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Flint Local NewsThe historic Paterson Building in Flint to be renovated thanks to a...

The historic Paterson Building in Flint to be renovated thanks to a multi-million grant

Flint, Michigan – The Mott Foundation has given $3.5 million to Communities First, Inc. This money will be used to buy and renovate two historical, run-down buildings: the Paterson Building at 653 S. Saginaw St. and another nearby at 641 S. Saginaw St.

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Originally owned by William A. Paterson, the Paterson Building used to be a place where carriages and cars were produced. It was shut down in early 2022 because a piece of the roof fell off onto the sidewalk. Thanks to the Mott Foundation’s $3 million grant, Communities First will now own it and renovate it. They plan to use it for offices and shops and will move their own offices there.

Complete renovation and preparing office space

First, they’ll fix the building to make it safe. This includes mending the outer walls, updating the heating and fire systems, putting in new windows, elevators, and air conditioning. The inside will also be redone to create spaces for different businesses to rent.

“Communities First has a strong track record of acquiring and renovating old, abandoned buildings and bringing them back to life for new purposes,” said Ridgway White, President and CEO of the Mott Foundation. It’s fitting that the organization will soon be able to call the historic Paterson Building home and open the doors for more businesses and organizations to move downtown.”

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The building at 641 S. Saginaw St., built in 1890, used to be the Classic Tailor shop. Next to Paul’s Pipe Shop, it was empty for many years. Earlier this year, it was deemed unsafe and partly fell down into Brush Alley. Communities First has bought this building and plans to start fixing it up in early 2024, using a $500,000 grant from the Mott Foundation.

This renovation is important because the city of Flint was going to tear the building down. The first thing to do is to make the building stable and safe for future use. The plan is to turn it into a ready-to-use business space. This will provide local business people and other commercial groups a place to set up shop.

“We are passionate about historic renovation because we know how important landmark buildings are to our community,” said Glenn Wilson, CEO of Communities First. “It’s really exciting to be able to save buildings from demolition and help them have a purpose again. We are especially excited to be a part of the Paterson Building’s legacy by moving our office here and look forward to the growth of our organization while being a part of Flint’s downtown revitalization.”

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Communities First is working to formalize renovation plans with an expected completion date by the end of 2024.

Mott Foundation has given $3.5 million to Communities First, Inc for two Flint buildings purchase and renovation

Mott Foundation has given $3.5 million to Communities First, Inc for two Flint buildings purchase and renovation