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Manufacturing growing, expanding in Fenton

Building permits up 80 percent over 2008

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:57 pm

On zoning and building administrator Brad Hissong’s desk is the next big thing at Lasco Ford — a brand new repair and service facility, and renovations to the main sales building.

“We’ve been pretty busy,” he said. “All kinds of stuff is coming in.” Probably the biggest project in the industrial area is the $250,000 renovation of an engineering building for Creative Foam — a company that is headquartered in Fenton, and operates nine plants in six different states.

More than new buildings going up, Hissong sees vacant buildings put back to use — whether it’s one portion, or an entire existing structure. A building in the industrial park is now used by a woodworking company, and a framing company.

In many cases, the business will pull permits to modify the building, and Hissong has to make sure they are up to code. Acument, for example, added a building for chemical storage.

He couldn’t give details yet, but Hissong said the city is working with a possible tenant to move into vacant land at Form Spec property at Grant Street.

Several separate businesses owned by PDB Investments have been approved on Copper Avenue and Fenway Drive. A new storage building may also be going up in the industrial park.

Creative Foam has bought the building between its current site and the Department of Public Works (DPW) garage. Dave Swallow, president of Creative Foam, said the centralizing of his engineers is due to his growing business with automotive manufacturers. “We are able to manufacture things more economically than what we were able to before,” he said.

He sees manufacturing staying steady in the Fenton area.

The feeling of rejuvenation and growth isn’t just in this area — Hissong attends state-level classes, where he’s hearing much the same from the regional manufacturers. He said the Lake Orion, Wixom and Southfield areas are growing, and this area is always just behind them.

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