Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Downtown Farmington will buzz with activity over the next several months as public art moves in, properties change hands, and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) moves forward with some new events.DDA Director Kate Knight mentioned these items during Monday’s Farmington city council meeting:An artist will be selected this month to create a mural on a blank wall in downtown Farmington. (Farmington DDA)Public ArtThree David Barr sculptures – “Temple,” “Avenue,” and “Shift” – will soon be installed in Riley Park. Knight said some conservation work is underway on the pieces, which are on loan from the City of Novi. (Read more about the Barr legacy on the City of Novi website.)Members of the city’s Public Art Committee this week reviewed applications for a new downtown mural program. The artist selected will create the mural on the side of a downtown building.A new Wednesday concert series joins Friday’s Rhythmz in Riley Park, bringing more live music downtown. EventsA new Wednesday lunchtime concert series opens next month in Riley Park. Lunch Beats in Riley Park starts at noon on these dates:June 6 – Jimi KJune 13 – Steve TaylorJune 20 – Sheila Landis & Rick MatleJune 27 – Carly BinsJuly 11 – Mark ReitengaJuly 18 – Maggie McCabeJuly 25 – Al CarmichaelAugust 1 – Benny EdwardsAugust 8 – Sami MeiOn the heels of a successful event in April, a second Ladies Night Out has been added to the DDA’s November calendar. Downtown shops stay open late and offer samples, special deals, and refreshments.DevelopmentThe new owner of the former Grand Bakery & Cafe has plans to open a sushi restaurant in that building and a Japanese steakhouse in a new structure on the adjacent property. Both will have second floor condos; it’s unclear whether those will be owner-occupied or rentals. Total investment: $2.5 million.The Groves Retail Center at Grove Street and Grand River recently changed hands. The sale means that the DDA will see new revenues from the current taxable value of the property, Knight said.In other downtown development news:Plans for facade improvements and outdoor seating at Sidecar Slider Bar, which is moving into the former Bellacino’s of Farmington space at Village Commons Mall, come before the city’s Planning Commission on May 14. Related: SLIDER BAR HEADED FOR DOWNTOWN FARMINGTONOfficials have long awaited revised Maxfield Training Center plans, but the condo/townhouse development is not on this month’s Planning Commission agenda.
The University of Kentucky has been eliminated from consideration by five-star Milwaukee center Diamond Stone.Stone, considered a top-10 prospect in the 2015 class and one of the nation’s best low-post players, announced that he is down to Connecticut, Duke, Maryland, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin. He said last month that he plans to make his decision in November.News of him having a scholarship offer from the Wildcats wasn’t reported until recently, although he said last month UK has been recruiting him for some time.Stone was among 14 uncommitted players, most of them centers and power forwards, being targeted by the Cats. Among big men, UK is still looking at Henry Ellenson (Cats in newly named final three with Marquette and Michigan State), Doral Moore (was supposed to visit last week, UK strong), Cheick Diallo (officially visited UK in June), Skal Labissiere (Cats in final six, probably in top two along with Memphis), Ivan Rabb (likely to visit this fall although UK not necessarily seen as a favorite), Carlton Bragg (visiting for Big Blue Madness, Cats well-positioned as one of his top options) and Stephen Zimmerman (visiting for Big Blue Madness, Cats in final seven and probably one of his top options).RELATED: How Diamond Stone got his nameRELATED: UK targets Stone and Newman considering package dealRELATED: Pearl making quick, major splash in recruiting at Auburn The most significant side story to Stone’s decision to eliminate UK: Could it affect the Cats’ recruitment of five-star Mississippi guard Malik Newman?Newman is a major UK target who for months maintained he planned to attend the same college as Stone. That “package deal” has lost some steam in the past month as the two have only a few common schools they are both strongly considering, and Newman seems bound for a spring decision, months after Stone. Their package deal seems far less certain to occur than, say, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor in the 2014 class who held true to their word and joined forces at Duke.RELATED: UK makes big man Henry Ellenson’s final 3RELATED: UK in good shape with Eric Davis if it offersStone’s out of UK’s picture, but it seems unlikely that it’ll have much of an impact on the Cats’ chances of landing Newman.