Candlewood Suites Hotel Proposed In Dutton Corporate Centre

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

An application has been submitted to the City of Auburn Hills by Samona Property Group, LLC to construct a 97-room hotel within the Dutton Corporate Centre PUD.  The hotel is anticipated to be a Candlewood Suites extended stay hotel.  It will be located on vacant land situated between the existing retail center and the new Kia Dealership, which is currently under construction, adjacent to Lapeer Road.

Rendering of the proposed hotel

As part of the proposal, an amendment to the Dutton Corporate Centre’s development agreement is requested to permit the four story height of the hotel.  Patrons from the hotel are anticipated to help create activity in the park’s retail area and strengthen the existing strip center, which has struggled for years to capture tenants.

The hotel and Kia Dealership will serve as catalysts to help move the DCC closer to completion

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the application is anticipated to be made by the City Council on Monday, July 24th.

Aqua Tots Construction Moving Along Swimmingly

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The project to renovate the former Applebee’s restaurant at 750 Brown Road into an Aqua-Tots Swim School is about two months away from completion.  The school intends to be ready to offer classes at the beginning of the upcoming school year.

The swim school is tentatively scheduled to open in late August

Building Official Jeff Spencer checks out the new swimming pool

The former restaurant seating area will become a lobby and dressing rooms

Aqua-Tots offers programs that are designed to help children of all ages and abilities learn how to swim safely and develop a life-long love of swimming.

Stay tuned for updates on the project’s final construction milestones and grand opening.

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.