From Third to University

Feb 22, 2008

Renaming Third Avenue is just part of the vision to revitalize Flint into a "College Town."

Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Flint, along with the City of Flint, and Metro Housing Partnership, Inc. are working together to re-name Third Avenue to “University Avenue.”

Students from both universities went door-to-door Feb. 16, in the Third Avenue corridor between campuses, to get signatures of residents and property owners on a petition to re-name the thoroughfare.

The two universities, anchoring each end of Third Avenue, jointly enroll nearly 9,000 students in the City of Flint. Overall, there are nearly 29,000 students in enrolled in higher education in the Flint area. Despite the large student population the city does not yet fully enjoy the image of a college town.

The partnership to re-name Third Avenue “University Avenue” is designed to reinforce local economic development efforts and neighborhood revitalization. It is hoped that it will add to what has already been accomplished, including resurfacing of Third Avenue with islands for green space, Hurley Medical Center’s plans to improve their campus and the surrounding neighborhoods, the University of Michigan-Flint’s construction of a 310-bed student residence hall to open in August 2008, the Genesee County Land Bank working with the City of Flint Local Support Initiative Corporation (LISC), to construct new single-family homes in the neighborhood, and federal funding through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in 2008 for decorative lighting, landscaping and bike racks as part of an overall goal to revitalize the neighborhood.

A recent Flint Journal editorial supported the renaming project, calling it “a perfect blending of the symbolic and substantive. It would formally acknowledge the growing significance of this corridor, not only as a link between two excellent universities, but as one of the roadways to the city's renewal.” Read the complete editorialat

Written by Dawn Hibbard