The Fenton Downtown Development Authority hopes to move fast on gaining a new tenant for the old Fenton fire hall.
DDA Director Michael Burns said he hopes to have a business selected in the next 45 to 60 days and added he believes the city will have several options. He said city officials quickly received five to 10 phones calls from credible microbreweries and restaurants after the lease with Michigan Brewing Company was terminated Thursday.
Burns wouldn’t reveal specifics on interested parties. He said the DDA would consider all proposals, but added the community has shown support for a microbrewery or restaurant and tavern.
“We want to get it done fast,” Burns said. “I think we can do it.”
Burns said he expects to have more proposals that the last time the DDA went through the process in 2010. During that process, 15 interested parties tour the facility, but only three, Michigan Brewing Company, The French Laundry and Luca's Chophouse of Grand Blanc, submitted formal applications.
“The people we are talking to are reputable,” Burns said. “I think we’ll have bids that never considered it last time.”
Burns said he is unsure of the incentive package. The previous agreement provided for a seven-year lease to purchase agreement with a rental for $1 per year and an option to purchase the building for $1 after the seventh year. It is expected that such terms would continue, though the DDA will be reviewing the amount of any additional subsidy toward redevelopment, which had previously been 33 percent or up to $400,000.
Proposals are due to the DDA by May 14 and will be reviewed by a committee of the DDA Board and then two or three finalists will be selected for interviews. Those interviews will be done in a public meeting, Burns said.