To keep the estimated $4 million Cornerstone project moving, the Fenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has approved additional money for soil boring tests. It’s to determine whether the soil can handle the load capacity of the future Cornerstone building, at Leroy Street and Silver Lake Road, across from The State Bank.
Ground breaking for the project could take place this spring, said DDA Director Michael Burns. The Fenton Planning Commission has approved the fact a four-story building could go on the site of the former Republic Bank.
The preliminary soil analysis for the site took place earlier this year, and soil borings 35 feet below ground was examined, Burns said. This preliminary analysis showed the soil has a mix of clay, sand and other materials. So, to find out if the soil can handle the proposed capacity of the building, engineers say an additional 25 feet of soil (totaling 60 feet underground) needs to be analyzed.
It’s an additional expense of $4,780. To expedite the work, Burns discussed the issue with DDA Chairman Craig Schmidt, the vice-chairman and the DDA attorney. With City Manager Lynn Markland’s approval, expenditures of less than $2,500 don’t need DDA board or city council approval, Burns said.
To prevent the design development of Cornerstone from being held up, he approved a payment of $2,500 up to the day of the DDA board meeting, with the remainder of the $4,780 to be approved by the board. The payment is to Schleede-Hampton Associates, of Birmingham.
The DDA board approved the proposal on Tuesday.
During public comment, Susan Olson, of Yesterday’s Treasures in downtown Fenton, asked whether plans are for a four-story building for Cornerstone.
Schmidt said that is the plan.
Olson believes the building will “stick out like a sore thumb,” she said. After the meeting, she said three stories is kind of tall.
Schmidt said the fourth floor is recessed, so when someone looks at it from the street, the building appears three stories tall. A 3D model will be available soon.
Fenton’s planning commission, DDA and council have voiced overwhelming approval for a four-story Cornerstone building, he added.
“I believe you will be pleased at the building once you see it up,” Schmidt said.