Monday, June 13, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Cool Cities Grant Sparks Transformation of Problem Properties
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that three blighted, obsolete and contaminated buildings in downtown Flint will be revitalized and converted into a major residential, commercial and entertainment complex with the assistance of a brownfield Single Business Tax credit from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The project is expected to generate more than $9.5 million in private investment and locate approximately 200 jobs downtown.
"This major redevelopment project in the heart of Flint is another example of the city's strong comeback," Granholm said. "It will breathe new life into the downtown and make the city a serious contender in the fight for new jobs and investment."
The developer, 500 Block LLC, in partnership with Rowe Inc. and Downtown 1 LLC, will use a $957,211 brownfield Single Business Tax credit with its own investment of $9.5 million to transform the vacant, historic buildings located at 532, 538 and 542 South Saginaw Street into a four-story, 60,000-square-foot, mixed-use development. In addition to providing new space for restaurants, a sports bar, night club and eight 1,200-square-foot loft apartments, the facility will house the corporate headquarters for Rowe Inc., a Flint-based engineering firm currently located on Taylor Drive. The project will bring 100 Rowe employees to work at the downtown headquarters and create approximately 100 new jobs.
"We hope that this will be one of many more mixed-use projects. Uptown Developments LLC plans to create an exciting environment downtown and a synergistic relationship with both the campuses of Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Flint," Uptown Developments LLC Manager Scott Whipple said. "Both the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation and the MEDC have been great partners on this project and we are excited to bring creative class-type jobs to downtown Flint."
"Strong and vibrant cities are critical to Michigan's economy," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "The Michigan brownfield redevelopment program helps communities throughout the state convert blighted properties into valuable job and income-generating assets."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of more than 41,695 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.