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Topic: THE SMITH VILLAGE SAGA!
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Remember the news story where Smith Village was changing developers and Charles Young and some newly formed companies were working diligently to build these homes in Smith Village. Well after hearing rumors from all sides of the city that construction had stalled because the construction crews had been told they wouldn't get paid, I began driving around the construction site.

The flurry of activity has ceased and only yellow caution tape around the holes dug for the basements remain. The construction vehicles are gone, except for a crew doing demolition on Avenue A.

City of Flint hires new Smith Village developer under deadline
Published: Sunday, July 03, 2011, 10:00 AM
By Kristin Longley | Flint Journal The Flint Journal


Ryan Garza | The Flint JournalThe Smith Village project is changing developers, but city officials say it won't delay the project. The city has a Dec. 31 deadline to get at least 25 houses built.
FLINT, Michigan The once-troubled Smith Village housing project is at the center of another city conflict, all while a federal deadline and potential $1.3-million penalty is looming.

After nearly a year of what seemed like forward progress, the city has switched developers and the former developer and city are pointing fingers as to whos to blame.

The dispute comes as Flint is already two months behind schedule on its plan to meet a Dec. 31 federal deadline to get 25 houses built at the site, city Administrator Gregory Eason said.

If the city doesnt meet its deadline, it risks having to pay back $1.3 million in federal grant funding, Eason said.

Still, Eason said the $16-million project is moving forward and is scheduled to break ground within two weeks.

This will be the first time in 15 years this project is actually going to happen, Eason said. The city is actually going to make Smith Village a reality.

But a few Flint City Council members are questioning the change in developers this late in the game.

I question whether theyll be able to make that commitment (of 25 houses), Councilman Joshua Freeman said. We dont have 25 buildable lots right now.

Councilman Bernard Lawler, on the other hand, said he has confidence the project will move forward. Lawler represents the 5th Ward, where the development is located.

The Smith Village project started in 1998 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but only six homes were completed in the area off Saginaw Street north of 5th Avenue.

Under pressure from the feds to get it done, the city restarted the project last year with federal stimulus funds. The ultimate goal is to build 83 homes, with at least half intended for low-income buyers.

Until last week, the nonprofit Metro Community Development was the project developer, but the city council approved hiring Smith Village Construction Services as the new developer last week on the administrations recommendation.

Both Eason and the former developer said the recent change wont stymie the project, but they have very different stories on why the switch was made.

Eason said Metro Community Development walked away from the project.

But Ravi Yalamanchi, the nonprofits chief executive officer, said it was the city that dropped Metro Community Development.

Neither side said they have anything in writing to prove their respective cases.

The city brought Metro on as developer in August 2010, approved by Metros board of directors and the Flint City Council, but a developer agreement was never executed. The city also recently asked Metro to speak at a May 24 community meeting about Smith Village.

Over the past 11 months, the nonprofit developed design specifications for the homes with an engineer and architect, created a website and branded the project as the New Smith Village as part of its marketing efforts, Yalamanchi said.

The nonprofit spent more than $110,000 and made substantial progress in a period of 10 months, which the city has failed to do over 14 years, he said.

We spent the money, we got the work done, he said. It was completely on good faith and mutual trust.

But Eason said Metro decided not to continue with the project, which came as a surprise in the face of the looming deadline. He said Yalamanchi was pretty adamant about it.

Why would we pull out when we need him the most? Eason said. I was deeply disappointed.

The one piece that the city and Metro agree on is that the project needs to move forward.

Despite the disagreement, Yalamanchi said he wants the project to be successful. He said the nonprofit has agreed to hand over all the project materials after the city reimburses it for the expenses.

In no way are we going to obstruct or hinder the development, he said. If that corridor is revitalized, it will be a jump start of revitalization for the northern part of the city, which really needs a lot of revitalization.

The new developer, Smith Village Construction Services, LLC, was just formed on June 8, according to records on the states website.

Eason said one of the companys executives is Charles Young, who runs Operation Unification, a nonprofit that received a $1.3 million contract to rehabilitate Flint homes through the stimulus-funded Neighborhood Stabilization program .

Attempts to reach Young were unsuccessful.

Metro Community Development was already going to hire Youngs company as the general contractor for the project, said Eason and Yalamanchi.

Yalamanchi declined to comment on the citys choice for its new developer.

