An unfinished edifice stands near the intersection of Schoenherr Road and Moravian Drive in Sterling Heights. City officials say work on the commercial development is proceeding.

An unfinished edifice stands near the intersection of Schoenherr Road and Moravian Drive in Sterling Heights. City officials say work on the commercial development is proceeding.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


City reports progress at Schoenherr retail building

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 16, 2019

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STERLING HEIGHTS — The delayed development of a commercial property along Schoenherr Road is confirmed to be back in action, Sterling Heights’ city manager said at an Aug. 6 City Council meeting.

City Manager Mark Vanderpool discussed the building at the corner of Schoenherr Road and Moravian Drive, saying the commercial retail development was originally supposed to house a Tim Hortons, but the city currently has no confirmation of the final tenants.

“Many have noticed that the project has been stalled for well over a year now,” he said. “They’re starting up work again. You can see that the site has been tidied up. It’s something that the city required.”

Among the recent work, Vanderpool explained, a sidewalk gap along Schoenherr has been replaced. Site preparation work has begun, brick is on-site, and masonry work was slated for that week and into the next.

Vanderpool said the site’s owner informed the city of a new construction schedule, adding that the projected completion time, including landscaping, appears to be September or “Octoberish.”

“That’s the latest schedule from the owner themselves, so I wanted to make sure the community knew that the project is going to be completed,” he said.

The city manager said the completion of the development should improve the intersection with left-hand turn lanes. He also expects improved traffic flow patterns.

“That’ll be the last component of the project,” he said.

In July, City Development Director Jason Castor identified the property development company as Leonardo Plaza LLC, and in a memo said the construction originally had started in the fall of 2017 before stopping sometime in the fall of 2018 — leaving a masonry shell behind. The city was reportedly told that the developer had trouble finding contractors and was still in the process of choosing one.

The city and the property owner, Nick Lavdas, stayed in contact last month after city officials concluded that work had stalled up until then. The city ordered a site cleanup and fencing. Later, the developer reportedly agreed to a new schedule that included renewing expired permits and fixing soil erosion.

After the meeting, Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said the Schoenherr-Moravian area is home to restaurants and some beautiful neighborhoods, and he welcomed the idea of new commercial establishments.

“It’s always good to see new developments going on,” he said. “Whether it’s on one side of the city or the other, we’ve got a good, vibrant city, and it’s always good to see new economic activity.”

A representative from Leonardo Plaza LLC did not reply for comment by press time.

Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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