Big Buck Bewery Bottle Comes Down

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

Today, the bottle at the former Big Buck Brewery was taken down.  It marks the new beginning of The HUB, which is planned to be open for business by mid-November.


It was really quite a process since the bottle stands over 45 feet tall.  For some reason, I had no idea that the bottle was a metal structure that housed a grain mill inside of it.  I always thought it was almost an inflatable-type bottle.


I got to peek inside today before they removed the outside of the structure.  I heard you can buy the bottle on Craig’s List if you’re interested.


While I will always have fond memories of Big Buck, which closed in 2006, I’m looking forward to learning how to do some urban bombowling at The HUB.

Shinola Detroit Opens In Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

After decades of watching manufacturing jobs head overseas, the tide is turning back home.  One local company championing this movement is shedding light on the history and future of manufacturing here in America, and it’s doing it in style.


Shinola Detroit is a luxury brand, best known for its hand-made watches, leather goods, notebooks and bicycles.  Last Saturday, Shinola opened its first Michigan outlet store in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.


The 1,900 Sq. Ft. shop is located in District 1 (best parking at Entrance 1).  We are pleased to welcome Shinola to Auburn Hills.

A Seamless Transition For Jack Skinner

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Unlike the contentious U.S. Presidential election, we have made a seamless transition in the Community Development Department.

Earlier this week, we welcomed Jack Skinner as our new Code Enforcement Officer, as former officer Darren Darge moves on to become the Commercial Appraiser in the City’s Assessing Department.

Jack Skinner (left) and Darren Darge (right)

Jack Skinner (left) and Darren Darge (right)

Jack Skinner joins us after working over 11 years in the City’s Department of Public Works.  Folks who know Jack describe him as “a leader” and a “great guy” who works hard for the citizens of Auburn Hills.  He served our country in the United States Navy aboard the battleship USS New Jersey during the Lebanese Conflict and volunteers his time as a High School JV football and travel baseball coach.

Jack joins veteran officer Dale Mathes in working with Auburn Hills’ residents to keep our town neat, clean, and safe.  These two men are tasked with enforcing the laws created by the City Council that address blight, lawn parking, inoperable vehicles, commercial vehicles, lawn cutting, and property maintenance.

It’s a pretty tough job … and that’s why we’re glad to have Jack on board.

A New Neighbor For GKN Driveline North America

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

If you think back to about 12 years ago, there was an old Showcase Cinema that had sat vacant along Opdyke Road.  A lot has changed in that area in the last few years.  First, we saw the development of GKN Driveline North America.  Now, they are getting a new neighbor.


On Monday, Martinrea International, Inc. broke ground with a special celebration for a new $21.5 million technical center ($12 million construction cost) at 2100 Opdyke Road.

Mayor Kevin McDaniel and CEO & President Pat D’Eramo

Mayor Kevin McDaniel and CEO & President Pat D’Eramo

The 108,000 square foot facility will allow Martinrea to combine its sales and engineering office with its testing labs into a single location.  The new building will also allow the company to expand its research and development activity.

We are thrilled to be welcoming Martinrea International, Inc. to the Auburn Hills community and look forward to celebrating their grand opening next summer.

Panda Express Underway

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Construction is underway on the new Panda Express restaurant located on the northeast corner of the Meijer site at 900 Brown Road.  The 2,593 sq. ft. restaurant will have a drive-thru and outdoor seating area.


Site work started last week.  Underground plumbing and electrical will begin next week, followed by footings.  Within a month or so, the building will begin to take shape.


Construction is expected to be complete in late January.  Stay tuned for updates.

Eco-Friendly Recognition

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

Auburn Hills is proud to announce that Greenblendz, located at 4400 Glenmead Road, has been recognized as a leader in green and natural product manufacturing having earned ISO 22716 Certification.


Greenblendz was founded by Steve Berry in November, 2008 with a straightforward plan to bring successful manufacturing of eco-friendly, sustainable products to Michigan.  With the help of a small group of investment partners, the equipment and materials were purchased and installed in 2009.  Greenblendz produces eco-friendly products such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, pet products and more.  Greenblendz leaves the nasty chemicals out and provides nontoxic, soothing products.


There are very few plants in the U.S. that are certified ISO 22716 because of the rigorous checks, balances and operational requirements, so this honor is a huge achievement!

Congratulations from the Auburn Hills City Council, Staff and Community!

Kensington Community Church Property Proposed To Be Rezoned

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

An application has been submitted to the City of Auburn Hills by Kensington Community Church (KCC) to rezone their 19.5 acre parcel located at the southeast corner of Dutton and Bald Mountain Roads from R-1A, One-Family Residential District to T&R, Technology and Research District.

Zoning is the legal tool that governs the use of land and this application is intended to implement the policy recommendations of the recently updated Northeast Corner Neighborhood Master Plan for this site.  The proposed zoning change will allow the church to begin marketing the property for clean industrial development.

Concept rendering of how the church's land could be redeveloped

Concept rendering showing how the church’s land could be redeveloped

A computer generated model was created during the master plan process to show what development on the site could look like in the future based on T&R zoning standards. Click on the short video below to view the model.

KCC had obtained City Council approval in March 2008 to build a 1,500 seat, 72,084 square foot church facility on this property and the adjacent RSC site, but the project never materialized for financial reasons due to the recession.

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the public hearing at the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the rezoning application is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, November 28th.