Business Owners Raise Concerns Over Fenton's Makeover

DDA member says the facade program is moving too slow.

Downtown Fenton is set to see some major changes with the and a facade program to update local businesses.

However, not everyone is happy with the plan and the pace.

Fenton Downtown Development Authority member Chris Bayer, who co-owns , would like to see the DDA' facade upgrade program speed up or be eliminated, according to the Flint Journal.

"If it was successful, money would be expended, and buildings would be fixed and we'd be further along than what we are," Bayer said in Wednesday's article. "What we really need to do is accept the reality that it's not working and we need to modify it. Any amount of time that we take trying to fix what's already been undone, is a mistake."

Business owners have also raised concerns about the streetscape project.

owner Carol Schuler, , is worried that the construction work updating water and sewer lines, widening the sidewalks, and landscaping, will hurt her business.

She told that landscaping is fine, "but we are working here." She said businesses need to have trucks making deliveries. And landscaping trees and bushes will take away from the parking spaces near her store.

City officials, however, believe the project will benefit Fenton in the long run.

"I think the project will brighten up the area. Downtown hasn't been redone in a long time," said Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland in a NBC TV 25 article.

Work is scheduled to begin this year.

Plans are for the project to be substantially complete in 2013, with some landscaping and other items possibly occurring in 2014. The project will include approximately $2.75 million in roadway reconstruction, $942,000 in pavement rehabilitation and $838,000 in streetscape improvements. It will include LeRoy Street, from Elizabeth Street to Sixth Street, with some work along Shiawassee Avenue and Elizabeth Street (to the east).

Part of the project is bringing walkways up to Americans with Disabilities standards. The project will add eight parking spaces to the downtown

michael henk February 23, 2012 at 09:30 PM
If the DDA wants to make a more significant visual impact in Fenton, perhaps look at removing the old dealership/gas station building on the NW corner of Leroy and Silver Lake Rd. as a good first step. This corner is viewed by every driver who passes through Fenton, and I would imagine if that is their image of the main intersection in town, they are less likely to want to stop in downtown, which they may have never even seen.
Jen Peters February 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
i was thinking the exact same thing the other day....to add to that, who wants to rent an apartment with a view of that??
Sean Rosekrans February 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM
The florists that was there had to leave a couple years ago because the building had been purchased. The only thing that has happened is the collision shop has expanded. It is an eyesore and I feel the same as others about a first impression of Fenton.
Lisa Hicks February 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM
i think that the city is so bad now and it will be a long time to fix it
stephanie pytlowanyj February 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
My understanding is the city owns that property which is why the florist moved. There were several meetings on it, and I know the florist was pretty upset about it. It's a shame b/c she was a very nice person. It's also my understanding that the city is interested in purchasing the grainery, across from the Fenton Hotel. But when Ken Labelle was employed by the city, he upset the owner so much I doubt she would ever sell to the city. No offense to the owner of the car repair facility in Dibbleville but that place doesn't fit in with Dibbleville at all. It would be nice if he could re-locate and an appropriate store be placed there.


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