These 6 longtime Flint eyesores soon will be dust

FLINT, Michigan—Things are about to look very different around Flint.

A $3.1 million demolition project headed by the Genesee County Land Bank is in the works in Flint and will level six longtime neighborhood eyesores and make way for new developments.

Two of the high profile demos have already been completed—or very close to it. The vacant Glen Acres apartment complex at 1920 Pierson Road and the neighboring site at the corner of Clio Road already have been knocked down to make way for the new North Flint Food Market—one of two new grocery stores being built in the city of Flint.

A third nearly complete demolition is the small strip mall located at 2807 Corunna Road, a project done in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the West Flint Community Watch.

Those and all the other commercial demolitions also are supported in part with funds from the city of Flint’s Community Development Block Grant dollars and in some instances a combination of other funding, too, said Michele Wildman, executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank.

With those project nearly complete, there are three others that will transform areas in three other Flint neighborhoods in the next three to six months.
  • 1425 N. Saginaw St.: This multi-story abandoned warehouse and garage is located on the corner of Wood Street, across from University Park Estates. This is one of the locations identified for development in the South Flint Development Plan, which could create up to three new multi-use housing developments in Flint. A competitive grant from Michigan State Housing and Development Authority is also helping to fund the project.
     
  • 1518 Averill Ave.: The former Kirkwood Community mobile home park neighbors the former Delphi property recently purchased for $15 million by Phoenix Investors—which also donated $50,000 to help demolish the abandoned property.
     
  • 810 S. Ballenger Highway: Located just north of Court Street, the demolition of the former Ballenger Court Apartments is located near both McLaren Hospital and the former Coolidge School development project. Both MSHDA and the county treasurer continued toward the project.
RELATED: New housing development coming to Flint—could be first of three

The projects are important to allow for job creation and economic development in the area—but the impact goes far deeper, Wildman said.

“There is the quantifiable impact that we talk about with any economic development project, but there is also immeasurable benefit to the neighbors,” said Wildman who pointed specifically to public safety, beautification, and sense of well being for those living in the area.

The commercial demolitions are in addition to 5,000 residential demolitions being completed with $67.4 million in Hardest Hit funds. More than half of those planned demolitions already have been completed and another 2,300 are either in progress or planned for 2018.

Additional funding also is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Genesee County Treasurer’s office.

Read more articles by Marjory Raymer.

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