The economy is recovering, driven in large part by consumer spending and aid from the federal government. Many businesses have reopened, unemployment is trending downward, the housing market is strong, travel and tourism are on the rise, COVID-19 cases are declining, and slowly, more people are getting vaccinated, although not nearly enough.
As our local economy reopens, we are seeing forward momentum in Genesee County in a variety of ways, most recently through development projects. In fact, just this past week there were two announcements that brought investment news to our community.
Genesee Health System held an event to break ground on their new $23 million Center for Children’s Integrated Services. The 60,000 square foot facility will house all GHS children’s programs under one roof, including the Neurological Center for Excellence, Children’s Autism Center, and Child and Family Services.
The facility is being built in the South Saginaw Corridor, which is south of downtown Flint. This is an area that has great potential but has needed investment and revitalization for some time. So, I’m very pleased that GHS chose to make the first major investment in this area. While our team at Uptown Reinvestment Corporation is partnering with GHS on the project, we are also working to turn that area around. It’s part of a longer-term goal to invest in and reinvigorate the corridor. In fact, we have already begun acquiring several vacant and blighted properties and demolishing other buildings.
A day later, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced $26.2 million will be invested to establish a state park in Genesee County. The creation of a state park – located on the historic Chevy Commons – will take our recreational capacity and greenspace to another level and play an important role in the continued restoration of the Flint river. This investment could also bring small businesses and jobs, and a place where children and their families, and visitors can enjoy an amazing community space. The state park will also be a great complement to our region’s county-park system, the largest in Michigan.
At the core of these investment projects and many others, are strong partnerships – national, state, county and city coming together with foundations, and business and economic development organizations to increase economic vitality and improve the quality of life for our citizens.
When you invest in and maintain the areas and institutions that make a community special it contributes to culture and a sense of place, where people want to live, work and visit, and keeps our region moving forward.
If you want to know more about what’s happening in business, economic development, education and workforce development, or hospitality and tourism, visit the Flint & Genesee Group website at FlintandGenesee.org.
Tim Herman is the chief executive officer of Flint & Genesee Group and president of Uptown Reinvestment Corporation.