some time. Much work remains to be done with lenders and other funders to confirm that the sufficient amount of capital – and the right type of capital – is available to complete this project.
Her nonprofit’s application for Deprecated Property Rehabilitation District designation revealed some details of the potential redevelopment, but Hanna said those details could change before a purchase.
“There is great volatility in interest rates and public sector resources; and on the construction side, lumber prices have been swinging like a yo-yo, and all metal and commodity prices have been going crazy,” he said.
“It will take us another six to eight months to dial all the numbers together. So there are all sorts of details that need to be ironed out, but we’re still moving forward.
City records show Michigan Community Capital’s draft plans would include a $45 million investment in gutting and renovating parts of the building in time for 120 units to open to tenants in May 2025.
The project would not involve affordable housing, Hanna said. Apartments would include one- and two-bedroom units as well as studio-style residences. He said his organization is also studying the need to develop parking spaces for potential tenants.
Michigan Community Capital features a history of transforming old buildings into apartment complexes.
One of his upcoming projects is the $14 million rehabilitation of a century-old building in Ludington — which once housed a factory — into a 65-unit apartment complex with retail space. The apartments will be open to tenants in August, he said.
Hanna said that if her nonprofit gives the Saginaw project the go-ahead, Huntington Bank would hand over ownership but remain a tenant in the building, even as construction begins.
Today, Huntington Bank operates a branch on the first floor. Floors 2 to 12 are vacant.
Renovating this space would require an expensive and complex undertaking, Hanna said, in part because of the historic nature of the 162-foot-tall building. Construction was completed there in 1925.
The structure remains one of the tallest in central Michigan. Closer than Flint, the only building reaching heights higher than the downtown Saginaw site is the Bay Town Hall, at 180 feet.
The tallest apartment complex in the area, meanwhile, is Rosien Towers in Saginaw, at 125ft, according to Emporisa website that serves as a database of building information.
If the Huntington Bank site were to become an apartment, it would bring residents to a downtown neighborhood within walking distance of entertainment venues, restaurants, retail, a medical hallway and a new campus. of Saginaw High School which is expected to open in the coming years.
“I really appreciate how engaged the community seems to be in making this project happen,” Hanna said. “I’m really grateful for all the support we’ve gotten locally, and I can’t wait to have a project in this community.”
The Monday council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Saginaw City Hall, 1315 S. Washington.
Residents unable to attend can watch the rally televised live on Charter Spectrum’s channel 191; Or on the city’s YouTube channel. The YouTube channel also provides an archive of council meetings.
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