Eason said it just made sense to hire the company, since it was familiar with federally funded projects. The city is also continuing on with the architect, FUNchitecture, and project manager Alan Ogle, he said.

Last week, an attorney spoke to the city council about the switch.

My understanding is the new developer is ready to hit the ground running, attorney Pat Parker said.

Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid questioned whether the switch would delay the project, which has hung over the citys head for more than a decade.

This is a time sensitive project, Kincaid said.

Eason said there would be no delay whatsoever.

In addition to the commitment to build 25 homes by the end of the year, the city has a goal of selling those 25 homes by years end, too, he said.

Im excited about this, he said. Its a great opportunity in a long time for the city to have high quality affordable housing right in the core of the city.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:07 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

This is the name and addresss on the construction trailer located on Williams Street near the construction.


Searched for: URBAN BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS LLC

ID Num: D5230P


Name:URBAN BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS LLC

Type: Domestic Limited Liability Company
Resident Agent: JOSIAH CURRY

Registered Office Address: 109 WELCH BLVD FLINT MI 48503
Mailing/Office Address:

Formation/Qualification Date:1-5-2011

Jurisdiction of Origin:MICHIGAN

Managed by: Members

Status: ACTIVE Date: Present
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:14 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Curry, with an office at 4101 Grandview Drive in Flushing is the resident agent of the Limited Liabilty Corporation. While he initiated the process in December of 2010, the corporation was formed on 1/5/2011.

This makes the third corporation that was newly formed to be involved in the construction of these Smith Village Homes, which should be an enormous Red Flag to federal officials. in their trining materials the federal government lists newly formed companies as a warning sign of possible fraud in the Stimulus funding contracts.


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:47 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:20 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Searched for: SMITH VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, LLC

ID Num: D61591


Name:SMITH VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, LLC

Type: Domestic Limited Liability Company
Resident Agent: BRET RUSSELL

Registered Office Address: 2050 WARNER AVE FLINT MI 48503
Mailing/Office Address:

Formation/Qualification Date:6-8-2011

Jurisdiction of Origin:MICHIGAN

Managed by: Managers

Status: ACTIVE Date: Present

Bret russel ia a Detroit investor. The adress is that of OU Homes, a for profit part of Operation Unification. Eason stated the Detroit Partner owned 49%.
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:29 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Another newly formed corporation. What role are they playing in all of this?


Searched for: SMITH VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT GROUP, LLC

ID Num: D5729A


Name:SMITH VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT GROUP, LLC

Type: Domestic Limited Liability Company
Resident Agent: NEAL STRAYHORN

Registered Office Address: FORD BUILDING 615 GRISWOLD ST STE 1600 DETROIT MI 48226
Mailing/Office Address:

Formation/Qualification Date:3-17-2011

Jurisdiction of Origin:MICHIGAN

Managed by: Managers

Status: ACTIVE Date: Present


Last edited by untanglingwebs on Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:31 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Smith Village watchers allege construction began prior to the contract being approved by council. HUD will not pay for work performed prior to the signing of a contract. Allegedly the construction workers left after being informed they would not get paid.


From the City of flint pending invoices.

1106001 8/10/2011 SMITH VILLAGE LLC $107,891.56 DEPARTMENT HOLD COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOP
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:36 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Money paid to Operation Unification and Charles Young so far.


Check # Check Date Name Amount Voided

A0000005256 8/15/2011 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $52,662.84
A0000004730 7/5/2011 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $75,438.13
A0000004281 5/31/2011 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $57,588.02
A0000003497 3/14/2011 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $28,846.93
A0000003349 2/28/2011 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $83,154.81
A0000002837 12/27/2010 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $32,076.94
A0000002367 11/1/2010 OPERATION UNIFICATION INC $82,058.99
Post Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:48 pm 
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fiveo64
F L I N T O I D

Who is going to be the fall person for this when everything turns upside down?
Post Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:06 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Channel 12 is rapidly losing their credibility. They must realize that residents have been watching the sites for over a week and saw the construction crews leave.

Channel 12 reporter Angela did a fluff peace with Lela Johnson of OU Homes (a for profit part of Operation Unification) and talked about new contractors were being sought. No hard questions, no insight and no explanation why new contractors were needed . They promoted the position that the project is on time and adding 5 new homes. Remember Eason said the crews were ready to hit the ground running. So why is no one working now and why are they searching for new crews. They made a comment about contractors picking up documents yesterday and I am not clear as to what that is about. New bid process or what?

