Uptown Reinvestment Corporation
Our Mission is to unite all downtown interests, including government, education, business, and charitable institutions in a broad-based coalition.
We strive to:
• Support existing businesses and encourage entrepreneurial business development in the downtown Flint business district.
• Enhance the public infrastructure and improve aesthetics.
• Increase downtown residency.
• Develop the downtown into an attractive area for business, employment, and entertainment.
• Improve and revitalize the downtown district.
The basic goal of the Flint Uptown Reinvestment Strategy is to create sustainable and significate improvements for many small, locally- based initiatives without the need for massive, single-project developments.
The URC commissioned the help of Sasaki Associates, Inc. to develop a reinvestment strategy for downtown Flint. The Flint Uptown Reinvestment Strategy (Initiatives for Uptown) identifies the specific actions and projects that can be accomplished individually, while collectively contributing to an implementation framework for the regeneration of downtown Flint. The strategy will encourage dialogue, discussion and a committed vision for the future of the downtown Flint area. It is key to note that the community will play a vital role in determining which actions and projects will be given priority or be implemented as identified by the strategy.
Uptown Developments, LLC, was formed in 2002 specifically to acquire and renovate real estate in downtown Flint. Currently, the development team consists of four Flint-based investors with strong ties to the community, owning and managing some of the most respected businesses in Flint. They are a diverse group of community leaders that share a vision of reinventing downtown Flint with a focus on solid real estate investment in housing, office, retail, and cultural/arts/entertainment uses.
Uptown Developments has invested nearly $30 million dollars into downtown Flint in seven different building projects. When combined, the projects total over 200,000 square feet of mixed-use space ranging from the Economy Building that hold Café Rhema, Mainsail Collective and one luxury loft to the First Street Lofts, a seven story apartment complex with 1st floor commercial space, now home to the CRIM Foundation, to headquarters for Rowe Incorporated, Genesys Urban Medical Clinic and Baker Uptown, home of WNEM TV 5, Wade Trim Engineering Group Table & Tap, Flint Crepe Co, Eight Ten Nail Bar and 2 luxury lofts.
Uptown Developments, LLC, believes that downtown Flint possesses the attributes to once again be a healthy urban center, one that is home to a mosaic of people, exciting recreational opportunities, diverse businesses, corporate headquarters, colleges and a vibrant government center.
Troy Farah is a founding and managing partner of West Second Street Associates; a Real Estate Investment Private Equity firm headquartered in downtown Flint. Troy Farah, along with the other managing partners, grew WSSA into the successful company it is today through hard work and determination. WSSA’s headquarters from 1993 – 2016 was at The Capitol Theatre Building.
Troy and the Farah family have always had a special connection to the community and specifically to downtown Flint. George Farah Sr, Troy’s father, purchased the historic Capitol Theatre Building in 1977. The Farah family preserved this precious community asset for 40 years until the community finally realized its importance and, through the assistance of the Mott Foundation and The Hagerman Foundation, Uptown proceeded to restore this wonderful building in 2017 and implemented the vision of the Farah Family.
One of Troy’s most notable community achievements is being a founding and managing partner of Uptown Developments. Uptown has played the pioneering and visionary role of revitalizing downtown Flint into what it is today. Through the last 15+ years UD has renovated historic downtown buildings such as the First Street Lofts, the Wade Trim building and Rowe building., just to name a few. Along with other community actors UD has transformed downtown from a deserted stretch to a bustling area of commerce and life.
• The CS Mott Citizen of the year award in 2006.
• Community Foundation Board Member 2005 – 2016
• St. Joseph Hospital Jerusalem, former International Board Member
• St. George Orthodox Church former board member
His father George and mother Gisele instilled the strong sense of community seen today. He is married to Raghad, and has two children; Jolie and Zane.
