Her Clients Are In Good Hands

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

The City of Auburn Hills is widely known for its world headquarters, international companies, and major entertainment attractions, but we have found that the mix of both large and small companies are what make our City’s business community truly unique.  Small business owners bring tremendous value to our town, on both a professional and personal level.

Mrs. Donna Quince-Cobb is a perfect example.  Donna and her Allstate Insurance business have been fixtures in Downtown for 25 years.  In 1990, she leased her office at 3312 Auburn Road with an option to buy and surprised the building owner with an offer to purchase just six months later.  Donna still occupies that space today where she and her husband, Howard Cobb, work together.

Donna Quince-Cobb and Howard Cobb

Donna Quince-Cobb and Howard Cobb

With her friendly and welcoming demeanor, Donna describes Downtown Auburn Hills as “quaint.”  She appreciates the accessibility and connectivity of our community. “Everyone knows everyone” she explained. “Businesses, customers and government. You can always get someone on the phone.”  She is passionate about her work and taking care of her clients.

Donna has also been very active in the community.  She has generously donated her time to serve as a Board Member of the Matilda R. Wilson Boys and Girls Club.  Donna is a founding member of both the Auburn Hills Noon Optimist Club and the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce and was recently appointed to the Auburn Hills Public Library Board of Trustees.  During her busy career, she also found time to mentor students in her Downtown office through the Avondale High School Co-Op Program.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.  Donna was recently honored by Senator Gary C. Peters for her commitment to supporting entrepreneurship in the Pontiac community.  Donna’s professional and personal involvement in our City and surrounding areas serve as an example of the excellent and meaningful work our small businesses do every day.

Allstate Insurance at 3312 Auburn Road in Downtown Auburn Hills

Allstate Insurance at 3312 Auburn Road in Downtown Auburn Hills

The City of Auburn Hills wishes Donna much continued success and thank her for being such a valued part of our community.

Hey, What’s The Deal With Those Pillars?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Are you wondering what’s up with the new pillars being constructed along both sides of University Drive between I-75 and Squirrel Road?  Well, it’s a great story.

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

An enhanced streetscape is being constructed along University Drive that will provide a unified gateway to both the City of Auburn Hills and Oakland University from I-75.  The $543,530 project is a cooperative effort between both entities and its funding is being shared 50/50.  The City’s portion of the expense has been provided by the Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA), which is tasked with improving the infrastructure throughout the area.  The design is intended to brand and promote the fact that Oakland University is located in the City of Auburn Hills and will help act as a prominent entry to the campus.

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

The project began in 2013 with the painting of the existing street light poles along University Drive black and the purchase and installation of new University and City banners.  The remaining improvements will include three monuments in the center boulevard with accent planting beds, decorative stone columns along both sides of the road, street tree installation, and ornamental plantings.

Below are some computer renderings of what the streetscape will look like when complete:

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

The completion of the streetscape project is intended to correspond with the opening of the new University Drive bridge and diverging diamond interchange later this year.

It’s a great example of how Oakland University and the City of Auburn Hills are working together to build a stronger and more attractive community.

 

Containing An Issue

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We have found that it’s almost impossible for a community to write laws to protect against every obscure scenario.  However, sometimes the City has to take action to make its collective standards crystal clear.

On July 27th, the City Council is set to review an amendment to Zoning Ordinance that states the position of the City of Auburn Hills that it’s not appropriate to locate metal shipping containers or other similar prefabricated items (i.e., bus bodies and railroad cars) on residential properties due to their large size and unsightly appearance.

Metal containers should not be permanately located on residential property

Metal containers should not be permanently located on residential property

Why?  The genesis of this amendment was a code enforcement case that involved a property owner utilizing a large metal container, typically placed on a tractor trailer or cargo ship, as a shed in his rear yard.  The City was recently successful in legal proceedings to have the container removed.

Protecting our neighborhoods from blight is paramount.  This new law will affirm the City’s goals and prohibit items that have an industrial appearance from residential areas.  This should clear up and contain the issue.

A Schutzenfest?  Was ist das?

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

A German festival, that’s what.  And the German American Marksmanship Club (or the Deutsch-Amerikanischer Schutzenverein, if you prefer) is going to be hosting the 76th Annual Schuntzenfest on Saturday July 25th starting at 1:00 pm at their clubhouse at 2650 Auburn Road.

dancing

The marksmanship club was founded in 1939 to allow metro Detroiters of German heritage to  maintain and learn about German customs, foods and traditions.  Obviously the Schutzenfest is quite a tradition, having been celebrated over 75 years.

guests

This year’s festival will include authentic German foods, local and German beer, wine and liquor, a kids moonwalk and other children’s entertainment.  In keeping with one of the club’s founding tenets, there will be prize shooting as well.  Patrons will also enjoy continuous traditional German music by “die Rhinelanders” and “Tommy Schober and Sorgenbrecher.”  All this for a mere $3.00 donation at the entrance.  For more information call Mary Hundich at 586-979-9128.

party bldg

So put on your lederhosen and let’s “roll out the barrel” at the Schutzenfest.  Prozit!

What An Adventure!

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manger of Business Development & Community Relations

Each year since 2008, Auburn Hills has offered its employees the opportunity to experience Auburn Hills University (AHU). AHU is an internal program that allows employees, new and seasoned, a chance to understand the entire organization and how it operates.

Auburn Hills University - Class of 2015

                            Auburn Hills University – Class of 2015

From the Fire Department to the Clerk’s Office, this program allows us to provide better customer service to our citizens and creates stronger relationships among fellow employees.  The class meets once a month for five months to learn what other departments do to bring value to the organization.

edited

On Wednesday, the class visited the Auburn Hills campus of OCC to take part in their outdoor adventure challenge training program.  This team building course presents teams with a series of problem-solving tasks.  Participants work together and share ideas to successfully complete each challenge.  The program enables teams to work on their interpersonal communication skills.  We had a great time!

Our instructor Hans conducted a debriefing and asked participants to talk about what they learned most from the morning at OCC.  The three themes that kept being repeated were trust, communication and leadership.

This was a wonderful experience for our group.  It was a great opportunity for employees to come together outside of the office and focus on team development.

McDonald’s On Five Points Drive To Freshen Up Their Look

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

McDonald’s, located on Five Points Drive and Walton Boulevard, is updating the look of their building.  Yes the iconic red mansard roof will be replaced with a flat roof and the building exterior will be updated with stone and brick for a more modern and contemporary look.

rendering - new bldg

The renovation also includes updates to the building’s interior with a small addition to the front dining area.

Current building, ready for upgrades

The building renovation will begin the week of July 20th and take about five to seven weeks to complete.  No need to worry, even though the interior will be closed, you will still be able to get your favorite meal, drink and/or desert because the drive thru lane will remain open during the renovation period.

Going Up! New Building Taking Shape for Total Filtration Services

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

In early June, Allegra Development broke ground on a new light-industrial building and already its skeleton is up and visible from I-75.

Total Filtration 7-13-15 (from I-75)

Located at 2521 Commercial Drive, the building will house Total Filtration Services, Inc. with approximately 8,075 sq. ft. of office space and 24,218 sq. ft. of shop and warehouse area.  The company supplies filtration products and provides professional services to over 18 major market categories including automotive, aerospace, power generation and healthcare.

Underground water and sanitary sewer work is complete and steel is up.  Decking is in process, along with plumbing and parking lot base work.  The building is expected to be complete this Fall.

Total Filtration 7-13-15 Site

Stay tuned for further construction progress updates.