It's been at least a decade since downtown Flint has seen construction like Marketplace Apartments

FLINT, Michigan—In a downtown area where demolitions have become commonplace, the future Marketplace Apartments stands unique as the first new development being built here in more than a decade. 

Flint has seen a huge uptick in development in recent years — including the likes of the Ferris Wheel Building, Capitol Theatre, Mott Culinary Institute and the still-under construction Hilton hotel and UM-Flint’s Murchie Science Building. However, all those projects are renovations of and additions to existing buildings. 

Marketplace Apartments is being built brand new, from the ground up, at the former site of the YWCA building, which was demolished last year.

It’s been four years in the making. 

“It took a lot of collaboration, and a lot of creativity for us to get here,” said Chris Potterpin, vice president of PK Development Group. “We are proud to be a partner in Marketplace Apartments and excited to be bringing more housing options to Flint.”

Construction on the $19.6 million project is scheduled for completion at the end of this year with residents moving in at the start of 2020. The complex includes 92 apartments and townhouses that take up an entire downtown block between Third and Fourth streets and Stevens and Wallenberg streets. 

Related story: Flint starts 2019 with $200 million in ongoing development

The last new construction in downtown Flint was construction of First Street Residence halls in 2008. The last new development from private investment was the construction of the Flint Journal Printing Plant in 2004, which is now home to the Flint Farmers’ Market. 

Officials hosted a hard hat tour of the construction site to give a sneak peek at the development project  aimed at continuing the economic revitalization of downtown Flint. 

The completed complex will include two main buildings, a four-story mixed-use apartment building on the north end of the block and townhomes on the south side. Three commercial spaces within the mixed–use apartment building will occupy the ground floor along with parking with living spaces on the second through fourth floors.

Units will rent for $500-$1,300. Half of each of the four different types of housing are reserved low-income renters.

“In addition to the affordable housing options in Flint, The Marketplace will increase the number of residents living downtown, increasing foot traffic and generating new business for area merchants and helping to boost the city’s overall economy.” Said Stephanie Fenton, CFO of Uptown Reinvestment Corp., which currently has more than 40 rental holdings in the downtown area.

Apartments will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom units while the townhomes will have two- and three-bedroom options. All units boast modern amenities and fixtures as well as in unit laundry. Shared spaces for the community will include a fitness room, community lounge, playground and plaza in the center with a pavilion and barbecue area. Marketplace will be pet friendly, and green space for residents’ dogs is still being considered. 

Those interested in living at Marketplace can be placed on a waitlist starting in September, although URC already has about 20 people on a contact list that have shown interest in the residential units. 

There also has been interest in the commercial properties. Although no one is naming any names quite yet, businesses that had hoped for a place in the now full Perry Building are being courted to take up residence at Marketplace. 

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.