Like many Fenton residents, I am very excited about the , a 30,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the southeast corner of . Developers say the first floor of the three-store building will be dedicated to retail and restaurant space, offices on the second floor and loft apartments on the third.
There has been a lot of buzz about what should go in that building, but whatever goes in there I hope it makes sense and that building owners are able to regulate the types of businesses that actually lease spaces. There is a mix of businesses in Fenton now, and in the past, that don’t make sense to me.
One of the areas was the group of shops on the southeast corner of Silver Lake Road and Fenway Drive. At one time, there was , which is still there, next to Domino’s Pizza, which was two doors down from a health and nutrition facility. Although Domino’s and the health and nutrition facility are no longer there, it didn’t make sense to me that these three places were together. On the door of the health and nutrition shop was a sign that read, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” Reading that makes it kind of tough to walk into the cigarette store or pizza place without feeling a bit guilty.
In downtown Fenton, mixed in with retail businesses and , is , and across the street, Vek’s Auto Service. While Blessing and Vek’s are fine, successful businesses, I personally believe their businesses would fare far better in another location. I can’t believe they want to be in the downtown. Vek’s has been on that corner of Shiawassee and South Leroy for as long as I can remember, but I do recall the owner once saying that if the city would assist him financially, he would be happy to move to another location. Perhaps some day the will look at that.
But back to the Cornerstone project, I hope the loft apartments on the third floor, and even the offices on the second floor are sound-proofed. Living directly in front of the and next to the railroad tracks is going to be akin to living in New York City at certain times of the day, like when fire trucks go roaring out of the hall with sirens blasting and when trains rip through town. And can you imagine trying to conduct business from your second floor office. “Hold on please, I can’t hear yooooouuuu.”
The possibilities for the first floor are what I find very exciting. It would be great to have a mini-grocery or general store, where people can run in and buy dairy products, produce and bread, for example. Although I love , when all I need is a carton of milk, it makes me weary to have to drive there, find a parking spot, walk all the way to the back of the store, stand in line at the checkout and go – all for one item. Of course, I end up picking up more items to make the trip worthwhile, but you get the picture.
It would also be great to have a nice ice cream store in there. We have and , but they are on the north and west sides of town, not in walking distance for the folks on the southeast side of Fenton.
I would also love to see an old-fashioned soda fountain, where we can enjoy a great selection of hotdogs and hamburgers. Authentic Chicago-style hotdogs are not to be found in this town anywhere. The closest I’ve tasted to a Chicago-style hotdog was at Sonic on Miller Road. I know we can get burgers at all of the fast food places, but it’s just not the same as sitting down to a juicy hamburger and fries at a local diner.
A cozy little pub might be nice, too. Aaah, the possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to see the finished project.