Genesee Towers demolition affecting local business, residents - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee Towers upcoming demolition already affecting local businesses, residents

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(12/03/13) - In less than three weeks, a major change is coming to downtown Flint. Genesee Towers will come down just three days before Christmas.

Even though the demolition is days away, businesses and people who live downtown are already bracing for impact.

While the end is near for the tallest building in Flint, it can't come soon enough for some businesses and residents near the Towers. Boarded up windows and downtown street closures are just a couple signs pointing to the impending implosion of a Flint landmark.

Prep work around Genesee Towers, which will soon be reduced to 50,000 tons of rubble, is creating headaches for some local businesses and their customers.

"It's parking. Like today, I circled the block four times before I just found a spot. It's terrible. People are being ticketed because there is no parking. The parking lot is full," says Garibella Salon stylist Whitney Booth. Booth would like nothing more than to see a large parking lot on the site. Garibella Salon is usually open Sundays, but will have to close up shop on the day of the implosion.

Table & Tap is also in the shadow of Genesee Towers. These days, the atmosphere is a bit darker inside, thanks to wooden panels meant to protect the windows when the building comes down next door. Managing partner Robb Klaty plans to have a "Going Away Party" of sorts Saturday night before the demolition.

"I'm excited that it's happening. It's long overdue. It is impacting us a little bit. We're the closest bar to the towers, so we're boarded up here, but, just taking it in stride and trying to make the best of it."

Flint residents, like Chris Everson, who live downtown, also face some changes to their the normal routine.

"We're told more in the next week or two when we're moving out. So are it looks like a 3-4 hour window. So, not really a big inconvenience on a Sunday morning," he said.

"It's been minor inconveniences about parking and getting through to streets and stuff. But, in the bigger picture of it, I'm anxious for it to come down and actually, I find it kind of exciting," said Kathleen Gazall.

Genesee Towers is scheduled to come down Sunday, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m.

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