Uptown Reinvestment Corporation enters a purchase agreement with The Flint Journal

The Flint-area economy is moving in the right direction and if it’s up to Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) and its partners, the community will continue to see the revitalization of downtown Flint.

Today, the momentum continues. URC, a nonprofit corporation created to strategically target downtown Flint for redevelopment has entered an agreement with The Flint Journal. The agreement is to purchase two Flint Journal properties: the historic Flint Journal building (Located at 200 East First Street) and the former newspaper printing facilities (Located at 100 East First Street). The combined buildings total nearly 200,000 square feet of space and over five acres of land. The intent is to renovate and lease the former newspaper offices to one or more organizations.

In recent weeks, Michigan State University (MSU) announced expansion plans for its medical education and public health programs in Flint. MSU, which received a $2.8 million grant for the expansion from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in December 2011, has expressed interest in creating a campus in downtown Flint.

Tim Herman, president of the URC says that MSU could be an ideal tenant for the former Flint Journal property.

“URC is working with the C. S. Mott Foundation and MSU to determine if the property is a good fit for MSU’s needs,” said Herman.

“Health care is one of the fastest growing sectors in Flint-Genesee County and a key driver of our local economy,” said Herman.  “So we’re really excited that MSU wants to bring its medical education and public health program to Flint – especially to downtown.

This program provides great option for local students who are interested in public health education.”

“URC is off to a good start with redevelopment projects this year with the former Flint Journal properties,” said Inez Brown, Board Chair for URC.  “We look forward to matching the space to the right business or nonprofit organization, and generating excitement about revitalization efforts in downtown Flint.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased that Michigan State University is expanding its medical education program and bringing its public health program to the Flint area – where it will complement an already thriving college and university atmosphere,” said Charles Stewart Mott Foundation President and CEO William S. White. “Finding a suitable location for the program – preferably downtown – has been uppermost in the minds of all of us associated with this project including Uptown, which has been actively scouting locations. Giving new life to an older building, such as the Flint Journal property, would be a welcome addition to the various revitalization efforts that have taken place downtown in recent years.”

The purchase agreement on the former Flint Journal property is subject to finalization once all aspects of due diligence has been completed.

URC is committed to make downtown Flint one of the best “small-city” downtowns in the United States. It’s an aggressive goal; however the Corporation has had influence over the past eight years on downtown investment projects totaling more than $387 million.

“We’re excited about what’s happening downtown,” said Herman. “We have had a good string of developments and we plan to keep the momentum going. This is going to be a good year!”