(FLINT, Mich. – Nov. 25, 213) Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) announced today that the demolition of Genesee Towers, Flint’s tallest building, is scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 22 at 10:00 a.m. The 19-story building will be blasted using an implosion process designed to allow the building to collapse within its own footprint.

The demolition of Genesee Towers is a significant first step in making way for the construction of an Exploration Park. The project coincides with the redevelopment of the neighboring Flint Journal properties that will house the new Flint Farmers Market, MSU Public Health program, lofts and retail.

URC President Tim Herman encourages the community to look past the nostalgia and see the benefits of demolishing Genesee Towers.

“We’re about a month out from changing the downtown Flint skyline,” said Herman. “Soon we’ll look back on this historic occasion and recognize it as one of the key events that helped to eradicate blight and encourage new business growth. The redevelopment plans for this site will bring new life to downtown Flint and a safer place for workers and families to enjoy the outdoors.”

According to Dave Lurvey, a consultant who is managing the project on behalf of Siwek Construction, the demolition team has made solid progress over the past few weeks.

“The majority of the work has focused on wall coring and specific structure removal in line with the implosion plan. This work will continue for the next few weeks as well as activity on the perimeter of the site to protect adjacent buildings, said Lurvey. “In addition, we have addressed all environmental concerns that are relevant for this method of implosion.”

Additional Updates

  • Evacuation notification. There are certain addresses that are located within the safe zone (Approx. 600 feet from the Towers) which will require evacuation. These addresses will be notified on a case- by-case basis over the next two weeks. In addition, meetings are underway to roll out procedures.
  • Boarding up adjacent properties. Contractors have placed protective covering on some nearby buildings. The process will continue until it is complete.
  • Access to building. The demolition site will be a “no access” zone. For safety precautions, only the implosion crew will be allowed to enter the building.
  • Command Post. A designated command post will be set up on the perimeter of the safe zone. It is also expected that a suggested location will be made available to the news media, photographers and videographers. Filming and live streaming from this location would be permitted from this area as well. More details to come.
  • Viewing area. A suggested public viewing area will be designated and communicated to the public through local news outlets. Although plans are not completely finalized, it is expected that the most likely viewing area will be north of Genesee Towers near Kearsley Street. Notification will take place 24 hours prior to the implosion to ensure that the demolition team has the most current weather report on the direction of winds.
  • Implosion duration.  The actual implosion will last a few seconds. Contract Drilling & Blasting, a nationally recognized implosion firm will place many small explosive charges at critical locations on the structure. These charges will detonate at intervals to dominate the direction of fall.
  • Effect of implosion on gas lines, water lines, electrical service. There will be no adverse effect on utility services as a result of the implosion operations.

About Uptown Reinvestment Corporation

The Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) is a nonprofit organization with a focus on revitalizing downtown Flint.  URC’s mission is to bring together all downtown interests, including government, education, business and charitable institutions in a broad-based coalition.

A group of community leaders work together to support existing businesses and encourage entrepreneurial business development in the downtown business district.  Among their many goals, they work to enhance the public infrastructure and improve aesthetics, increase downtown residency, and develop the downtown area into an attractive area for business, employment and entertainment.