(3/20/2019) – There’s a new game plan to revitalize a major mid-Michigan city. The Flint Downtown Development Authority is putting out its 20-year plan, and there are some exciting changes in the works. “There is a really strong demand for live entertainment and acts without driving an hour away,” Flint DDA Executive Director Gerard Burnash said.
The AECOM Gameplan Summary looked into what stakeholders wanted and generated a 20-year plan for the downtown area of the city. Burnash says there’s a draw for more venues for entertainment and opportunity zones could make that a possibility. Opportunity zones are where state and local tax breaks could help new businesses get their start.
The plan has marked up the city into districts: Entertainment, Riverfront Working and Playing, and University Growth. “People want to be down here and we want to give them what they want,” Burnash said. Bedrock owner Jason Trice has run his clothing store within the Capitol Theater for the past eight months.
“I’m excited to see more shows put on at the Capitol,” Trice said. He can’t wait to see downtown Flint come alive during the summer months.
“I think it’s very important to be down here,” Trice said.
Extra foot traffic is what he is looking for because now he plans on opening a new shoe store a couple of blocks away.
“We want the people that come here (Flint) to be able to buy everything downtown without having to go somewhere else,” Trice said.
One place where you can see growth already is the former YWCA lot. The framework for one of the mixed-use buildings is up. Gerard can’t wait to see that finished because in the Gameplan residential space is another demand. “It’s certain things that are going on here that are going to help the area,” Trice said.
Burnash says Flint’s revitalization could be done in 20 years. He says look at the progress made the past 10 is night and day.