New Total Filtration Building Complete!

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

If this building project didn’t set a land-speed record for new construction, it most certainly came close.

The new 32,293 sq. ft. light industrial building, developed by Allegra Development for Total Filtration Services, Inc., is now complete after just four months of construction.  Employees began moving into the new building at 2521 Commercial Drive on October 1st.


The new Total Filtration Services, Inc. building.  Exterior signage coming soon.

All new office furniture has been installed, inventory was moved to the new location this past Monday, and their Service Department is up and running.  Total Filtration Services, Inc. supplies filtration products and provides professional services to over 18 major market categories including automotive, aerospace, power generation and healthcare.

The City is very pleased that Total Filtration chose to keep their operations right here in Auburn Hills.  They were previously located off of Commerce Parkway near the Palace of Auburn Hills.

We welcome them to their new home and wish them continued growth and success.

A Blog About Logs

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

It’s officially autumn and the weather is taking a turn for the cooler.  A lot of folks are looking forward to firing up their fireplaces and wood-burning stoves to warm up their homes, which means they will need fuel, i.e. logs.  But where and how to store them?

logs on ground - bad

A good example of what not to do.

Auburn Hills doesn’t have an ordinance specifically laying out how logs should be stored, but there is one concerning how not to store them.  Ordinance 34-151(3) states “logs…placed or stored in a manner so as to be attractive, dangerous and accessible to children” are considered an “attractive nuisance.”

proper wood storage

A safe and dry wood storage solution

Piling up logs in the front yard will come to the attention of your friendly, neighborhood Code Enforcement Officer.  A better, safer and more useful method of storage is on a rack, either homemade or purchased commercially.  A rack keeps the wood off the ground.  This is important because logs in contact with soil rot from the bottom up.

So rack ‘em, stack ‘em and keep your logs dry and rot-free.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! (Congratulations!)

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

It’s not often we think about all the testing that goes into products for heat, cold, damp, wind and other weather conditions.  This is where TÜV SÜD comes in.

TUV shop

TÜV SÜD offers OEMs and other Tier 1 suppliers on-site testing services

Last week, we gathered at their new Auburn Hills facility to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new 30,000 sq. ft. automotive test lab.  I was amazed by all the testing that happens in order to ensure quality, dependability, comfort and safety.

TÜV SÜD provides services including the inspection and certification of industrial plants, management system certification, testing of consumer products and occupational health and safety services for companies in a wide range of industries.

ÜV SÜD is a world leader in testing and product certification

TÜV SÜD is a world leader in testing and product certification

Their recent expansion in Auburn Hills includes the addition of a high capacity Environmental Vibration System.  This unique vibration testing capability will ensure that their automotive customers meet new vibration specifications.  This investment will cement TÜV SÜD Product Service’s position as a leading testing laboratory.

Since they are a German company, we celebrated their expansion with traditional Bavarian fare in honor of Oktoberfest. We wish TÜV SÜD all the best as they continue to grow in our community!

Can You Give Up Your Lunchtime Burger?

Karen Adcock, Director of Senior Services

This couple just needs a little help.  If not you, then who?

Here’s the story.  He’s a veteran who served his country proudly many years ago.  She raised their four children, volunteered at their children’s school, and at the local library.  They both raised their children to be successful adults with active careers and families of their own.  Their children support and help their parents as best as they can, but two live out-of-state and one lives over six hours away.  Their youngest, who lives in the next town over, keeps busy with her young children’s schedules so she can only visit a couple of times a week.

This dedicated husband gets up daily and makes breakfast for the two of them. She sits there across from the table from him, smiles shyly at him and wonders: Who is this good-looking man?  She has no idea this man is her husband of 55+ years.  He smiles back to reassure her everything is going to be alright.  This morning is no different from the one before, and the one before that, and so on.

Every day this good man helps his wife with her personal needs, gets her dressed and takes her with him when he runs errands.  He wonders to himself how she can be so wide awake as the night before she wandered the halls of their home looking for something that she couldn’t explain to him. He gets up making sure she is okay, and making sure the double bolts on the doors are secure so she won’t wander away. He sighs to himself, as he realizes how tired he really is, and how each day seems harder and harder than the last. But he loves her and vows he will take care of her to the end.

At lunchtime there’s a knock on the door.  He smiles as he answers the door. A wonderful and cheerful volunteer is bringing two nutritious meals to him and his wife. The volunteer greets him warmly and asks how he’s doing?  He smiles a weary smile and says the same as usual.  He thanks the volunteer and says how grateful he is for the meals – as it’s one less thing he has to worry about.

