FLINT, MI — The long-awaited Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Flint will be open Monday, a project that “invigorates Flint’s skyline,” officials say.
The hotel held a media event Friday, Oct. 30. The location includes an upscale Italian restaurant, meeting rooms and banquet center and a rooftop lounge and deck that offers view of Flint’s horizons. There is also a ground floor coffee shop in the building’s southeast corner where Kearsley and Saginaw streets meet.
The opening of the Hilton Garden Inn is a step forward in the revitalization of Flint, said Tim Herman, president of Uptown Reinvestment Corp., the project’s developer. Herman is also the CEO of the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
“Not only does the hotel bring needed accommodations to downtown, it is bringing new jobs,” Herman said. “In fact, it’s a lightning rod for increased activity and spending in the area.”
While it has been difficult working to open a hotel amid a pandemic, Herman said the hotel has been able to establish safety protocols for its patrons, including extra sanitation and establishing limited restaurant capacity.
The Hilton Garden Inn Flint Downtown will staff 45 full-time and 15 part-time employees, Herman said. In addition, he said many jobs have been created through the renovation of the building.
The hotel will provide a significant boost for downtown businesses, said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
The hotel transforms the former 1920s-era Genesee County Savings Bank building, 110 W. Kearsley St., which also once housed the Flint Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a real estate firm. Plans to redevelop the building began in 2017
The 148,470-square-foot building’s architectural style is Italian Renaissance Revival with Art Deco elements added in 1947.
The adjacent grand banking hall has been converted into the home of Sauce Italian American Kitchen. The mezzanine level offers additional restaurant seating and serves as a pre-function area to the meeting rooms and banquet spaces on the second floor.
“This development restores one of Flint’s iconic historic buildings and is a cornerstone piece of our city’s ongoing economic development,” Neeley said. “The City of Flint welcomes the Hilton Garden Inn and all of its guests. We look forward to showing even more visitors all that Flint has to offer — and bringing even more tourism dollars to support our growing network of entrepreneurs.”
Valet parking is provided around the clock for $15 per day. Self-parking is also available at the nearby Rutherford Garage.
“Bringing new life to a historic downtown building, the Hilton Garden Inn Flint Downtown is a tremendous example of the innovative placemaking the MEDC is proud to support,” said Michele Wildman, senior vice president of community development at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “This new development is an incredible asset for local tourism efforts and hospitality industry in the region while also contributing to the overall vibrancy of downtown Flint.”