Officials took another step toward making the a reality Tuesday.
The Fenton Downtown Development Authority approved a pre-development agreement for the planned with Michigan-based Corlin Builders, Inc. (formerly ) at its meeting. The Fenton City Council will also have to approve the agreement and is expected to address it at Monday's meeting.
The non-binding agreement is to allow architectural plans to be more defined. The agreement calls for a total of $77,000 to be spent on architectural drawings, $61,000 for Stephen Auger and Associates Architects of Lake Orion and $16,000 for OHM Engineering. The DDA will also cover the cost of an apartment rental feasibility study.
"This is another big push in momentum," said Ghassan Saab, who is leading the development. "It's starting to be a reality. We are getting to the meat and bones. We can do a lot more now."
Saab said the next step is working with architects and creating buildable drawings to come up with some accurate prices.
The $4.7 Cornerstone Project plan calls for a four-story building consisting of approximately 47,000 square feet and including the following:
- First floor shall be limited to restaurants and retail stores.
- The second, third and fourth floor shall contain 21-30 loft style apartments.
- The exterior will be mainly brick, limestone/architectural cast stone and glass.
- Restaurants are encouraged to utilize outdoor seating.
- The building will be a traditional condominium to encourage the sale of individual units on all floors when feasible.
It could also include non-protruding decks for each loft, permanent artwork and courtyards, and a parking deck may be considered by the city.
Jerry Mansour, the Realtor for the project, said he has four tenants who have submitted non-binding letters of intent with a refundable deposit. He said the next step is for purchase agreements.
"Once the've written a check, it shows their intention," Mansour said. "Once you put money down, I think it shows they believe in it."
The DDA has spent $55,250 on the project so far for conceptual drawings and consulting services from Mansour.
Construction is expected to start on the project in late 2012 and the building is expected to open in early fall of 2013. The agreement sets a deadline of four months, which can be extended, until the signing of a final development agreement.
"This puts the meat on the bones of the core elements of the project," City Attorney Stephen Schultz said. "Then we will work on another agreement with more bindings and milestones."