Quick Start For “One Stop Ready” Hutchinson HQ Project

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The City of Auburn Hills has been working closely with General Development Company to help facilitate their construction of Hutchinson’s new 60,502 square foot corporate office building on property located west of Cross Creek Parkway, south of University Drive.  The smooth start for the $8 million project is a testament to both the City’s intense focus on customer service and the developer’s expertise in construction.

Tree clearing is underway on the Hutchinson HQ project

Staff began review of the project’s site plan in late March and the City Council authorized construction on April 24th.  Tree clearing began in early May and will soon be complete.  Mass grading of the site is scheduled for next week and the erection of steel is anticipated to begin in August.  This pace is crazy fast and efficient when benchmarked against other municipalities across the nation, which is a source of pride for both our community and Oakland County.

The property is situated within the Oakland Technology Park, just south of the Delphi building.

Auburn Hills is part of Oakland County’s One Stop Ready Program, which is a proactive initiative aimed at streamlining the development approval processes in communities throughout the County.  The program was created after the Great Recession in an effort to better recruit and retain businesses, which in return brings more jobs and a stronger tax base.  This project is an excellent real world example of the program in action as it kept over 200 jobs in our town.

General Development Company anticipates the building will be ready for occupancy by June 2018.  We will be sure to report back with updates as construction progresses.

One Size Does Not Necessarily Fit All

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

The City understands that sometimes an exception to the rule is warranted and necessary.  Zoning rules that fit the vast majority of properties may leave a few folks struggling with a less-than-ideal situation due to the unique conditions related to their property.  The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) reviews requests for variances and determines whether or not to grant such exceptions.  Knowing when and how to grant variances requires a bit of training.

ZBA Training Session led by City Attorney Derk Beckerleg

The ZBA is authorized by State law to grant such variances when the strict or literal application of the Zoning Ordinance would cause a “practical difficulty” for the applicant.  Last night, City Attorney Derk Beckerleg met with our ZBA members to review the responsibilities, procedures, and legalities involved with serving in this capacity.  The Board must ensure that the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance is observed, public safety is secured, and substantial justice is done.  Easy right?  No, not really.

Our five ZBA members are Trina Burrell, Chairperson; Henry Knight, City Council Liaison; Greg Ouellette, Planning Commission Liaison; Jay Boelter and James Buster.

We’re grateful for their time and dedication to the City of Auburn Hills.

New $14 Million Hotel Development ‘Going Up’ On Opdyke Road

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

In March 2016, the City Council authorized the construction of a $14 million proposal by Basil and Mike Bacall to build two new hotels – Holiday Inn Express & Suites and Staybridge Suites – at 907 N. Opdyke Road.  We’re pleased to report that the development is under construction and starting to rise up out of the ground.

View of the construction of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel from Opdyke Road

The foundation and initial masonry work for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is now complete.  The placement of steel is expected to begin within the next two weeks and wood framing is planned to start in June.  The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is anticipated to be complete by January 2018.  The foundation installation for the Staybridge Suites is scheduled to start by July, with the hotel being ready for occupancy by August 2018.

Updated rendering of the Staybridge Suites Hotel

Stay tuned for future updates on this project.

Large Building Taking Shape Across From Pontiac Silverdome

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We have received a number of questions about the large building currently under construction at the northwest corner of Opdyke and Featherstone Roads.  Many have asked … What is it?  What’s going in there?  When will it be complete?

Well, we can answer most of those questions.

The new building is a 108,000 square foot speculative industrial facility.  The project, which was approved by the City Council back in October 2015, is being developed by Burton Katzman and erected by CORE Construction Services.

Illustration of the finished building

The building shell and site work is expected to be complete by July.  No tenant has been finalized at this time, but many companies have shown interest.  Construction costs for this initial stage are anticipated to be $9.5 million.  The future tenant will invest millions of dollars more in interior improvements prior to occupying the building.

Once the building’s tenant is secured, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Martinrea HQ Construction On Track

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The City of Auburn Hills is experiencing quite a boom in construction activity, which is wonderful to watch unfold after the long and tough years of the Great Recession.  As you can imagine, this uptick in development has kept the City’s clerical, plan review, and field inspection staff very busy.

One of the many projects under construction within our community is the new $12 million, 108,000 square foot facility that’s being built by Dembs Development, Inc. for Martinrea.  The Canadian-based Tier One automotive supplier intends to consolidate its corporate sales and engineering offices, along with numerous testing labs into this new building.

The new Martinrea building is located between Opdyke Road and I-75, just south of the GKN building

Computer rendering – View of the finished building from I-75

Martinrea is a leader in the development and production of metal parts, assemblies and modules, fluid management systems, and complex aluminum products focused primarily on the automotive sector.  This facility is being built on the southern half of the former Showcase Cinema site.

The project is expected to be complete by September

Stay tuned for updates on the many construction projects occurring within the City in the months ahead.

Growth Continues For Five Points Community Church

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Yesterday afternoon, Five Points Community Church held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of their new building addition.  Pastor JJ Sherwood presided over the ceremony which was well-attended by both congregation and community members.

The new construction of approximately 16,000 sq. ft. will be staged in two phases.  The first phase will start this month and include new offices, a children’s ministry wing and a large group meeting area.  The second phase, planned to begin about a year from now, includes a new auditorium and foyer.

Last month, Five Points Community Church board chairman, Mike Martoia shared with the congregation that their current facility is comprised of three buildings – one of which is over 70 years old, one is over 50 and one is close to 30 years old.  A more efficient and securely designed facility will better serve the congregation and the community.

A look back at he original building prior to additions

We wish the church a successful building program and continued growth in the City of Auburn Hills.

Raise The Roof! Five Points Luxury Apartments Progressing

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Late last week, construction crews hoisted roof trusses to the top of the first framed apartment building in Beztak Properties’ new $25 million Five Points of Auburn Hills development.  This luxury apartment community is located on Five Points Drive, between University Drive and Squirrel Road.

This week, construction will begin on both the second apartment building (which will sit closest to Five Points Drive) and the Clubhouse.  The Clubhouse will be nestled in the center area of the community and will feature a social room, bar area, exercise room and an outdoor pool with a sun patio.

First apartment building currently under construction (outlined in orange) and work on two new buildings to start this week (outlined in red)

Check back this summer for another peek at construction progress.