As 2015 comes to a close, it is hard to take a look at the downtown Fenton area and not be completely blown away by the unbelievable strides that the downtown development committee, the city of Fenton, and private investors have made. To now drive into the city and be greeted by the picture perfect Red Fox Outfi tters building, sitting next to the beautiful Cornerstone building there is an overwhelming feeling of joy and optimism in the air of the area. Only a year or two ago, the city was fairly disconnected and missing the lively energy and ease of fl ow that you will fi nd there today.
There are many thanks owed to the people behind the curtain, for all of the hard work and planning that has gone into this project, but it is important to understand that this is only the beginning of the amazing things to come. As early as January 2016, we will continue to see investments made in our community some in the downtown area, and some beginning to expand throughout the city.
I had the opportunity to sit down with City Manager, Lynn Markland, to discuss the past year and take a glimpse into the future of what we can expect this coming year.
When looking back at the past years successes it was hard to determine if any one had a bigger impact than the next. Lynn reminded me that we would be remiss to forget the effect that the Cornerstone building
had kicking off the downtown developemt. As seamlessly as the building fi ts into the downtown space, it’s hard to believe that the Cornerstone is only one year old! The addition of the mutliuse building has driven small businesses to the area and in turn, has created a greater demand for housing in the downtown area as well.
As early as January 2016, the improvements will continue. The Silver Lake Road bridge crossing the Shiawassee will be replaced with not only a structurally improved bridge, but wider sidewalks fl anking the bridge giving pedestrians a beautiful place to look out over the river. Start planning your detours now, the bridge will be down for a short time.
There is more to come with the Streetscape project in 2016. Spring 2016 will bring beautiful plantings and fi nishing touches to our streets, followed later in the year with Caroline street continuing through the parking lot of the Cornerstone building, continuing through to the library truly connecting the city to be convenient and walkable.
A few of the larger projects that the city is excited about will kick off next year, but may take until 2017 to complete, include :
– The Riverview development: The gorgeously modern multiuse development will feature 53 condos, a steak house, dueling piano bar, a fresh market grocery (YAAAYYYY!!), additional retail shops and a 370 spot parking structure
– A multi-use facility – similar to the cornerstone, sharing the same side of the street, the two buildings will be separated by the continuation of Caroline Street
– A yet undecided use of the now demolished lot across from Red Fox Outfi tters
The future is looking bright for our great city. I hope that you are all as excited as we are to see what the next year brings!