Flint, MI—The historic Paterson Building, located at 653 S. Saginaw Street in downtown Flint, has been condemned by the city, leaving business owners inside unclear on what’s next for their various enterprises.
A citation taped to the front door of the building on April 22 indicated that Flintstone Investment Group Corp, former NBA basketball player Morris Peterson’s investment group and the building’s owner, is occupying a condemned building.
While the citation’s issuing officer did not respond to a request for further information by press time, documents obtained by Flint Beat indicate that the owner has been aware of the building’s status since at least April 6, when a letter was sent out to tenants by Kotrina Peterson, Vice President of Operations for Flintstone Investment Group Corp. and Mr. Peterson’s sister.
“The violation notice is based on the following general statements of violations,” the letter reads. “The exterior portion on the structure has parapet falling on the sidewalk; the exterior roof and walls masonry is a hazard to the public. According to the city this structure and/or premises is hereby declared a hazard and nuisance as a dangerous structure unfit for human occupancy according to Section IPMC-108 of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted and amended by the city of Flint.”
The letter also stated that a construction team “has already begun plans to fix the necessary repairs” but that there is “no definite time for completion.” The tenant was then asked to provide a date by which they will vacate the property and whether they leave their items behind during the repairs or vacate entirely.
“I’ve done so much work,” lamented Pamela Price, board chair of Priceless Dreams nonprofit on the building’s first floor, in response to the citation update.
Price originally occupied a space on the building’s third floor, but after she’d made several thousand dollars’ worth of repairs and upgrades, a roof leak forced her to relocate to the building’s first floor in November of 2020. There she spent several thousand more dollars to make upgrades and reopened her business in 2021.
Now, she said, it feels like all of that work and money was a waste.
“I’m trying to figure out where to go,” Price said of her plan moving forward. “Because we don’t have the money like we used to have when we first invested … and this is a nonprofit servicing the community.”
A second letter was sent to tenants on April 15 alerting them that the front door of the building was no longer to be used as it was unsafe. The letter stated that Ms. Peterson had been “in contact with the city and contractors” on a plan for repairs but had no other update on when the situation would be resolved.
Price said she had already paid rent for the full of April and had not been offered a refund nor support in relocating.
“Just thousands of dollars just going to waste, and I’m a nonprofit,” she said, before discussing other businesses that have been in the building for decades or had also recently renovated. “Everybody’s just upset.”
Flintstone Investment Group Corp did not respond to Flint Beat’s request for comment by press time.