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Change is the Future for Frankenlust Township

Venerable Restaurant Bergers May Close, Old Michigan Haus Being Renovated

January 2, 2003       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Bergers Restaurant continues to serve home-cooked masterpieces,long at M-84 and Delta?
The Michigan Haus is getting a facelift but it's future use is unknown

The face of Frankenlust Township is a-changing, and fast, partly because the state is re-doing M-84 (West Side Saginaw Road) in a project slated to get underway this spring.

One main improvement in the offing is a boulevard at the entrance to Saginaw Valley State University.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (M-DOT)also is negotiating with Berger's Restaurant, an institution at M-84, Delta and Three Mile Roads.

"The new road is planned to come about ten feet from the front of the building," says Curt Berger, owner of the restaurant along with his brother, Bruce, the chef. "The right-of-way will be on our front porch."

Although the state has made an offer and the Bergers have counter-offered, nothing is settled,Curt Berger stressed. The state intends to build a new road in the spring, however, and that's not far off. "Nothing is definite, but we expect a total take," Curt commented.

Other well-known businesses, including Olson-Anderson Co., 6987 W.S. Saginaw Road, and a building owned by Murl Hoppe, CPA,6891 W.S. Saginaw Road, may also be acquired by the state or affected by the proposed changes to M-84.

Curt Berger said he expects his brother to rebuild the popular restaurant in another nearby location.

Meanwhile, the long-closed Michigan Haus, 2507 W.S. Saginaw Road, across the road from Berger's, is being renovated by its owner, Thomas Webb, of Midland. According to building permits issued by Frankenlust Township, Webb is putting $40,000 into windows and half-log siding on the exterior and has put $20,000 into a new roof on the old German restaurant.

Township officials said the owner has not applied for any permits for a new use for the building. Rumors range froma topless restaurant to apartments to an office building, but no official request has been made of the township planning commission.

Delta College is putting more than $16 million into administrative office and classroom wing renovations and an addition to the N-wing, according to the township. Spence Brothers of Saginaw is the contractor on most of the work while Gerace Construction of Midland is doing the office renovations.

And builder Ben Escamilla is constructing a 13,765 square foot office building estimated to cost $400,000 at 6907 W.S. Saginaw Road.

The largest development already well underway is the Brookside No. 3 Subdivision off West Side Saginaw Road near Kloha Road. The 162 unit subdivision is being installed by Freeland builder Ron Schauman, the same builder who has developed an addition to the Briar Hills Subdivision in Monitor Township, off Midland Road and Four Mile, with 26 home sites. Township residents already are familiar with a new street, Schauman Drive,just west of the entrance to McAlear-Sawden Elementary School.

Brookside's development will bring other new names into the local lexicon: Ryan Court, Kara, Blake, Zachary, Matthew and Brandon drives.

And, there are even more new homes in the Frankenlust future. Dozens of new home permits have been issued by the township and Midland builder Ben Lerner is planning even more condominiums at Bay Valley.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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