New Pontiac Road Industrial Buildings Fill A Growing Need

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

If you’ve traveled the section of Pontiac Road just west of Opdyke in the past two years, you would have noticed five new industrial buildings under construction on the north side of the road.  The development is called Pontiac Road Industrial North and most recently it involved the construction two 8,000 sq. ft. and one 10,000 sq. ft. light industrial buildings.  Each building was designed to accommodate two businesses.

Well, we’re pleased to announce that the project was completed on time and that all five buildings are filled with new businesses that now call Auburn Hills their home.

The City is glad to see that Pontiac Road Industrial North was able to provide the much needed space for small and start-up businesses in our community – a key component to a growing and healthy economy.

Planning Commission To Review Master Land Use Plan Update

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Have you noticed?  The Auburn Hills Planning Commission is on top of their game.  They’re always busy meeting with residents, reviewing projects, and planning for the future.  Tonight will be no different for them.

In addition to reviewing a grant application for a new park, this citizen board will take action on the first of many steps required by State law to update the City’s Master Land Use Plan.

Draft Master Land Use Plan Update

It is also fitting that tonight the Planning Commission will celebrate Shawn Keenan’s recent promotion to City Planner.  Our first planner, consultant Steve Lehoczky, recommended the City’s unique Master Land Use Plan format almost 40 years ago.  We’re not aware of any other municipality that uses the same style.  Lehoczky’s plan format allowed the City to quickly adapt to changing development trends in the 1980’s and 1990’s by dividing the community into three simple, flexible classifications.  It was an innovative, outside the box idea at the time and still works for our community today.

Interested in learning more?  The Planning Commission will meet tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert W. Grusnick Public Safety Building, which is located at 1899 N. Squirrel Road.  All are welcome to attend.

Martinrea Is Sliding Right Along

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

We met with the team from Martinrea today to put the finishing touches on their upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony.  This meeting included a tour of their facility located at 2100 N. Opdyke Road, which opened back in December.

As I’ve mentioned in past blogs, our companies do so many cool things.  I have to say, today’s visit made my top five cool things about Auburn Hills’ companies.

Martinrea has a slide from the second floor to the first floor of the building for their employees to use.  Yes … an actual slide, like on a playground!  I’m told many employees use the slide as it ends right near their lunch room.  Of course, we got to try it out.

We’re thrilled to have Martinrea’s new 108,000 square foot technical center in the City of Auburn Hills, and we look forward to their ribbon cutting ceremony in May.

Grant Sought To Convert Former Country Kitchen Into New City Park

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner and Brian Marzolf, Recreation Director

A public hearing has been scheduled by the Auburn Hills Planning Commission/Recreation Commission for Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Robert W. Grusnick Public Safety Building, which is located at 1899 N. Squirrel Road, regarding the City’s consideration of a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant application to assist with the funding of a potential new park along the Clinton River.

The site where the proposed Kayak Point Park (name under consideration) is planned is the former Country Kitchen restaurant property, which is located at the northeast corner of Opdyke Road and Auburn Road.

The City obtained the property from Oakland County as the result of tax foreclosure in July 2017.  The entire site is situated within a federally designated floodway and flood hazard zone, which makes converting the land into a park a natural transition.  In accordance with the goals of the City Council, the project will also help beautify and improve that section of the Opdyke Road corridor.

The grant application includes many features that will take advantage of the site’s placement along the Clinton River, which are the following:

  • New access point to the Clinton River for recreational use
  • Kayak and canoe launch
  • Riverfront/access for fishing
  • Wildlife/river viewing areas
  • Pathways and nature trails
  • Entrance drive for vehicles from Auburn Road
  • Picnic shelter with seating
  • River wayfinding and safety signage
  • LED and solar site lighting
  • Landscaping with native plants/grasses and rock

This project has the full support of eleven organizations including: DNR Fisheries, SEMCOG, Oakland County Department of Economic Development and Planning, Clinton River Watershed Council, City of Rochester Hills, local businesses, and nearby property owners.