Troy is a proud Michigan alumni who graduated in 1987 with a degree in business. Go Blue
• Born in Flint, Michigan
• Graduate of Flint Central High School
• Graduate of Michigan State University in Business Administration
• Married to Carol since May 1970
• Two children; Joshua Hurand (Veterans Administration Therapist) and Sara Hurand (Architect)
• BRT, New York Stock Exchange Real Estate Investment Trust, Trustee 1990 to present
• BRT, Audit Committee Member
• BRT, Chairman Nominating Committee
• Dawn Donut Systems, Inc., President 1973 to present
• Management Diversified, Inc., President 1987 to present
• Uptown Six, Partner,
• Past Director of Citizens Republic Bancorp, 2006 to 2013
• Past Audit Committee Member Citizens Republic Bancorp, 2007 to 2012
• Past Trust Committee Member Citizens Republic Bancorp
• Past Board Member of Republic Bank, 1998 to 2006
Public Service Boards, Committees, Organizations, and Affiliations:
• CEO (Chief Executive Organization)
• CRIM Fitness Foundation Chairman’s Circle 2006 to present
• Donald Riegle Community Service Award recipient 2005
• Flint Community Schools Education Foundation Board
• Flint Jewish Federation, past President 1988 to 1990
• Flint Jewish Federation Young Leadership Award 1986
• Flint Kids Learn, Director 2017 to present
• Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Operating Board Chair-Elect 2017 to present
• Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Strategic Board
• Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Regional Leadership Council
• Genesys Health System, Audit Committee, 2012 to 2015
• Joe D Pentecost Foundation, Board of Directors, 2012 to present
• McLaren – Flint Board of Trustees, 2015 to present
• Rotary International
• Sloan*Longway Building Committee, 2016 to present
• UM-Flint Capital Campaign Committee
• WPO (World Presidents’ Organization)
• WPO – Motor City Chapter
At Flint Junior College he met and married his wife T. Ardele Shaltz in 1970. They have two children, Carrie Ardele, 38 and Jason Philip, 37 who both now reside in Los Angeles and Brooklyn respectively.
Philip served in the Army Reserves as a Drill Sergeant from 1970 to 1977.
Philip began his career with a local moving company in 1970 before taking a position with Carnation Company. In 1977 Philip joined his father at Shaltz Fluid Power(Shaltz Automation) in Flint and took over the reins in 1979 where he currently holds the position of President.
Philip was recruited to help raise funds for the Crim Road Race in 1983 and became an instant supporter of their cause. He holds the distinction of being one of 18 individuals who have run all of the Crim 10 mile road races.
This experience was the motivation behind Philip’s transition from entrepreneurism to social responsibility which forged the passion to give back to his community.
His business accomplishments have included many acquisitions and startups that today include Shaltz Automation, Inc., Value Point Management, as well ownership in six restaurants downtown. Shaltz has founded The Flint Diaper Bank and the I’m Concerned About the Blueberries initiative as ways to give back to the children of this community.
In 2003 Philip and several businessmen founded Uptown Six which was responsible for the focus on the redevelopment of the downtown Flint area. This group has redeveloped various properties which have become the catalyst for the continued expansion of the city’s urban area. First Street Lofts, Community Foundation of Greater Flint building, the Rowe building and Wade Trim, which became the first new build in downtown Flint in 30 years, are among the accomplishments.
Philip holds the position member of The Hurley Board of Managers, The Hurley Foundation, Huntington Bank Community Board, Crim Fitness Foundation Board Member Emeritus, United Way as well as involvement in many other organizations.
Ghassan M. Saab currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Sorensen Gross Company. He is also President of SGT, Ltd. I, a real estate development company in Flint, Michigan; he is also treasurer of WGS Global Services, LC, a manufacturing services company that he co-founded in 2008.
In 2003, Mr. Saab formed the Uptown Development Group with some of his friends and business associates to rejuvenate and rebuild the neglected and deteriorated downtown area of Flint, Michigan.
Ghassan contributes time and resources to numerous charities and civic organizations in his local community, on the national level in the US, and internationally.
He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Ghassan was born in Choueifat, Lebanon on November 22, 1944, the eldest of four children to Mahmoud and Najla Saab. In 1966, he graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is also a graduate of the National College of Choueifat in Lebanon where he obtained the Lebanese Baccalaureates I and II.
A naturalized American citizen, he and his wife Manal and family reside in Fenton, Michigan, USA.