The Flint Township, Mich., Planning Commission approved plans last week for a mixed-use, 24-acre development that will replace the former Pirate’s Park amusement center with a self-storage facility, assisted-living center and hotel. Contingent on the project’s approval, real estate developer Pitt Penn LLC will acquire the property and could begin construction on the three-story storage facility in March 2016, with a timeline of about six months, according to the source.
The project will require most of the amusement-center buildings to be demolished, according to Ernie D’Ascenzo, who will buy the land along with Pitt Penn partner Jeff Johnson, the source reported. The $10 million development will be built in phases, with the self-storage asset first. The 75,000-square-foot facility will offer climate-controlled units and exterior RV parking.
Area demographics indicate 8 percent of homeowners have an RV, and 32 percent of the population in Genesee County, Mich., is age 55 or older, D’Ascenzo told the source. "We feel that a lot of people would park their RV, and when they're coming to go up north, they'd park their cars in the same spot, take their RV and head up north," he said. "If they're coming home or they're going north and they're tired, they can stay in the hotel next door."
D’Ascenzo estimated the mixed-use project will cost around $10 million and bring more than 100 jobs to the area. The four-story hotel will offer between 100 and 120 rooms, a convention center and pool. Possible hotel brands include Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn, according to the source. Construction could begin on the hotel as early as next fall, D’Ascenzo said. The site plan for the 80-unit assisted-living facility must still be approved.
"The highway exposure, the traffic, the demographics for the area—it supports all the buildings and the businesses that we are putting in there," he said. "It should be a good project."
The real estate purchase agreement includes multiple easements. Other developments in the vicinity include a retail center with outlets for DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) and Sports Authority.