FLINT, MI – The renovation of the long-vacant Woolworth Building in downtown Flint into the Mott Community College culinary arts teaching facility just got a $1.5 million grant from the state.
The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved the grant during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation said.
The total capital investment in the project is expected to be $12.65 million and create 12 full-time jobs that earn an average wage of $20 per hour, the MEDC said in a memo to the Michigan Strategic Fund board.
Mott Community College cooks up plan for culinary school in downtown Flint
Mott Community College has committed $3.25 million of voter-approved capital bonds, according to documents from the MEDC.
The building was donated, along with $4 million in leveraged loan funds, by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the MEDC said.
Once the 35,000-square-foot building is renovated, there will be two culinary arts teaching kitchens, two bakery teaching kitchens, a meat fabrication teaching laboratory, a fine dining restaurant that will be staffed by students that will be connected to a baked goods cafe and dividable meeting space.
The additional space will allow MCC’s culinary school to double its enrollment from 250 to 500 students, and allow the college to explore offering a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts.
Mott currently offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and food services management.
The plans to relocate Mott’s culinary arts program downtown was revealed at a Flint City Council meeting in July when the college requested a property tax exemption under Michigan’s Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act.
The F.W. Woolworth Building was built in the 1920s and was home to a variety of retail businesses until the 1970s, according to documents from the MEDC.