By Jim Newell
Developer Jeff Schmitz has found a niche in Lake Orion and is proposing to bring another four-story development to the downtown.
Now, Schmitz, owner and president of JS Capitol, and village officials want to get feedback from residents about the proposed project, which would be built at 44 Flint St. on the corner of Anderson Street.
The proposed development would be a mixed-use development, with commercial and residential units. The property is the site of the former Lake Orion Pet Centre. Schmitz currently has donated the space to the village for public parking.
“We will have 6,000 square feet of retail on the first floor, 8,000 square feet of office space on the second floor and for floors three and four we have 12 luxury apartment units, along with rooftop outdoor space,” Schmitz said. “We will also have 19 parking spaces behind our building.”
Schmitz incorporated a similar floor plan into his development of 120 S. Broadway St., the village’s first – and so far, only – four-story building.
120 S. Broadway is an $8.6 million investment in downtown Lake Orion, with commercial use – Bitter Tom’s Distillery restaurant, Simply Marcella’s boutique, Keller Williams Real Estate and Lake Orion Beauty Bar & Medical Spa – on the ground floor and three floors of upscale luxury apartments, 24 apartments in total.
“I’m in love with the village,” Schmitz said at the Dec. 5 ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the 120 S. Broadway development. “I thought the village had real personality. It felt like it was hungry for something new – some new growth, some new inspiration. The people in the village are so amazing that I just felt like it was time for this community to just take another step now.”
Schmitz said he hopes to begin work on the 44 Flint St. development in July.
Village Council President Ken Van Portfliet and Manager Joe Young suggested getting feedback from the public on the proposed development when they met with Schmitz to discuss the project, Young said.
“Jeff does great work. The building at 120 (S. Broadway St.) is very nice, very attractive,” Young said. “We want to get people’s input on (44 Flint St.) because it’s quite different from the surrounding area. It’s a change in structure and architecture and the look of the buildings.”
Young said Schmitz would still have to go through the planning approval process, submit site development plans to the village’s planning commission for review and apply for a special land use permit to build four stories.
The village council would give final approval on the plans.
As part of the proposed project, Young said Schmitz is also asking the village for tax abatement to develop the property.
“He’s asking for tax considerations,” Young said, adding that the 44 Flint St. development would bring in new business and residential space, but that the village would lose parking.
Schmitz currently has a 10-year commercial rehabilitation exemption certificate (tax abatement) on the 120 S. Broadway St. development, which the village council approved in July 2018.
Schmitz does own the 44 Flint St. property, which he purchased from the former owners of the Lake Orion Pet Centre in March 2018.
To see samples of Schmitz’s other downtown Lake Orion development, visit 120southbroadway.com.
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