Those wishing to learn more about the proposal are welcome to attend the meeting and provide comments.  The proposed grant application may be examined in advance of the meeting during regular business hours at the Auburn Hills Community Center.

Five Points Apartments Close To The Finish Line

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Beztak Construction is heading into the final months of work on the Five Points Apartments development.  The property, located on the east side of Five Points Drive between Squirrel Road and University Drive, provides a close and convenient walk to restaurants, retail and Oakland University for the new tenants now living in one of the three completed apartment buildings.

Building “D” on the southern-most end of the site will be complete within the next two weeks, while buildings “E” and “F” are taking shape.

Siding installed on Building “E” today

The Clubhouse, located in the center of the development, is now open and operating and the plan is to have the pool open and ready for use by Memorial Day.  Full project completion is targeted for the end of June.  We wish the workers warmer weather in the days ahead.

The Mahindra ROXOR Makes Its Debut In Auburn Hills

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

City officials were on hand last Friday as Mahindra Automotive North America rolled out its newest off-road only vehicle, the ROXOR.

(From left to right) City Manager Tanghe, Mayor McDaniel, Mayor Pro-Tem Burmeister, and Councilman Moniz

The manufacturing of the Mahindra ROXOR is a hybrid process, with some assembly taking place in India before being finished in the City of Auburn Hills.  The vehicle is being built at 275 Rex Boulevard, which is the first new auto plant to open in the region in nearly 25 years.

The ROXOR features a stamp-steel body, a 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine and retails for a little over $15,000

We’re so grateful that Mahindra Automotive North American chose Auburn Hills to call home.  We wish them the best as they continue to innovate and grow!

Celebrating 15 Years Of River Stewardship

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

On Thursday, March 8th, the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project (CRCCP) will be celebrating its 15th anniversary of river stewardship.  For those not familiar with the CRCCP, it all began in 2003 when a partnership formed between the four chapters of Trout Unlimited (TU) (Challenge Chapter, Clinton Valley Chapter, Paul H. Young Chapter, and Vanguard Chapter), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division (MDNR), Oakland County Planning (OCP), the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC), and the City of Auburn Hills.  Their purpose was to assess the potential of the Clinton River, and a few of its major tributaries, to support a viable urban fishery and become a designated trout stream.  The program developed was called the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project (CRCCP).

The first project undertaken by the group included three components and involved more than 50 volunteers.  The volunteers were trained on how to properly assess the conditions of a river by measuring its width and depth and assessing the river’s bank every 100 feet.   At first you might think this would be no big deal until you find out that the volunteers had to assess over 12 miles of the Clinton River – from I-75 in Auburn Hills to the Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills, and four miles of the Galloway Creek from the Galloway Lake Dam to where it outlets to the Clinton River.  The volunteers also collected temperature data from the river to see how warm it gets during the summer and collected macroinvertebrates to help assess the rivers health.

The data collected from the first major project was encouraging and once it was analyzed by the DNR it was determined that the Clinton River and its tributaries could support an urban fishery.  As a result of all the hard from the many volunteers 15 long years ago, the project continued each year thereafter.  The City of Auburn Hills, TU and MDNR began improving instream habitat; MDNR conducted fish surveys; volunteers began clearing log jams; fishing accesses points were installed, streambanks were stabilized; failing dams were removed; and the MDNR continued stocking the river with Brown Trout and on occasion released some of their broodstock at Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  But most excitng of all – the project continues to grow as more people begin to realize the true value of the Clinton River as a recreation resource worthy of protecting and enhancing.

If you’re interested learning more about past accomplishments or the volunteer opportunities planned for this year, come join the celebration at Rochester Mills Brewery on March 8th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Tickets to the celebration are $15.00 and includes dinner and one drink ticket.  Space is limited.

To register please visit or call the CRWC at 248-601-0606.