| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

Coolidge Park Apartments, Flint – Part 2

We are really excited about the progress
that has been made here at Coolidge. And we’re nearing completion which
is super exciting. I think it’s happened quicker than what we expected. See a building that was dilapidated,
that closed and that was a beacon of hope in this community and a neighborhood anchor.
To be able to be repurposed again. I mean those things come together through
and through and the community wanted to see this building be reused
and the community wanted to see the murals stay. They wanted to also see
a mixture of housing. Like those are things that the community
wanted to see. And so for us you know it attaches
our name Communities First with actually the communities that we serve. Obviously we could not have
done this project without MSHDA support. And I think the creativity and
the openness to, you know historic preservation in a school, mixed-use development, two buildings
on one side, a community center. There’s a lot going on here that it’s
maybe not your traditional housing development. And I think we’re greatly appreciative
of the openness and the willingness to do something a little bit different
then the norm. Knowing that it was the right thing for this
particular community. Preservation is important. Not just here in the city of Flint
but preservation as a whole is very important. So we had this idea
to keep the theater room But we wanted to make sure that we
did it right. So we actually had a conversation with a theater professional and they’re
just like the little details that, as a non-theater professional, you wouldn’t
think of. Like keeping the gold rope as a gold rope,
you know, and the burgundy because traditionally when you go to a theater there’s a
velvet burgundy curtain. And so it’s reminiscent of those sort of things. Every other school that I went to in
the city of Flint have actually closed. You know, now that I have a child when she’s
old enough to say, “Hey Dad, drive me around, show me where you grew up and what
school you went to.” Those other schools I can’t take her to but it’s unique
to do this project because this is where I went to elementary and I’ll
actually be able to bring her here one day and say, “Hey, this is where
I went to elementary, but now it’s actually quality affordable housing.” So not
only is it just preserving buildings what is also
you know preserving memories. We’ve gotten so many calls. We’ve got
a laundry list of people who are interested in living here and some
were former students of Coolidge, others are just community members that have
watched the progress and are just excited about the opportunity to live
a historic school building and to just be a part of
something progressive for the city.

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