About The Armory
Welcome to The Armory. Located in historic downtown Owosso, Mich. at Exchange and Water Streets on the banks of the beautiful Shiawassee River, The Armory has stood for more than a century as a symbol of military and community strength and pride. It is listed on the coveted National Register of Historic Places along with many other places in Shiawassee County. Now The Armory is ready to enter the next chapter of its life through redevelopment into collaborative office and community space that will promote entrepreneurship and bring together organizations and small businesses whose success will continue to build on the revitalization of the regional economy.
The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce purchased the building from the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs in 2016 and recently finished its redevelopment. The chamber’s is one of many exciting efforts statewide to reutilize historic downtown buildings and capitalize on opportunities to use a number of state and federal incentives to bring communities new life through collaboration and vision.
A big part of what makes this particular deal historic is that SRCC has secured both federal Historic Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits through the National Trust Community Investment Corporation. This is the first such pairing in the nation as part of an NTCIC national main street initiative called the Small Deal Fund. It is worth $1.24 million to The Armory project.
In September 2016, SRCC also received a $1.47 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, a division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Brownfield Tax Increment Financing reimbursements have been negotiated with the city and approved through a 381 Workplan by MEDC. Additionally, chamber reserves have been utilized as needed, and construction and end loans are provided by First National Bank of America.
Interested? Talk to representative right away. Business hours are 9am-5pm Monday – Friday.
Vision Becomes Reality
Now complete, The Armory houses the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Michigan Small Business Development Center and the Shiawassee Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, as well as a variety of small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Offices vary in size from large private suites to open-air, drop-in work stations that share common spaces and for-hire reception services. Tenants may have multiple employees or simply be a home-based entrepreneur who needs a desk and a professional place to meet with clients. The concept of shared facilities and services is a growing one that promotes affordability and efficiency.
The REV incubator – Realizing Entreprenurial Vision – will open soon and will offer start-up visionaries myriad support resources, from fellow newbies to share ideas with, to seasoned professionals at the Small Business Development Center (located within The Armory) or other tenants.
See more about The Armory restoration.
Kincaid Henry Building Group of Lansing served as the construction manager. The firm has significant historical redevelopment experience, including similar work on other armories in the state.
There has been enthusiastic support for the armory initiative. It energized and served as the impetus for many other new investments in the downtown. Business, community and government leaders, as well as current and former residents, recognize its potential impact not just on Owosso’s downtown, but on the entire Shiawassee County region.