Flint, MI—Construction began on May 4, 2023, on a new mixed-use development in downtown Flint.

The coming five-story building, dubbed “Live Well on Harrison,” will relocate the YMCA of Greater Flint and the Crim Fitness Foundation, house a physical therapy clinic and bring 50 new apartments to the city’s core.

“It is our mission to help other nonprofits in the community by lending our experience and capacity to important projects like this,” Tim Herman, CEO of the building’s developer Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, said at the groundbreaking event on May 4. “Live Well on Harrison is a prime example of what can be accomplished when partners come together to realize a shared vision.”

The project has made quick progress since Uptown applied for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement in December 2022.

That now-approved PILOT will see the City of Flint collect a 10% annual service charge on the building rather than property tax, which would’ve equated to roughly $33,000 more per year at full occupancy.

A rendering of the mixed-use development that will house the YMCA of Greater Flint’s new location as well as a new Hurley physical therapy clinic and apartments in downtown Flint, Mich. (Rendering courtesy of the YMCA of Greater Flint)

In exchange for the lower annual payments, the developer has guaranteed 19 of the property’s 50 residential units will be income-restricted for affordability, aside from supporting multiple health and wellness service providers, like the YMCA.

“We’re so thrilled to be celebrating with all of you today,” said Shelly Hilton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Flint. “The programs and services that we are going to be offering at this new facility will be the catalyst to transform lives.”

Hilton went on to thank her staff, board and the project’s donors, including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which offered a $16.5 million grant, and another $1 million donor who chose to remain anonymous.

But as she went on to thank NBA star and Flint-native Kyle Kuzma, who was among the attendees and had himself donated $1 million to the development, her voice caught a moment.

“My staff was all, like, taking bets if this was gonna happen or not,” she said with a smile. “Kyle represents the potential we see in every kid who walks through our doors to achieve their dreams. To each of you, thank you.”

Construction of Live Well on Harrison is expected to be complete by the end of 2024. Joe Martin, Uptown’s director of development, estimated the overall project cost will total a bit over $40 million.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....