Meals on Wheels crop hands

The volunteer leaves the veteran and his wife to deliver more meals.  While this volunteer feels a pang of sadness for the couple, she also feels good inside knowing she has made another person’s day a bit brighter.  Her spirits pick up knowing she will make another person’s day better as she delivers the next meal and so on.  This volunteer smiles as she realizes how much she looks forward to this one day a week, this one fleeting lunch hour, and how her day is much brighter because of her involvement with the Meals on Wheels program.

Our Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver nutritious meals seven days a week to numerous seniors, much like this veteran and his wife (which is a true story).  Most of our Meals on Wheels participants are over the age of 75, female, and widowed.  This is not an income based program – it’s provided on an as-needed basis.  Many participants are low-income, frail, disabled, and unable to prepare a nutritious meal.  While others are caregivers that get some relief by receiving meals through the program.  Most importantly, the friendly face and hello from the Meals on Wheels volunteer may be the only human contact these folks will receive.

You too can help Auburn Hills’ residents like this couple.  It’s a rather small commitment of time in the grand scheme of things – it’s just a lunch hour.  You too can be that friendly volunteer that makes a difference in our community.  To volunteer, stop by the Auburn Hills Community Center or call 248-370-9353 and ask for Volunteer Coordinator Paige Baranyai.

Consider being a Meals on Wheels volunteer, because I can promise you this, the experience will be much more satisfying than any lunchtime burger will ever be.

Happy Anniversary, Alfoccino Ristorante

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

An Auburn Hills institution is celebrating tomorrow, October 3rdAlfoccino Food and Spirits, located at 2225 N. Opdyke, has been in business for 14 years. Owners Sunny Palaj and Frank Shushtari will continue to serve the finest in Italian cuisine.

outside Alfoccino’s offers fine dining, banquets, off-site catering, and carry out with on-line ordering.  They have a full bar with drink and appetizer specials daily.


They are open seven days a week with availability for any occasion.  Call them 248-340-1000 for information or reservations.

Stop by tomorrow and say “Ciao!”

Church’s Lumber Yards: Deep Family Roots in Downtown Business

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Downtown Auburn Hills is home to Church’s Lumber Yards, a company rich in family history.

Founded by Calvin Church in 1890, Church & Church, Inc. was a family business dedicated to supplying lumber, coal and feed which was loaded by hand and delivered by horse and wagon.


Calvin’s Son, Clarence, joined the company and expanded operations through World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. His sons, Jim and Roy, then took over the family business and opened stores throughout southeast Michigan, while further expanding services and product offerings.  Roy’s son, Bill Church is now the fourth generation owner of Church’s Lumber.

Dave Kohl, President and CEO with Jeaneane Henry, Human Resources and Accounting

Dave Kohl, President and CEO with Jeaneane Henry, Human Resources and Accounting

In the early 1990’s, the proliferation of big box home improvement stores prompted Church’s to re-think their operations, close some stores and change their approach.  President and CEO, Dave Kohl, explained that their intentional shift from retail-based to project-based sales allowed them to better compete in the marketplace and focus on builders, contractors and projects.

bldg materials

In the spring of 2014, Church’s renovated an approximately 5,000 sq. ft. space in their building to create a beautiful showroom and new office area.  Contractors and customers can now visit to see installed product samples and select what they need for their projects.  Stone and siding samples, cabinetry, roofing, doors and railings, the list goes on.  The showroom is as warm and welcoming as the staff of this family-owned company.

kitchen cabinetry

Church’s Lumber is located at 107 S. Squirrel in Downtown Auburn Hills.  The showroom is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Auburn Hills wishes them another century of growth and success.


Market Demand Prompts Proposed New Building Near Silverdome

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

More good news!

An application has been submitted by Burton Katzman to the City of Auburn Hills to allow the construction of a 109,395 sq. ft. light industrial building on a 7.20 acre parcel of land located at the northwest corner of Opdyke and Featherstone Roads.  The proposal also involves rezoning the site from commercial to industrial to facilitate the development, which will be considered concurrently with the site plan review.  The initial investment for this project is estimated at $9.5 million.

Illustration of the proposed building

Illustration of the proposed building

This project is moving forward as a “speculative” building, which means that it is not being built for a specific company.  Why?  To get ahead of the market and meet demand.

The industrial real estate market has rebounded strongly since the Great Recession.  Experts have informed us that vacant available industrial space in the City of Auburn Hills has declined from over four million sq. ft. in 2010 to less than 500,000 sq. ft. today; as the vacancy rate has dropped to a record low of 3.82% (see report).  Since almost all of the existing industrial buildings have been absorbed, businesses looking to expand or locate in our City have nowhere to go.  Burton Katzman wishes to meet that demand by constructing a new building – which takes about one year to complete – and have it ready for future companies wishing to make a quick move in 2016/2017.

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the public hearing at the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Thursday, October 20th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the project is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, October 26th.