Downtown Flint Health & Wellness District Becomes a Reality

(FLINT, Mich. – June 27, 2013) Uptown Reinvestment Corporation has received a $5,649,871 Michigan Community Revitalization Program incentive from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Strategic Fund. The grant/loan was awarded to redevelop four city blocks in downtown Flint to create an emerging health and wellness district, and for the betterment of Flint and Genesee County.

The project will consist of three main components: the renovation of the former Flint Journal’s headquarters to make way for Michigan State University’s Flint Public Health & Medical Campus project; the relocation of the 70-plus vendor Flint Farmers Market to the vacant Flint Journal printing facility; and the demolition of the Genesee Towers property to make way for an urban plaza.

“This news could not have come at a better time,” said Tim Herman, President of Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) and CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “The funds were a critical factor in our ability to move forward with plans for a health, wellness and education district in downtown Flint. We’re very grateful.”

The Flint Journal headquarters renovation will also include 16 loft-style apartments and office space, and the Farmers Market will include a commercial community kitchen. The project will generate a total capital investment of $30 million and create 75 full-time jobs. The City of Flint will support the project through a Community Development Block Grant totaling $880,000 and the approval of an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Certificate.

Herman adds that Ridgeway White, Vice President, C. S. Mott Foundation has played a significant role in the project.  “We owe much of the credit for getting this award to Ridgway,” says Herman. “He has been working tirelessly on this project communicating with the state and the City of Flint from start to finish. He’s been invaluable to us.”

To date, the URC has completed projects encompassing 600,000 sq. ft. of mixed-use space totaling $65 million. Recently announced URC projects include: Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine expanding its public health and medical education program; Genesys’ Downtown Health Center; and the opening of Landaal Packaging Systems’ Innovation Center and Corporate Offices.