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Saginaw Urban Design Charrette Press Release. November 5, 2013 New E.R.A. News Media Contact Kimberly Butler (703) 675-0261

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saginaw urban design charrette press release
Saginaw Urban Design CharrettePress Release

November 5, 2013

New E.R.A. News Media Contact

Kimberly Butler

(703) 675-0261

The Saginaw Urban Design Charrette is being sponsored by the New E.R.A. Community Group on November 8th – 12th , 2013. The Charrette has attracted the attention and support of several accomplished and well known Urban Design professionals from outside of the State of Michigan including Architect, Urbanist and Author Mark Treu, as well as Nicole White, a highly experienced and industry recognized Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering Consultant from Symmetra Design based in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Both have joined the team of professional volunteers that will work with the local Design Team being led by Chris Bohinski of TSSF Architects, Inc., based in Saginaw, Michigan. The Charrettewill be facilitated by Sarah Anne Lewis, AIA, LEED AP, CNU-A Associate, of Fuss & Oneil Inc.

The Saginaw Urban Design Charrette will bring together a group of decision-makers, subject matter experts, design professionals and community stakeholders for a focused five-day design and planning process targeted at revitalizing central downtown Saginaw. Participants will brainstorm ideas for stimulating economic development and there will be sessions open to the general public, as well as other key groups (such as design and planning professionals) desiring to contribute to the process.

For more information go to or contact Pam Parks at (248) 361-9504.


Martin Treu'spassion is urbanism and he spent the past two decades traveling the world studying places that serve the living, working, and recreational needs of residents and visitors alike. Martin’s grandfather started two beer distributorships in the Midwest, including one in Saginaw. He grew up in Toledo but, visited Saginaw many times as a young man. Martin earned separate degrees in architecture and graphic design. These areas of expertise led him to study the history of the appearance of Main Street in America, its buildings and business signs, and eventually to write the book, Signs, Streets, and Storefronts (Johns Hopkins University Press). Mr. Treu has run firms in advertising and architectural design, but recently returned to school for his third degree, in urban design. This new area of expertise permits him to return to many of the towns he carefully studied for his book, in order to help create useful master plans and to help guide smart growth while protecting historic assets.

Although Saginaw was not included in his book research, he cares greatly about the city's future, and hopes that his unique, multifaceted expertise will be an especially useful asset in the forthcoming Saginaw Urban Design Charette.

Nicole White, P.E., PTOE is Principal of Symmetra Design. She is also an accomplished and industry recognized transportation planning and traffic engineering consultant in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. Nicole was recently selected to receive the distinguished 2013 Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award.   The Top 100 MBE® Award is given to women and minority entrepreneurs in the Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington DC area that fuel the region's economy through their innovation, sacrifice, and dedication.  Recipients have made significant contributions to their clients, professions, and communities.  

Symmetra Design is a transportation planning and traffic engineering consulting firm and is at the forefront of the transportation industry, by planning and engineering multi-modal solutions that appeal to the balanced needs of urban environments and metropolitan areas.

Chris Bohinskiis a Project Manager at TSSF Architects and he is the Design Team Lead for the Saginaw Urban Design Charrette. Chris completed the NCI Charrette Training in June 2013 and he has been a committed and key member of the Charrette Steering Committee since that time.

Chris studied architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1999. He has more than 14 years of experience in the Great Lakes Bay Region and is a lifelong resident of the Saginaw area.

TSSF Architects, Inc. is a Saginaw-based architectural firm established in 1957. TSSF specializes in commercial, institutional, and educational projects. Some of the notable recent projects in Saginaw are the renovations to the Saginaw YMCA and FirstMerit Event Park Pavilion.