Channel 12 personnel were overheard discussing the fights during back to the bricks on the day of the Crim Road race. So obviously Channel 12 knew more about what happened on that day and chose to slant the news. They are doing another cover up here for whatever reasons.

I know a number of people who believe channel 12 would be better off without this reporter and her integrity is questioned. Or is it her bosses that slant the news. Channel 5 and 25 sometimes don't cover Flint and if you can't trust 12, what are the options?
Post Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:34 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The owner of Urban Builders and Development does have a Michigan Residential Builders license and has had it for about 13 years!
Licensee Information
Name: CURRY, JOSIAH
DBA Name:
QO/Owner:

Address: Flushing MI 48433
County: Genesee

License Information
License Type: Builder - Individual
License Number: 2101143045
Specialties:
Status: Active
Limitations:
Issue Date: 02/13/1998
Expiration Date: 05/31/2014
Status History Continuing Education

Employed/Managed By
Employer/Manager:

However, there are no records in Michigan Licensing and Regulatory that Charles Young, Operation Unification, or OU Homes has any type of builders license. So whose license are they using? An employees?
Post Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:11 am 
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Dave Starr
F L I N T O I D

Since when did such frivolous details like licensing bother anyone at city hall?

_________________
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Pushing buttons sure can be fun.

When a lion wants to go somewhere, he doesnt worry about how many hyenas are in the way.

Paddle faster, I hear banjos.
Post Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:10 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Josiah Curry is said to be the son of the late Pastor JC Curry, formerly of Macedonia Baptist Church. Pastor Curry was a beautiful and ethical man that I had the greatest respect for. I am sure his son is follows in his path.

Interestingly enough, I am told that Dawn Jones was also related to Pastor Curry.
Post Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:18 pm 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I am now being told that the construction crew was fired after they walked off. I would walk off too over a pay dispute.
Post Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:21 pm 
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ConcernedCitizen
F L I N T O I D

quote:
untanglingwebs schreef:
Eason said Metro Community Development walked away from the project.

But Ravi Yalamanchi, the nonprofits chief executive officer, said it was the city that dropped Metro Community Development.

Neither side said they have anything in writing to prove their respective cases .

The city brought Metro on as developer in August 2010, approved by Metros board of directors and the Flint City Council, but a developer agreement was never executed . The city also recently asked Metro to speak at a May 24 community meeting about Smith Village.



This just shows the quality of our City Government and the professionalism of the contractors that are hired. What government or contractor would not get a contract of this magnitude in writing. It raises the question of whether it is due to ignorance or deceit. Without anything in writing, things can be altered on the fly without anybody being able to question why a contract was altered. There is also no paperwork to be pulled if somebody wants to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Whether it is ignorance or deceit, it shows that our current City Officials do not deserve the positions that they hold!!!! I hope people remember that at Election time.

_________________
"When people fear their government, there is TYRANNY.
When the government fears the people, there is Liberty"

Thomas Jefferson
Post Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:50 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

quote:
ConcernedCitizen schreef:
quote:
untanglingwebs schreef:
Eason said Metro Community Development walked away from the project.

But Ravi Yalamanchi, the nonprofits chief executive officer, said it was the city that dropped Metro Community Development.

Neither side said they have anything in writing to prove their respective cases .

The city brought Metro on as developer in August 2010, approved by Metros board of directors and the Flint City Council, but a developer agreement was never executed . The city also recently asked Metro to speak at a May 24 community meeting about Smith Village.



This just shows the quality of our City Government and the professionalism of the contractors that are hired. What government or contractor would not get a contract of this magnitude in writing. It raises the question of whether it is due to ignorance or deceit. Without anything in writing, things can be altered on the fly without anybody being able to question why a contract was altered. There is also no paperwork to be pulled if somebody wants to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Whether it is ignorance or deceit, it shows that our current City Officials do not deserve the positions that they hold!!!! I hope people remember that at Election time.


Good catch Concerned Citizen! I completely missed that detail! On September 15, 2011 Metro Housing received a payment. I wonder if HUD will agree that these payments are acceptable without an agreement in place. They usually don't!
Post Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:26 am 
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