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Published 1/20/2020
10:51pm

Apparently Panera May Not Be Coming to Owosso After All

Woodworth Commercial Backtracks After Teasing New Development

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Woodworth Commercial/Facebook

"Guess what....." Panera Bread isn't coming to Owosso -- at least, not yet, despite a suggestion to that end via a Woodworth Commercial Facebook post on Sunday.  A sign that reads "Coming soon to your neighborhood" that includes the Panera logo was placed in front of the Matthews Building recently, but after the real estate agency's initial Panera post, the company issued a follow-up, saying the sign was a prank and, somehow, even Woodworth, owner of the Matthews Building, fell for it.

There's more to the story!  Keep reading!

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"We have indeed been talking with Panera and several others for this site at 300 W. Main in Owosso, so when the sign went up we thought we were possibly out of the loop with the developers so we shared the picture," a Monday update reads. "This was not the case. As it turns out - someone pranked us... embarrassing to say the least.  THE GOOD NEWS is because of the buzz created, we’ve been in contact and will continue negotiations.

Randy Woodworth and Woodworth Commercial has owned the building for close to six years. Details of the development, including project timing and the fate of the historic building, aren't clear yet.

The existing building replaced a brewery that was built on the same property in the 1890s. That building burned in 1898. Construction on the new building was completed in 1901.

The fate of Mueller Brothers Brewery was short lived, as Shiawassee County voted in 1910 to become a dry county.

The building became known as the Matthews Building after Roy Matthews purchased it in 1915. Matthews converted it into an office building. Matthews later became a Shiawassee County Probate Judge, per ShiawasseeHistory.com.

Woodworth has explored other development scenarios since purchasing the property, including apartments with incredible views of the river and Curwood Castle, and a medical marijuana provisioning center.

In late 2019, Woodworth said it would either rehabilitate or demolish the building.

There's a lot more from Corunna Now to see and hear, including this week's top stories! Keep going!

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