Hilton Hotel Seeks Downtown Flint Location

The words “Hilton Hotel” may be gracing the skyline of downtown Flint in the near future. The project, which will cost an estimated 36 million dollars, will renovate the historic Genesee County Savings Bank, located on 352 S Saginaw St., into a hotel of over 100 rooms complete with a full service restaurant and rooftop bar on the annex building next to the bank.

The project is being facilitated by Uptown Developments, LLC, a downtown reinvestment corporation focused on both commercial and residential development in Flint. Uptown has facilitated projects to rejuvenate buildings in Flint before, some including the Rowe Building, the First Street Lofts, and the Wade Trim building.

On Tuesday, April 24, a proposal was brought before the Flint Planning Commission Board by Uptown Developments, LLC, requesting two permits, one being a Street Vacation and the other a Site Plan Approval.

The Street Vacation Permit requested that the section of Buckham Ally behind the Genesee County Savings Bank be surrendered by the city of Flint and given to Uptown in order to be redone for hotel usage. Uptown would redo, as well as widen, Buckham Alley in order to gain access to the hotel’s entrance. Afterward, Buckham Alley would be donated back to the city. Members of the board all voted in favor for the permit, and it will now be moved to the Flint City Council.

The second permit request was for a Site Plan Approval for the hotel, in which Uptown provided detailed architectural blueprints for the renovation and transition into a Hilton Garden Inn. The blueprints depict a large sign spelling out the word “Hilton” on the top of the building’s east side, overlooking Saginaw Street and mirroring that of the Flint Farmers’ Market.

The plan also detailed that two buildings behind the future Hilton, both currently vacant, would be demolished and turned into green space. The board moved to postpone the vote, due to the lack of detailed plans for outdoor lighting, dumpster placement, and what they felt was an inadequate site plan for the green space.

“This is one more component of a package of developments (UM-Flint expansion, Capitol Theatre, Ferris Wheel, etc.) that will add to the revitalization of downtown Flint,” said Paula Nas, director of University Outreach and the EDA Center for Community & Economic Development at UM-Flint. “As Flint attracts increasing numbers of visitors for entertainment, dining, business, festivals, and university-related purposes, there will be a greater demand for overnight accommodations.”