MSU proposes 20-year lease paying $700k annually for former Flint Journal building

FLINT, MI – Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine will be billed an estimated $700,000 per year to occupy the former Flint Journal in downtown Flint if the university’s Board of Trustees agrees to the 20-year lease proposal from its trustee finance committee. According to a resolution adopted by the university on Friday, Jan. 25, MSU’s Board of Trustees voted to pursue the lease agreement for approximately 40,000 square feet of finished office and teaching space in the former Flint Journal building, owned by Uptown Reinvestment Corp. Uptown Reinvestment Corp. President Tim Herman said that the details of the lease are still being worked out, although the goal is for renovations to start the summer of 2013. The architects are in the process of developing plans of how the renovations can be performed without impacting the historic nature of the building, Herman said. “It’s great news and it’s an important next step in the process of bringing MSU to downtown Flint,” he said. “It will complement the already thriving higher education community.” The board proposed that MSU be charged approximately $300,000 yearly in rent plus an additional $400,000 for its share of building operation costs. The rent is subject to an annual escalator, but the proposal said that rent will be paid by an unspecified grant. Carol Rugg, the vice president of communications for the Mott Foundation, said that MSU currently has a $1 million grant that is going through Mott’s approval process, but she is unsure whether that grant will be used to pay the building’s rent. In Dec. 2011, MSU was also awarded a $2.8 million grant for the project that college officials said would allow Flint to join East Lansing and Grand Rapids as pillars of the college’s statewide footprint and hopefully help create more local doctors.

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According to the proposal, all construction costs associated with the repurposing of the property will be paid by Uptown Reinvestment Corp. MSU is expected to move into the building in the spring of 2014. MLive-Flint Journal moved its operations to 540 S. Saginaw St. in Feb. 2012. MLive-Flint Journal reporter Shaun Byron contributed to this report. Original article by Jeremy Allen for MLive. Read More →

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