The Mystery Building

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Well, it really isn’t a mystery.  The tenant has just asked not to be publicly identified at this time.

Staff has received several inquires over the past few months about the new building being erected on Taylor Road, adjacent to I-75; so we would like to provide a quick update.  The new structure is a three-story, 141,480 sq. ft. office headquarters that was approved by the City Council for construction on August 11, 2014.

Rendering of new building under construction south of RGIS, visible from I-75

Rendering of the new building under construction south of RGIS, visible from I-75

Construction began in November 2014 on the $15 million project and the structural steel is now up.  The building is anticipated to be complete by late Fall 2015.

Below are some photos of the development’s progression.

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The Anti-Germ Superhero

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

IRiS

IRiS

You may be asking yourself, what is this thing?  Kinda looks like R2-D2 or some other fancy robot.  Meet IRiS, the Intelligent Room Sterilization System.

On Tuesday, staff made a site visit to Infection Prevention Technologies (IPT) located at 1090 Doris Road.  I am always amazed at the high level of technology some of our companies have developed and what industries they serve.  Auburn Hills is composed of a lot of automotive suppliers, so it’s always cool to meet with companies who are considered non-automotive.

Infection Prevention Technologies, LLC (IPT) was formed in 2009, after the decline of the automotive industry.  Originally, the company started as an automotive diagnostic equipment manufacturer and in order to keep the company alive and profitable, IPT diversified into the medical industry and have found success with their ultraviolet light disinfecting equipment.

If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital, your room has probably been cleaned with a device like IRiS.  It’s probably not something we even give much thought to, we just assume the room has been cleaned to required standards.  We’ve all heard that patients can acquire an additional infection while staying in the hospital, which is a scary thought.  The good news is that technology exists to help dramatically decrease those odds.

This interesting piece of equipment emits UV-C rays that destroy microorganisms on direct and indirect surfaces, even behind equipment.  IRiS can treat and disinfect a patient room in about 14 minutes.  Even though this treatment is chemical-free, people cannot be in the room when the device is turned on.  There are several safety features that assist the user that can automatically turn off the machine to prevent inadvertent exposure to UV-C.

Our group got to see IRiS in action and we watched her treat the room we were meeting in from outside.  This intelligent system, has special sensing technology that automatically determines the proper UV-C dose for any room.  Pretty cool, right? The room even smelled super clean when we returned to gather our things.   IPT is hoping to get into other areas such as schools, day-cares and gyms.

This type of technology will soon meet the standardized method for measuring and reporting environmental cleaning practices.  IPT is ready to meet the demands of the market and are working to ensure that their system is effective and efficient for combating multi-drug resistant pathogens.

New Visioneering HQ Almost Ready

Posted by – Howard Wager, Building Inspector

Time is “flying by” … but it isn’t slowing down the construction of the new headquarters for Visioneering on Taylor Road, adjacent I-75.  The 181,122 sq. ft. facility is anticipated to be complete by May 15th.  As a little trivia, it will be the 19th largest industrial building in the City of Auburn Hills.

Visioneering specializes in assembly tooling systems for the aerospace and defense industry.  The new building will house their corporate offices, a design center, and manufacturing operations.

Visioneering specializes in assembly tooling systems for the aerospace and defense industry. The new building will house their corporate offices, a design center, and manufacturing operations.

With the project on schedule, contractors intend to start office furniture installation within the weeks, well ahead of the scheduled occupancy date.

The office areas on the first and second floors of the building are being painted, carpet is being installed, and all the rest of the finish touches are being completed by contractors

The office areas on the first and second floors of the building are being painted, carpet is being installed, and all the rest of the finish touches are being completed by contractors

The manufacturing space is also on its final prep to be turned over to the owners.  Several heavy duty overhead cranes are being installed and floor pits for machinery are in the process of completion as well

The manufacturing space is also on its final prep to be turned over to the owners. Several heavy-duty overhead cranes are being installed and floor pits for machinery are in the process of completion as well

We look forward to helping this company get up and running at their new location very soon.

Check out our past blogs about the project:
New Headquarters Proposed for Aerospace Tooling Company
Bulldozers Are A Good Thing
Steel Up on Aerospace Company’s New $31 Million Headquarters
New Visioneering Headquarters Soaring Forward

 

Can You Hear Me Now?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

It’s probably been a while since you last heard the question …“Can you hear me now?”  Verizon used the tag line incessantly between 2002-2011 to get the point across that they were always working to improve their wireless network.  It was an annoying advertising campaign, but true.  Verizon and its competitors are always adding or adjusting antennas on their cellular towers to better serve their customers.  Most don’t realize that such a robust wireless network demands a lot of towers.

Did you know that the City of Auburn Hills has been at the forefront in planning for the network of towers used by wireless companies – like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and others – within our community?  Back in November 1998, the Planning Commission adopted a Wireless Concentration Map, as shown below, which outlined eight locations (yellow dots) where towers were planned and could locate.  Two additional locations (red dots) were added in 2007, increasing the total locations to ten.

