With the turn of a shovel, the reconstruction of Grove Street in downtown Farmington launched on Thursday, a few days later than city officials had hoped.
Mayor Tom Buck said the hang up was over paperwork for a property transfer between the City of Farmington and Manifold Ventures, owner of The Groves shopping center. The original plan was for construction to be done by the Downtown Farmington Founders Festival in mid-July, which still may happen, he added.
Crews will remove the concrete on Grove, from Grand River to Orchard Street, and install an asphalt street with a boulevard and on-street parking, stamped concrete sidewalks and a look similar to the existing downtown Farmington streetscape.
Representing Manifold Ventures, partner Charlie Kughn said he was excited to see the project begin. The company's end of the project, a revamp of the shopping center's west side, will begin in late May or early June, he said.
"We're completely confident that it's going to be an outstanding success for everybody," he said. "We can't wait to start gearing up."
On Friday, construction crews are expected to install signs on Grove Street, Farmington Downtown Development Authority director Annette Knowles said, and demolition will start on Monday. The parking lot to the south of the T.J. Maxx store will remain open, as will Orchard Street and the rest of the Downtown Farmington Center.
Knowles said the stores in The Groves – Dress Barn, Painting with a Twist, Bellis Spa, Bargain Books and T.J. Maxx, as well as Zam Zam Market on the east side – will remain open during construction. She is in the process of setting up valet service, primarily for those businesses, that will be available Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., starting next weekend.