Meet Our New Neighbor … Wescast Industries, Inc.

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Last week, the City Council approved plans that will pave the way for Wescast Industries, Inc. to move their North American headquarters and technical center from Brantford, Ontario to the former GKN Automotive building located at 3300 University Drive.  The facility, which has been vacant for three years, is located adjacent to the Auburn Hills Civic Center Campus.

The new “Wescast” building

Wescast is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese-based Bohong Group.  The company is best known as the world’s largest manufacturer of cast exhaust manifolds and turbocharger housings for passenger cars and light trucks.

A look inside the office area proposed to be renovated

The high bay area behind the main office building where R&D and limited manufacturing will occur

The company intends to renovate the interior of the building during the winter and begin occupying the facility in April 2018.

The HUB Stadium Proposes “To Get The Word Out” With Upgraded Sign

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

The HUB Stadium (Home of Urban Bowling) has submitted plans to retrofit and upgrade its existing sign at the southeast corner of Opdyke Road and Takata Drive.  The “football-bowling” entertainment venue is located at 2550 Takata Drive.

The HUB has been an excellent addition to our community.  The owner wishes to add a high-tech LED automatic changeable copy component to the existing sign so that his business can better “get the word out” about their many specials, events, and unique offerings … like axe throwing!

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the following meetings, which will all begin at 7:00 p.m. and be held in the City Council Chamber at City Hall:

  1. Zoning Board of Appeals – Thursday, December 14, 2017 (public hearing / review of the height variance for the proposed automatic changeable copy sign)
  2. Planning Commission – Wednesday, January 10, 2018 (public hearing / review and recommendation to the City Council on the proposed automatic changeable copy sign)
  3. City Council – Monday, January 22, 2018 (review and final decision on the proposed automatic changeable copy sign)

Celebrating 25 Years: The Oakland County Business Roundtable

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

Yesterday morning, City staff attended the Oakland County Business Roundtable’s 25th annual meeting at Baker College of Auburn Hills.  This group of business, education, community, and government leaders work together to improve the business climate and quality of life in Oakland County.  The mission of the Roundtable is to provide advice to County Executive Brooks Patterson on a variety of topics to ensure that Oakland County continues to prosper.

The keynote speaker was Brigadier General John D. Slocum, Commander of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.  He discussed the more than $850 million in economic impact the military base has had on our region as well as its role as an asset for public safety and workforce development.  The Defense Industry continues to strengthen in Michigan, and we are beginning to see our companies diversifying and growing.  That’s exciting news!

Brigadier General John D. Slocum speaking to the group

The City of Auburn Hills intentionally works to align its economic development strategies with Oakland County to create a supportive business climate.  It’s a strong partnership that continues to bear fruit year after year.

A Look Back At The Clinton River Water Festival

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

If you happen to be a longtime subscriber of this blog you’re familiar with the strong partnership that the City of Auburn Hills has with Oakland University in educating tomorrow’s leaders.  For 11 years, both organizations have worked together to teach children about the role clean water plays in our quality of life and economic prosperity.

This past May over 1,200 fifth grade students attended the Clinton River Water Festival held at Oakland University to learn all about the number of ways that water impacts our daily lives … and the need to keep it clean.

Thanks to the 79 professionals who presented at the festival and the 40 plus Oakland University students who worked as guides.  The children were able to attend five of the 47 fun and interactive sessions offered during the day that covered a variety of topics including stormwater, soil erosion, habitat, wildlife, and pollution prevention.

The Oakland County Dirt Doctors prepares to demonstrate the negative effects of soil erosion

Oakland County Sheriff Don Nolen discusses the importance of water safety

Andrew Foerg from ECS discusses the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff

A special thank you goes out to all the event presenters, volunteers, and sponsors who made this year’s festival a success.

Turning Up The Heat With Woodland Direct

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

We’re excited to announce that Auburn Hills will be welcoming Woodland Direct to the community next year.  Our team recently met with their Director of Operations to work out the final details of their project.  They will be moving to 2025 Taylor Road, which is the former Molex facility.  Woodland Direct is one of the largest e-commerce companies focused on the fireplace, chimney, wood stove, and outdoor living markets.

Their Master Hearth Professionals offer the highest level of expertise in the industry. They’re backed by the National Fireplace Institute, the organization that sets the standard when it comes to hearth knowledge and safety.

If you’re in the market for a new fireplace, woodstove or even a pizza oven, check out their website at

Blaze Pizza To Start Construction

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s finally official!  Blaze Pizza was just issued a Building Permit from the City of Auburn Hills to begin construction on their new restaurant in the Auburn Hills Marketplace, which is located at the northwest corner of N. Squirrel Road and University Drive.  The eatery will be located next to Starbucks Coffee.

This fast casual restaurant is known for their fresh artisan pizzas that are made to order in less than four minutes.  Each pizza is cooked in a blazing hot oven that melts the cheese to perfect gooey consistency while creating that perfect crisp crust on which your personally selected toppings sit upon.

We look forward to announcing the date of their Grand Opening that should take place sometime in early Spring 2018.

Santa Claus is Coming To Our Town … Tomorrow!

Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities

The holiday season is here and the City of Auburn Hills is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Mayor McDaniel and the City Council will welcome our special guests, and their reindeer to Downtown Auburn Hills, tomorrow, December 1st at 6:00 p.m.

Mayor McDaniel will welcome Santa Claus to Auburn Hills

Following the lighting of the tree, everyone is invited to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in The Downtown Education Nook (DEN) and take a memorable photograph home as a keepsake.  Participants can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through town, snack on s’mores at the bonfire pit, visit with Santa’s reindeer, and walk through Downtown to see the specials the stores and restaurants have to offer.  This celebration is a great way to build memories and explore Auburn Hills’ expanding Downtown area.

The holidays are a time for kindness and charity. The City of Auburn Hills has partnered with Project Linus to help provide warmth, comfort and security to children with life-threatening illnesses.  Guests of the ceremony will have the opportunity to volunteer as a ‘blanketeer’ and create a handmade fleece blanket to be donated to children in need.  Visit the University Center during the event to participate in this quick, and family friendly community volunteer project.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony is sponsored by the Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority.