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Downtown Flint construction,projects & Photo post

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Analysis of Rowe building collapse beginsInsurance adjusters, structural engineers, architects start talking

By Cathy Shafran

FLINT (WJRT) - (08/27/07)--It's been four days since the partial collapse of the Rowe Engineering building in downtown Flint, and now the real work begins to determine how to secure the building for the future.

Work on the project is at a standstill for now. Insurance adjusters, structural engineers and architects started talking Monday. Rubble must still be cleared over the next couple days to find the exact cause.

In the meantime, the developers continue to look ahead.

"That's all going to be a glass atrium," said Uptown Redevelopment partner Phil Shaltz.

"To the left of that, if you can see through that, that's the area that came down and that's the area of interest for the structural engineers.

"We think there was a wall in there that has been breached. We don't know why, and that's what the structural analysis will hopefully tell us."

Shaltz concedes their commitment to building a structurally sound building that maintains a sense of history has resulted in nearly a year's worth of delays already.

"A majority of the delays we've had is when we open up a wall or open up a floor and we find something that the prints say wasn't supposed to be there and you have to deal with that issue," he said.

But they have no doubts that this will be a viable building with an historical look.

So now the focus is on the architectural firm and the structural engineer on the project.

Lopez Engineering will try and determine what failed and how to reinforce it.

Schaltz confirms they'll likely be looking at what tear-down may be necessary and whether to reinforce anything with brick or metal.

If there is good news in all of this, the building withstood Friday night's storm.

All other downtown development is moving on schedule, and this delay gives them even more time to secure a restaurant to go into the street level space of the Rowe building.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Under Construction:

The Community Foundation Building

Visible changes to the exterior of the new Community Foundation Building will be seen later this month when installation of new windows and a panel brick system begins. First, some of the exterior structure must come down.

Deconstruction of the front portion of the building began Monday, Sept. 10 at the corner of South Saginaw and First Streets in downtown Flint. W. H. Hall Construction has started removing a portion of the northeast corner of the building, including the current recessed entryway. The entire corner will be rebuilt and a new entrance for first floor commercial tenants will begin to take shape.

Glen-Gary Brick panels will be placed over the existing brick to achieve a uniform look and long-term energy savings. The natural, Thin Brick system was chosen due to the variations in color and condition of the existing brick. Natural limestone windowsills and keystones will preserve the historic beauty of the Victorian-style arched windows.

The building is owned in joint partnership by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Uptown Six and Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. More than 15,000 square feet of space is being renovated to house offices of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, as well as commercial and residential tenants. Renovations will be completed by spring 2008.

Located at 500 South Saginaw Street, businesses previously located at the Community Foundation Building site include Dale Health Foods, Bakers Drug Store, L.G. Haig Shoes, Paris Candy Co. and a dentist office.

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  • 3 months later...

I know this was discussed once recently, but I was very glad to see the demolition of the former Medical Arts building on Flushing Rd. going along nicely. Not only is it a pretty nice jab at the Vemulapallis, but evidently there have been developers interested in the property for awhile now and it will be great to see development in that area.

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Somebody posted on UF that some internal work has been done on the Rowe Building since the collapse, but I simply can't find the post at the moment.

Either way, it's still going very slow. I think at one point the developers expected the building to be finished in 2006. It looks like the Wade Trim will be the first completed building out of the ones currently under construction.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Collapse last summer caused big delay

News Link

By Bisi Onile-EreFLINT (WJRT) -- (02/26/08)--

In 2006 it was regarded as the start of the revitalization of downtown Flint. After a major setback and delays, a building reconstruction project is far from finished.

The Rowe Engineering building is located in the heart of downtown on Saginaw Street in Flint. After a brief break, construction crews began working again last week.

Right now their focus is on fixing an area that has caused problems in the past. From there, they expect work will move full speed ahead.

When ground broke for the new Rowe Engineering Headquarters in 2006, it was the start of a changing landscape for downtown Flint.

The $12 million renovation project brought with it two restaurants, a nightclub and loft-style apartments. The catalyst for Flint's transformation into a vibrant cool city had arrived.

"This is a great tipping point project that will really help Flint toward the next steps of revitalization," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said at the time.

Two years later, the project is still a work in progress. A completion date was set for the fall of 2007. Then in August, days before the Crim Festival of Races, a portion of the building gave way and caved in on itself.

"Probably if we knew back five years ago what we know now, I'm not so sure that we would have started this, but we've learned a lot about what needs to be done," said Phil Shaltz with Uptown Development.

Shaltz says a weakening of the brick structure caused the collapse. Five months later, crews are finally back to work.

"First we had to identify what the problem was," he said. "Once we identified the problem, we had to come up with a fix for that problem."

Shaltz says the redesign process is moving forward and a completion date is on the horizon.

"Hopefully by this fall we should be back to where we were, have a grand opening and carry on with life," Shaltz said.

Developers are currently negotiating with their insurance carrier for damages during the collapse in light of talks that development will continue.

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On Saturday I had to go to Mount Morris for a cousin's graduation open house. I used it as an excuse to see Flint since I've never been there before. Well I really didn't see much, I just passed through downtown. I took a few photos. I would have taken more but every time another pedestrian saw me I noticed they would change their walking path so they were walking towards me. I'm used to panhandlers but I would slip my camera in my pocket each time because I didn't want to show off anything of value. Especially considering there seemed to be very few people around at all on a Saturday afternoon.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots I did manage to take. I've got some more I still need to upload including what I found out from this thread is known as the Rowe Building.

This one I took through my car's dirty windshield:


I would like to visit again if I had an excuse to be in that area again, but unfortunately Flint has no coming attractions:


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