First, let me start by clarifying -- I am NOT anti-business & growth for our area. Quite the opposite. Flint, Genesee County and our surrounding suburbs thriving is what makes all of our collective lives, better. My hope is our communities will get involved with local governments and elected officials to give input on what they'd like to see come to their hometowns, in regard to new business.

Driving through Flint Township at Miller & Bristol Roads I came upon the old gas station with its giant fuel container sitting upon the gravel lot. Clearly, this property will be a new opportunity in a prime location, soon. My hope is for residents and future business owners to diversify the economy a bit -- think creatively: Is there something our community needs that isn't available yet?

Former Gas Station Flint Township, MI
Photo Credit Nathan Reed
Cars 108 logo
Get our free mobile app


Here are five types of businesses we should start taking a second look before approving, blindly.

Why does Flint, Michigan have so many dollar stores?

  • Nope. No more dollar stores. Nothing against them, but there's some variation of dollar store every 1.5 miles around most of our neighborhoods.

Why do Flint and Genesee County have so many mattress stores?

  • Mattress stores seem to pop up in the most random of places. Sure, a business district like Miller Road in Flint Township makes sense, but we have nearly 20 mattress-specific or furniture stores selling mattresses in Genesee County now. Curious how many people are buying a mattress so often it makes a stand-alone store worth it?

Why does Genesee County have so many tire stores?

  • Tire stores are almost like mattress stores--everywhere. Michigan roads demand a lot of tire replacement, of course. We're probably good on competition to ensure we'll get a fair price and good service around Genesee County.

Why does Genesee County have so many abandon strip malls?

  • This one seems self-explanatory, right? Remember when Target, Farmer Jack (or Handy Andy) filled the strip mall at Center & Lapeer Roads in Burton, MI?  Staples, a shoe store and all the other shops thrived for a long time. It's almost empty now. South Flint Plaza and the Dort Mall (gallery below) are two more examples. Let's think about available buildings worth the re-investment before allowing anymore strip malls, please?
Vacant commercial store parking lot

Why does Genesee County have so many party stores?

  • Driving almost any road through Genesee County, no matter the city or village, you'll see a gas station, party store or abandon party store. Let's rethink zoning versus actual need. What else might be better there?

The aforementioned thoughts are NOT meant to be hostile toward new business or further development -- it already takes far too long for approvals on most new opportunities. Consider it future proofing against blight.

The point is for Genesee County residents to take a hard look at their hometowns and work with their elected officials & planners to create a vision for the community they want to create for success, safety and a better life.

See What the Dort Mall in Flint Looks Like Today. Empty

The Dort Mall in Flint is looking pretty empty and almost abandoned nowadays. Check out how it looks and what is still inside here.

The Genesee Valley Mall in 2022. Have You Seen It Lately? [PICS]

The Genesee Valley Center in Flint, MI has gone through some rough times lately. If you haven't been in there in a while, see what it looks like not in the pics below.

Michigan's First Enclosed Mall

More From Cars 108