Flint, MI–HGTV’s Nicole Curtis may be coming to Flint to restore a historic land bank-owned property. 

Curtis is a historic preservationist, real estate agent, and self-proclaimed addict of home renovation. 

She hosted the show “Rehab Addict,” on HGTV for almost ten years, and now hosts the spin-off, “Rehab Addict Rescue.” In the first show, Curtis and her team worked to restore old homes to their former glory. On the new show, she helps and mentors struggling homeowners with their renovations. 

Curtis has spent a lot of time working on homes in Detroit, but recently, she’s been dealing with a legal dispute with Detroit Land Bank Authority.

She sued the Detroit land bank earlier this month, after purchasing a property from a private owner in 2017, and later finding out the land bank actually owned the property title. She’s already put time, work, and $60,000 into rehabbing it, which she alleges the land bank would directly benefit from, so she believes she’s entitled to ownership of the property, or reimbursement.

The land bank has said that she will need to bid on the house if she wants it, and the listed price is $40,000. 

Now, Curtis is having conversations with the Genesee County Land Bank Director Michael Freeman, about potentially working on a property in Flint. 

Freeman said they’re “just having conversations right now,” but that Curtis has expressed interest in finding ways she can work with the land bank. 

Still, the details of how, when, and where have not been solidified yet. Freeman did say that the only way she’ll work on a property is if it’s made available for home ownership. He said this could be a great opportunity for Flint. 

“The quality of what she does is always top notch,” he said. “Where she’s really unique is she’s always shown the intersection between historic preservation, housing redevelopment, and revitalizing neighborhoods. I think that she really understands what our goals are.”

The land bank often sees people looking to do a “quick flip” to make a profit, and Freeman said they’re really looking for people who will do the best renovations possible and make a long term investment in the city. He said this could also be a chance to show the world a more positive view of Flint. 

Freeman said Curtis’s work in Detroit has done wonderful things for that city, and that if Flint properties were featured on her show, people could see that “we have beautiful architecture here, too.”

“Flint has this national narrative as being the city with a water crisis, and before that it was the ‘Roger and Me’ city. It’s always been negative narratives,” Freeman said. “If Nicole decides to come work with us, it’s an opportunity to change some of that narrative…and show that she sees the value of improving Flint.” 

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...