October 12, 2016

ABC 12

Easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The city of Saginaw is moving one step closer to eliminating the food desert in downtown.

Wednesday, we learned new information about the construction timeline for the SVRC Marketplace at the Downtown Saginaw Association meeting.

Dean Emerson, the CEO of SVRC Industries, announced a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 20 at the site at 203 S. Washington Ave.

Crews from Bierlein will begin work at the old Saginaw News building shortly thereafter.

It's a new lease on life for the building and a fresh start for the Downtown Saginaw Farmers' Market.

"It's not just going to be a farmers market, but it's going to be an expansion of other food opportunities, different opportunities for people to have their own restaurants, their personalized buildouts for their space," said Pamela Johnson, the SVRC Marketplace manager.

SVRC Industries, the organization behind the project, will move in the three story building as will many of the current farmers' market vendors.

There's also more.

"People selling chocolate, doughnuts, cakes, chicken and waffles, breakfast food, coffee," Johnson said.

"Butchers, we've been in contact with people that sell fish, fruits and vegetables obviously, bakers, some smaller restaurants, so just a real wide variety," Emerson said.

Johnson says this project isn't just about being trendy and creating an indoor-outdoor market; it's about meeting the needs of the community.

"Having a marketplace in downtown, located right on the bus line, is going to be beneficial to people who don't have access to fresh foods and who don't have a vehicle to get to Walmart," Johnson said.

The SVRC Marketplace is now scheduled to open in August of 2017.

Previously, they had hoped to have it ready to go in the spring.

If you are interested in setting up shop at the market, contact Pamela Johnson at 989-752-6176.