An update on downtown Flint’s ‘LiveWell’ development

By Kate Stockrahm

At the one year mark since its groundbreaking, “LiveWell on Harrison,” a mixed-use development that will relocate the YMCA and Crim Fitness Foundation and boast 50 new apartments, is taking shape amid the downtown Flint skyline.

The development is helmed by HWD Harrison, Inc. which Joe Martin, Director of Development at Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC), described as “an affiliate” of URC that “also includes membership from the YMCA.”

The housing component of the building is five stories tall and includes studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with the majority — 41 out of 50 — available to residents “with incomes at or below” 80% of Genesee County’s Area Median Income (AMI).

“Really, it’s starting to take shape,” Martin said of the apartment side of the building. “The framing is [up] and drywall is coming in, so you’re really starting to see the formation of the apartments coming along — which is neat.”

A view of the coming ‘LiveWell on Harrison’ mixed-use development from the corner of Fourth and Harrison Streets in downtown Flint on April 10, 2024. (Photo courtesy Flint YMCA)

Martin told East Village Magazine that construction is progressing smoothly and he anticipates the building is on track to open its doors in the first quarter of 2025.

While he was reluctant to share an exact date when leasing applications will open, Martin did offer that “more marketing opportunities about those timelines” are expected to “roll out over the summer… I would say July, August.”

As for the building’s YMCA component, the form of the 50,000 square foot, two-story complex can be seen framed out along Third Street, complete with its pool foundation dug out as of late April 2024.

Alongside its pool, exercise studios and full-length basketball court, the YMCA space will also feature a physical rehabilitation office run by Hurley Medical Center.

“I like to say this is going to be the new campus for health and wellness in downtown Flint,” said Pam Bailey, the YMCA’s Senior Director of Fundraising and Press Relations.

Bailey noted such a district was called for in Flint’s 2013 Master Plan, and she’s excited to be part of realizing that promise with LiveWell on Harrison.

“It’s development like this that anchors that,” she said. “It will allow that to truly feel like a ‘district’ versus a one off or two off.”

Bailey’s excitement at seeing the construction come together is also personal, she added, as her grandfather was a glazier in the area for 56 years before retiring.

“I remember hearing, as we would drive through Flint and he would point out buildings, ‘I put the glass in that building,’ and ‘I put the glass in that building,’” Bailey said, smiling. “I’m excited to join a legacy and a family tradition of building things in Flint that stand the test of time.”

The YMCA raised $21 million for the construction component of the development, which will total a bit over $40 million overall according to URC.

Bailey said the nonprofit is now fundraising another $1 million for new equipment, technology and furniture for after-school programming and community meetings.

Flint’s current YMCA facility, just a block over on Third Street, is close enough that YMCA staff and members have been able to watch the new site’s progress ever since its groundbreaking in May 2023.

Bailey said the YMCA’s current facility serves about 1,100 families, but with the new space, “every bit of research we’ve done has shown that we are going to double that easily.”

This article also appears in East Village Magazine’s May 2024 issue.

Author: East Village Magazine

A Non-profit, Community News Magazine Since 1976

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