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Revamping Downtown Fenton

My grumble about the revitalization of downtown Fenton.

The intersection of is being revamped. Well at least one corner of it.

What we have been discussing in this household for the last year is why they are redoing one of the two corners that looks fairly good? What are they going to do with the historic building that could be beautiful and right now is an eyesore? I keep saying, if I had the money and the time, I would go fix it up myself. What a shame that such a gorgeous building has to fall to waste and in such a state of disrepair.

The first time I drove through that area of Fenton, I was on my way to Linden, where my mother had just moved, about five years ago. That building was like a mile marker for me at the time, I could gauge my distance to her house based on my entering that intersection. I always thought  it was a remarkable building and should be fixed up.

Now I just drive through, and while I still want to run out with my scraper and my paintbrush, overalls on and hammer through the loop of my belt, it makes me sad to drive that intersection, knowing that when the new development is finished, this building will seem even worse in comparison.

Having never itemized the cost of the many home repairs and renovations I have done with youth groups and friends and neighbors, I wouldn't have the faintest idea how much it would cost to renovate a building like that, but surely this community could find a great use for it? I heard that the library is looking for somewhere else to go - why not there? The city is looking to make it more of a walkable downtown community, I would most definitely be walking the community more if there was a library in the middle of it.

Is there a reason this building hasn't been touched for so long? I know that I am relatively new to this city so there is probably a lot that I don't realize has gone on, but in all of the talk about the new buildings, I have yet to hear anything about this one. Has anyone any idea how much money it would take to revamp it? Any other ideas for what could go in here? I have lots of them - and if I had the money I would make it happen.

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Kelly June 08, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I'm assuming you are talking about the big white building? I have heard someone does own it and keeps it up the way they deem feasible I guess. I too wish they would do something with it.
Adam June 08, 2012 at 12:59 PM
The big white building is an eyesore for sure. I would have to believe a complete renovation/restoration would be extremely expensive.
Terri White June 08, 2012 at 01:58 PM
To add to this, I was informed by a commenter on our Facebook page that this was the Fenton Bean Company and that they have a Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fenton-Bean-Company/157088904332021 The page states that they are an antique store and are listed under shopping/retail.
Sharon June 08, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Newer, more modern is not always the way to go ~~ what about heritage ???? Didn't Fenton learn anything from the debacle of urban renewal in the past ??? When we travel I am always drawn to the older buildings that tell the history of the town and surrounding area. In 2007 I had my anniversary dinner in the local tavern/eatery that was once the home of my great-grandfather's general store.
Sean Rosekrans June 08, 2012 at 10:44 PM
The building is a private business. An antique store and tea room. I am sure the owners would fix it up if they could afford to. How about some help from the DDA? They seem to help everyone else.
Vera Hogan June 10, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Amen to that, Sean!
Terri White June 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I am glad that I am not the only one who feels this way about this building.
Troy Husted June 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Fenton has a jewel right in them mist of downtown with the Fenton Bean Company. The DDA, City of Fenton and the owners need to come together, restore the building and house the Farmer's market there. Can extend the building by building a green house type building in the back that will house the booths and use the old building for flea market booths selling antiques and food. This will allow year long business that will bring revenue to the city and the surrounding businesses.
Terri White June 14, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Troy, that's a wonderful idea. Thank you for putting it here! I hope that these ideas are making their way into some deep pocket's heads.
Chateau_Du_Lac June 15, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I agree that building could use some TLC, or at least maintain the grounds a little better. The DDA should realize that building is one of the first things you see when visiting Fenton via I-75/Grange Hall Rd exit. Slightly embarrassing first impression. Not sure the city needs a farmers market when you have one of the best in the nation 15 minutes north in Flint. Perhaps Saab should look into acquiring the decaying building, and give it a refresh to boost his Cornerstone project's image? I know if I was being approached by Saab to put in a restaurant in that project I'd be put off by the look of that building across the street.

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