The development that’s anticipated to be built in between Fenton Area Public Schools athletic fields and the Target complex off Owen Road hit a snag.
At the Thursday, Sept. 24 Fenton Planning Commission meeting, Carmine Avantini, the city’s planning consultant with CIB Planning, gave an update on the project.
The 3.6 acres of land, located between the football field and the Speedway on Owen Road, was on the market starting June 2018. Fenton Area Public Schools wanted to sell the property and use the money to pay for security upgrades at Fenton AGS Middle School.
The school district has an agreement with Keystone Realty of Farmington Hills to sell the property for $1.3 million once all the agreements with businesses and municipality are final. Keystone has indicated that it wishes to bring in a grocer, which is ALDI, and a few other retailers.
When the Target project was initially approved, the plans included an access driveway to the school property. The driveway was never built.
“Unfortunately, the developer did not submit the access easement for city review, as required by ordinance, or we would have caught that the school access easement was not included. The easement extends from Owen Road all the way down to the Tractor Supply Company,” Avantini said.
The plans for the development now must include another easement driveway. The city and FAPS had worked out agreements with businesses in that complex to put an easement driveway off the two-way road that passes Speedway, when entering and exiting the complex, that would lead to the 3.6-acre property.
However, Avantini said there’s a new issue. Some of the business owners want money from the sale of the 3.6-acre property. Mega Coney Island and the Shoppes of Fenton tenants, which include Famous Footwear, Ulta, Maurices, Kay Jewelers and T-Mobile, indicated to Avantini and FAPS that they wanted to be reassured that no direct competitors would be brought in, and that they wanted to be paid a certain amount.
When asked how much money they were asking for, Avantini said one was “substantial” and the other was “really really substantial.”
“It would cut into the funds the school would use to make improvements,” Avantini said. “These owners are forcing the city and school to look at different ideas.”
They’re working on a different plan, which could include putting the easement driveway to the new complex directly off Owen Road and not using the shared driveway by Speedway.
Avantini said he hopes they reach an agreement soon, because he knows ALDI won’t wait “too much longer.” He also doesn’t want the city to lose a project or the school to miss out on this opportunity.
No action was taken at this meeting.
ALDI clarification 10/7/20
In the Wednesday, Sept. 30 Midweek edition, the Times stated that the property between Fenton Area Public Schools and the Target complex was sold to Keystone Realty for $1.3 million. The sale will not be finalized until all of the agreements with businesses and the city of Fenton are fulfilled.