The Ugly Duckling
The successful revitalization of downtown Flint is a story that starts with an aging ugly duckling – The Hotel Durant. Built in 1920 and named after General Motors founder William C. Durant, the building had been vacant since 1972, a potent symbol of Flint’s economic woes. The Genesee County Land Bank seized the property in 2005, and its rebirth began in 2008 with reconstruction funded by a host of sources, including Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, HUD and MSHDA. Reborn as residential housing to meet the needs of students at the University of Michigan–Flint, the restored Durant ignited downtown development. Dozens of buildings have been rehabilitated or newly constructed, and downtown Flint now buzzes with new vitality.