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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 506
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 6:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I figured I would post some of the developments we've seen since the 'Reviving Downtown Flint' thread got moved to the Hall of Fame.

Plans for the new UM-Flint dorms were released just in the past couple weeks. Personally, I'm a bit disappointed in the design (looks too much like a suburban apartment building), but I've seen worse. I'm happy enough that the dorms are moving forward that I would have accepted nearly anything.
http://beta-www.umflint.edu/ho using/

Today, an announcement was made about the East side of the 500 S. Saginaw block, which had been donated to Uptown developments by the Mott foundation a while back. Now going by the name 'Mott Block' (Mott Foundation building is at the northern end) the new project is anchored by Wade-Trim and involves tearing down 3 buildings to be replaced by a new one, and renovating two others. A friend involved in the design told me the three being demolished were originally going to be renovated, but were structurally unsound and costs to correct that would have been way too prohibitive. The renderings look great. One building (Blackstone's, formerly the State theatre) looks like at least the exterior will resemble the original look of the Strand Theatre that was two buildings north until the 60s. Even the new building has a historic look to it, although with a modern flair in the plaza area. (i'm really excited about this one)
http://uptowndevelopments.com/ properties/mottblock.html

Some demolition work on the Community Foundation building, another Uptown project, on the north end of the West 500 block and across First Street from the First Street Lofts building, has begun. Last time I drove through, the old 1950s-ish facades had been removed, and my friend seemed to think some asbestos removal had begun, but wasn't entirely sure.

Work on the Rowe Building continues, although it was delayed significantly from the original timetable. Apparently some issues with the walls between the original three buildings came up - when they did the initial inspection, some assumptions had to be made regarding the original buildings, which turned out to be wrong, and they had to come up with new solutions on how to break through the walls. I believe weather may have been another issue - they were expecting to have the facade up in the spring, but i have not yet seen any work on it.

Atwood stadium received a grant a while back to complete the seating replacement program. it also involves replacing much of the concrete in that end of the stands.

Renovating the Durant hotel for student housing has hit some snags. Some county commissioners are concerned that the county could end up holding the bag if plans to convert it to student housing fall through. So that project has stalled for the moment at least, but is by no means dead.

Shooting of the movie Semi-Pro seems to have had a positive effect on downtown too. The marquee of the Capitol theatre got a $20,000 facelift. The Carriage Town Inn got a new sign (The Kremlin) and some new windows, and the owner hopes to open it up as a real bar under the same name in the near future.
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Username: Masterblaster

Post Number: 28
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 11:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, I am excited for Flint. I had no idea of all the improvements going on in the downtown area. Are there pre-existing dorms at U of M-Flint already, or are these the first?

I hope more investment comes pouring in.
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5453
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 12:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They are the first.
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 918
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 - 8:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, seems as though the Durant Hotel would make a great place for student housing. Those dorm renderings do kind of look like a retirement home, but anything is better than nothing, right? Mott block drawings look awesome though! Glad to hear about the facade improvements, even if they were for a movie. That is definitely an important step in overall redevelopment.

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