The Planning Commission worked to locate these towers in non-residential areas

The Planning Commission worked to locate these towers in non-residential areas

Why did the City care?  Like public infrastructure (roads, water, and sewer), the need for citizens to communicate on a private wireless network has developed into an “essential service.”  Since wireless infrastructure is provided by the private sector, the Federal government passed a law in 1996 that restricted a local government’s zoning authority to regulate the deployment of these towers.  So, Auburn Hills has worked together with the wireless industry over the years to maintain a reasonable plan that encourages the “co-location” of multiple carriers on a single tower.  This was done to avoid the proliferation of towers throughout the community.  It has worked with much success.

The City Council will review an antenna addition for AT&T to this tower (right hand side) located on the City's Municipal Campus, east of the Community Center, at tonight's Council meeting

The City Council will review an antenna addition for AT&T to this tower (right hand side) located on the City’s Municipal Campus, east of the Community Center, at tonight’s Council meeting

Interestingly, experts tell us that things are changing in the industry.  They say the towers that have gone up over the past two decades are becoming dinosaurs.  With the increase in internet data needs, we will see more “stealth” applications such as antennas on buildings or on top of telephone poles.

As technology advances and the number of wireless data consumers increase, it will be fun to see what the next 20 years will bring.  No doubt, Auburn Hills will be ready.

 

New Building Proposed Along I-75: Total Filtration Services, Inc.

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Good news!  Expect to see another new building pop up along the I-75 freeway in the months ahead.

A development application has been submitted by Allegra Development to the City of Auburn Hills to allow the construction of a 32,293 sq. ft. light industrial building on a 3.92 acre parcel of land located at 2501 Commercial Drive.

Proposed building facade elevation facing I-75

Proposed building elevation facing I-75

Plan for the new building proposed for Total Filtration Services, Inc.

Plan for the new building proposed for Total Filtration Services, Inc.

The project is being built for an existing Auburn Hills’ company named Total Filtration Services, Inc. The company supplies filtration products and professional services for HVAC, air paint, rolled media, hydraulic, engine/mobile, liquid process, compressed air, and dust collection applications for a wide range of industries.

Types of products that Total Filtration Services, Inc. distributes

Types of products that Total Filtration Services, Inc. distributes

The public hearing for this proposal is scheduled to be held by the Planning Commission on Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  A final decision on the project is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, April 27th.

47 Years … And Many More

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

It’s pretty special when a corporation is committed to a community.  Many come and go over time, but few stay for 47 years.

Well, we’re pleased to report that Hydra-Zorb Company has submitted a development application to the City of Auburn Hills outlining plans to construct a new 51,109 sq. ft. manufacturing facility on a 6.2 acre parcel located at the northwest corner of Giddings Road and Summit Drive.

Rendering of the proposed building

Rendering of the proposed building

The new site and facility will provide Hydra-Zorb room to grow

The new site and facility will provide Hydra-Zorb room to grow

The company has been in Auburn Hills since 1968, when they were a division of F. Joseph Lamb Company and when the City was Pontiac Township.  Originally located on Doris Road, Hydra-Zorb moved to its current building at 2450 Commercial Drive in 1983.  They presently employ 20 people, with plans to add 30 to 35 additional jobs in the future.

What do they make?  Hydra-Zorb is a non-automotive business that provides cushion clamps for pipes serving the hydraulics, machine tool, plumbing, and refrigeration industries.

An example of one of their many clamping products

An example of one of their many clamping products

Upon review and approval, construction is expected to begin within the next few months with completion anticipated to take place by Spring 2016.  The overall investment is estimated at $5.2 million.

Those interested in learning more about this project are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission’s meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Avoid The Green Stickers

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

It’s getting to be that time of year again when at long last the snow is gone and the grass is starting to green up.  It’s also getting to be the time (May 1st through October 15th to be exact) that the City’s Weed Abatement Program is in effect.

Grass Violation stickers are posted on or near the front door of residential properties

Grass Violation stickers are posted

Ordinance 78-28 declares grass on residential lawns longer than eight inches to be a nuisance and gives the City the power to trim it.  The process includes the City affixing a green grass violation sticker on the door of the residence in question advising the occupant that the grass must be cut within 72 hours.

For vacant lots, a notice is mailed giving 10 days to comply.  This length of time is due to the delivery time needed for snail mail.  These notices will only be issued once a year at a particular location.  Additional violations found during the season will be cut by the City without further notice.

Generally, the residents or owners cut the grass within the time allotted.  Last year the compliance rate was about 75%.  However, if the grass doesn’t get cut, the location is placed on a list and given to our City contractor for cutting.

Most of the violations are observed by Code Enforcement Officers during their daily rounds through the neighborhoods.  But many come from complaints by citizens.  If you see an unkempt lawn over eight inches in length, please feel free to call Code Enforcement at 248-364-6934 and let us know.

By working together we can keep Auburn Hills green, not overgrown.