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Lake Orion DDA Seeks Input on Property Acquisition, Parking Lot Project

Board members will vote on a proposal for the vacant property at 29 E. Front St. following a public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Village Offices.

The Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority invites business owners and residents to discuss a potential property acquisition and parking lot project during a public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12.

DDA Executive Director Suzanne Perreault said Dia Zaraga, who owns Sagebrush Cantina and several other downtown properties, has offered to donate 29 E. Front St. to the organization – but, with a catch. The building at that site, which has stood vacant for several years, would have to be razed and the property turned into a parking lot.

Zaraga could not be reached for comment.

"Parking is something that's pretty crucial downtown," Perreault said. "The parking lot is not cheap. We would have to suspend a lot of our other projects to put in our improvements."

She estimated the parking lot project would cost $150,000 to $175,000, but pointed out the property acquisition would come at no cost. The parking lot would create 30 to 35 free, public spaces at the corner of Front and Anderson, Perreault said.

Among the DDA projects that would have to be put on hold to free up funds for the work would be the following, she said.

  • Facade grants: This project allots $1,000 to $5,000 grants to business owners to improve the exteriors of their buildings.
  • Trail extension: The DDA has planned to extend the Paint Creek Trail into downtown, but still is waiting for an easement to be signed, which has delayed the project.

Perreault said additional funds for the parking lot work would come from the DDA's 2013 and 2014 fiscal year fund balances, as well as its property acquisition fund.

The public meeting, which will be held at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Village Offices, will include a short presentation and cost analysis before the floor is opened up for public comment. Then, the DDA board will vote on the property acquisition, according to Perreault.

"It's going to be a pretty important meeting for us," she said.

If you go

  • When: 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12.
  • Where: Village Offices at 37 E. Flint Street.
  • Why go: Learn about a proposed property acquisition and parking lot project at 29 E. Front St.
  • What else: Contact DDA Executive Director Suzanne Perreault at 248-693-9742 or director@downtownlakeorion.org for more information.
Carl Johnson February 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I remember 20 years ago when former Orion Township trustee Burke Cueny proposed a multi-level parking deck structure be built behind the Village police station. The idea was immediately shot down but the complaints about parking in the Village has continued non-stop for the past 20 years. Something has to be done.

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