Auburn Crossing Continues Its Transformation

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Another phase in the transformation of the Auburn Crossing Shopping Center is now underway.

Ashmark Construction recently broke ground on the new retail building on the southwest corner of the site, located just east of I-75 at University Drive.  The focus now is on underground and block work before winter really sets in.  Construction will halt during the deep winter months and will resume when temperatures are more hospitable.

Opening of the new building, which we already know will house Dunkin’ Donuts, is scheduled for Spring 2018 and three other tenants will be announced in the coming months.

Check back for progress updates!

New Aqua-Tots Swim School Is Open

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

We’re happy to announce the opening of the new Aqua-Tots Swim School.  The school is located at 750 Brown Road, just south of the Meijer store.  Many people may remember the site as the former Applebee’s restaurant that was highly visible to motorists traveling northbound on I-75.

For those not familiar with the swim school, Aqua-Tots offers four swim programs (parent & tot, beginner, intermediate and advanced) designed to help children of all ages and abilities learn how to swim safely and develop a life-long love of swimming.

The facility has a large viewing area adjacent to the pool so that parents can watch their kids have fun while they learn to swim. Conveniently, Aqua-Tots even sells a variety of swimwear and other swimming accessories for the kids.

For more information about Aqua-Tots please visit or to register your kid(s) for a swim program, call 248-537-4005.

The Big Picture

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Nothing builds a team like spending time together.  Knowing this, the City of Auburn Hills developed a program called Auburn Hills University (AHU) which brings one employee from each department together, for one day out of the month, for six months.  The group visits a new department each month for an in-depth look at its core functions.  At the end of the program, they have a better understanding of how the deparments work together to service the City and make connections with co-workers that strengthen our team.  They get a look at the big picture.

Yesterday, AHU employees spent the day with the Community Development Department.  They were treated to a day full of information about Building, Planning, and Code Enforcement activities.  While this may sound terrifically dull, it was anything but.  The best way to understand Community Development is to be out in the community!

The group visited the construction site of the nearly complete, Round 1 Entertainment attraction coming to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.  They got a sneak peek of the space and learned about the growth of this company that is new to Michigan.

Checking out the Round 1 project under construction

Then it was off to SEALIFE Aquarium, Michigan.  A behind-the-scenes tour gave them a chance not only to see the incredible sea life but see the space that had been transformed from a restaurant into an entertainment destination for people of all ages to enjoy.

Overlooking the big pool at SEALIFE

The group stopped for lunch at The HUB (The Home of Urban Bowling) to try out Bomb Bowling.  No bowling ball needed…just a football.  It’s not as easy as it looks!  The HUB is located in a newly redeveloped restaurant that sat vacant for years.  The new use brings life and fun back into the space.

CD Director Steve Cohen has a good arm! Way to go, Steve!

Saving the best for last, the day ended with a tour of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US).  FCA gave generously of their time to give our AHU group a tour of their facilities and then shared fascinating background of how their headquarters building came to be.

Photo taken from the 15th floor of the FCA US Headquarters tower

We look forward to leading a tour of brand new spaces next year!

Lucas Coney Island Being Demolished

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We wish to report that work is now underway to demolish the former Lucas Coney Island Restaurant, located at 2008 N. Opdyke Road, to make room for a new gas station.  Lucas closed a little over a year ago due to a fire that caused extensive smoke damage to the building.

Click here to learn more about the new gas station project.

Five Points Church Addition Right On Track

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Construction is booming in Auburn Hills and work on the 16,019 square foot building addition underway at Five Points Community Church is no exception.

The new north face of Five Points Community Church

Crews will finish rough carpentry and exterior framing around the end of next week, and roofing, exterior brick work and siding will follow.  In approximately two weeks, asphalt will be installed.

The addition will house new offices, youth group areas, nursery rooms and a large gathering area.

Updates will continue as the project progresses.

Jeff Fraser Joins Our Team As New Building Inspector

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The City of Auburn Hills has a new Building Inspector.  His name is Jeff Fraser.

Building Official Jeff Spencer (left), Inspector Jeff Fraser (center), and Inspector Rick Oberlin (right)

Jeff is a State-licensed Building Inspector that has been involved with construction full-time for 18 years.  He has been a business owner and has extensive experience with home remodeling and property preservation.

He joins Building Official Jeff Spencer and Building Inspector Rick Oberlin in the enforcement of the codes and ordinances that regulate the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare as it relates to the built environment and the maintenance of existing structures within our community.

Welcome Jeff!

Steel Going Up For Hutchinson’s HQ Facility

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

As an update, construction on Hutchinson’s new 60,502 square foot corporate headquarters is moving along on schedule.  The $8 million development is located on property west of Cross Creek Parkway, south of University Drive.  Hutchinson will lease the facility from General Development Company upon completion.

View of the building under construction

Rendering of the finished building

The project was approved by the City Council in late April, mass grading began in May, and now the steel frame of the building is being erected.  The facility is anticipated to be complete and ready for occupancy by June 2018.