Flint, MI — The Flint School District will soon list some of its 22 unoccupied and vacant properties for sale, but the Board of Education has yet to decide which properties might be put on the market, Superintendent Anita Steward said.

The board will discuss more details about the bidding and proposal process during a board meeting Aug. 11. The meeting will be held at Accelerated Learning Academy, 1602 S. Averill Avenue Flint, MI, at 6:30 p.m. for those interested in purchasing any of the properties. 

“Meeting attendees can expect to hear the Board of Education review and discuss a process for soliciting proposals of the properties. In these circumstances, there is often a bidding process that occurs. The board plans to also provide information regarding the procedure of potentially selling those spaces. The process is transparent and open to all potential bidders, including community groups,” Steward said.

The Board of Education has full legal power to sell or dispose of the properties, Attorney Gordon VanWieren of Thrun Law Firm said at a May 12 board meeting.

“With regards to your district policy, I’ve reviewed it, it’s very good, and it provides broad discretion, again, to allow the board to take action to sell property,” VanWieren, who specializes in public school real estate, told board members.

Michigan law requires districts to receive “fair value” for their properties, meaning they cannot simply give them away. VanWieren noted “fair value” was a different concept than “fair market value.” The former concerns the value of an asset’s intrinsic worth, while the latter refers to a price determined by supply and demand.

Since 2009, student enrollment has decreased by 70%, and the district has been unable to downsize fast enough, causing severe budget problems and an $18 million deficit.

The State of Michigan has charged Flint Schools with developing an enhanced deficit elimination plan and the board began exploring options in January, including selling the district’s vacant properties.

To inform the plan and the sale of the properties, the board voted to enter a $48,000 Memorandum of Understanding — a nonbinding agreement between entities— with the Department of Treasury that will pay for Plante Moran Cresa, a commercial real estate advisor, to do various assessments.

The assessments are already underway, which include a pupil enrollment projection, a building utilization assessment, capital planning facility assessments, and other program assessments.

Steward said there have been some inquiries about the properties.

One development firm, informally known as the Harvard Group, expressed interest in repurposing and restoring the Central High School-Whittier Classical Academy campus for adaptive reuse—the process of reusing an existing building for a purpose other than originally intended.

Ian Shetron, who would spearhead the potential project, said he will be attending the Aug. 11 board meeting, but has no further updates on the potential project.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

16 replies on “Flint Community Schools’ vacant properties are going up for sale”

  1. If Flint Central, my old school in the 80’s, goes up for sale, NO ONE WILL BUY IT! have you seen the very horrendous and irreparable damage done to the inside of it?? It really is deplorable and needs to be demolished! It will be 100 years old in 2022. It has been vacant and destroyed for 12 long years and just a horrible eyesore that needs to come down. Just the outdoor race track remains in great shape. A lot of very long vacant schools are in the same condition and not worth selling,. I just do not believe they will get one dime for these schools!

    1. Oh no in believe those buildings will be fine if they can be completely gutted out from the inside and extensively renovated , it will be fine because those buildings are very well built a d they definitely don’t need to be demolished, in the words of the honorable President Joseph R.Biden, they can build back better!!!

  2. To Bob Cummings! That’s a beautiful old building with alot of history. It needs to ne brought back to life not torn down!! Sadly alot of ignorant trespassers have destroyed alot of the building but if someone is willing to put the time, money and work into restoring it I say yes!!!!

    1. I think FCS should do just that have the Central and Whittier Campuses extensively renovated and opened right back up as they were in the past as educational institutions and not apartments, we don’t need anymore apartments here.

  3. Bob is right. The schools will be a 100 years old in the next year or two. And have been shut down for 13 years with no sort of upkeep at all. Vandals have completely destroyed the interior along with time and mother nature. When they close them in 2009 it was going to cost an estimated $27 million to renovate. I’m sure that number would be north of $45+ million when you calculate an inflation and the damage that has been done over the last 10+years. And that was just to renovate it and keep it as a school. Anyone who decides to use that building for another purpose is going to have massive renovation cost.

  4. I’m not worried there are tons of developers and companies with deep pockets that can put fourth the money to have those campuses renovated we just have to do really well with the marketing and believe me someone will come. What many here in Flint see as trash , someone else from outside the Flint area will see those campuses as treasure and take those campuses and restore them so much so to the point some of our people here in the city would’ve been like, “we should’ve just tried to take it and restore it ourselves when we had the chance “ because if some outsiders come and do it, they will out us to shame. The mindset in this city has to change, we gotta stop destroying our famous landmarks because in the end , we will have nothing to show for.

  5. Hopefully whoever buys them will put money into them to restore or replace anything other than them just continuing to deteriorate and serve as the heartbreaking reminder of what the city of Flint used to be. There’s already so many.

  6. I would like to see Central and Whittier renovated for housing. Have them locally owned and not an out-of-state investor. I lived in East Village when I was in my 20s. As a senior citizen, I could see the appeal of being in the heart of the cultural center, within walking distance to the Sloan, Flint Public Library, FIA, Longway Planetarium, and FIM!

  7. My prayer is for ALL involved in this matter to have receptive minds, sincere and open hearts, and the ability to make “informed” decisions.
    This is truly a very serious matter! Our children and their families are at the core of these decisions. We owe the children a solid education foundation! Any decisions made should consider what it means for them, their future, and the future of the Flint Community. There is no room for selfishness, power struggles, politics, personal conflicts or self-aggrandisement. Today’s school children will remember what we did for them when they were in need. Prepared or ill-prepared academically, they will pay into your social security (Nothing in-nothing out!). Agree to disagree and it becomes a Win-Win situation! Let’s face it, when the dealing’s done, Flint will have a
    school system! I’m trusting that you’re going to give your best for this one. Don’t let this one fail “on your watch”. Thank you

  8. Really they should give them away, they don’t take care of the properties anyway tear them down and make petting zoos or parks, Northern would be a great place for senior living facility…

  9. They are NOT WORTH restoring. Wake up and smell the too much destruction! Especially Central, Whittier, and Lowell. All three are extremely old and on the verge of collapse. It would be a huge waste of money and time. Idiots have destroyed these buildings way beyond repair. They should have been sold the day they became vacant for the first time! Too late and waited too long now. They are better off demolished. Time to move on from the past! All the other very long vacant schools are in the same very poor state and not worth renovating Anyone buying these ruined buildings is totally retarded. The School districts will not get one cent from any of them.

  10. To Bobbie Freeman: Central does have a lot of history in it and it is Flint’s OLDEST high school. It opened in 1922 and my dad was just a small boy when it opened. It is no longer worth restoring. It has been vacant and totally ruined for 12 too long years and needs to come down. It gets worse because more idiots keep going in it to do much more damage and put it online! It makes me puke seeing it like this! It was in better shape the first day it closed and should have been sold then, not now. Way too jacked up and beyond repair to fix. Way too costly and just not worth it for this 100 year old structure that is now just a putrid eyesore. This was my old school in the early 80’s. Time for it to be demolished and put something else there besides apartments. Put NEW HOUSES there,

  11. Let the out to lunch and dinner school board demolish all the very very long and vacant schools because they can’t be restored. Way too much damage done to all of them due to idiotic vandals and time. Anyone who considers buying any of these schools is dumber than the school board. Way too late to sell them now and they waited way too long to try to sell them. They are just not in shape to be sold and are better off being demolished. The costs of restoring just one would be way too astronomical and not worth it. The buildings are way too old and too jacked up. Would YOU buy them in that shape?? NOT!

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