Clean Up Event Provides Immediate Gratification

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) held their first clean up event of 2017 this past Saturday morning.   A small group of volunteers, which included two elementary school students, gathered at Will Rogers Elementary School to clean the natural wooded areas and open spaces surrounding the building.

From left to right – Connor Grosz (student), Carla Withers, Mattie Lopez (student), Rich Foster; City Councilman Bob Kittle, me and Jan Kittle (our photographer) post clean up.  A big thank you to all and especially Councilman Kittle for helping out on his birthday!

The group collected seven large bags of trash from the woods, along with an old, rusted, antique mattress frame and a wheel/rotor assembly.

Often the eye passes right over what we don’t want to see.  Discarded cups, bottles, wrappers and such can become a part of the landscape and erode an otherwise pleasing scene.   Litter, when left unchecked, can lead to feelings of unrest, discomfort and sometimes even fear.  The disorganized appearance can lead to lower property values and even disinvestment.

That is why beautiful cities, like Auburn Hills, remain vigilant in clean-up efforts.  The solution to litter is quite simple and takes a minimal amount of time – especially when friends, relatives and neighbors come together.   One of my favorite things about these events is the immediate gratification – knowing that you’ve made a difference and are leaving something in better shape than you found it.

If you see an area in our fine City that needs attention, contact the City to help get the ball rolling.  If you would like to coordinate your own cleanup event, our Keep It Clean program can provide the needed supplies and safety equipment to help ensure a safe and productive day.

Contact the Auburn Hills Beautification Commission at beautification@auburnhills.org or 248.364.6946 for more information.  Help keep Auburn Hills a beautiful place to live, work and play.

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.

Don’t Buy New Plants – Trade For Free!

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

The largest gardening event in Auburn Hills is just over one week away.  The Auburn Hills Perennial Exchange draws gardening enthusiasts from communities throughout the metro Detroit area.  It’s a great way to diversity your garden at no cost.

A Perennial, once planted, will come back year after year without re-planting.  The great thing about them is that they grow and spread out a little more every year so that it can be divided up and placed in different spots in the garden – or divided up and traded for different varieties at a local exchange.

The Exchange will be held on Saturday, May 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at River Woods Park.  The park is located on Squirrel Road, just south of M-59.  Bring the plants you wish to trade in disposable containers labeled with the type of plant it is (if known), then chat with exchange participants to strike a deal.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro,  join in the fun!  Meet your neighbors, enjoy coffee and treats and get your garden growing.  For more information about the event, please contact the Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission at 248.364.6946.

Remember, as always, the early bird gets the worm!

Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union To Expand Parking

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

An application has submitted to the City of Auburn Hills by Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union, located at 2955 University Drive, to install additional parking behind their building that would provide much-needed room for their continued growth.  The credit union, which has been headquartered in Auburn Hills since 1992, wishes to rezone and purchase the home that is situated directly north of their property at 2025 Dexter Road to facilitate this small 30 space (net) parking lot expansion.

Colored rendering of Cornerstone’s proposed parking lot expansion

Cornerstone has worked closely with City staff to design their proposal to be visually attractive and respectful of their neighbors.  They are proposing the construction of a white vinyl screen fence and the installation of large trees and landscaping, similar to the existing buffer that is in place today, along their north and west property lines.  In addition, lighting will be designed with short poles and shielded so as to not cause a nuisance to adjacent properties, while still providing safety and security for the area.

Lastly, the parking lot will only be used during the business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and no vehicular access will be provided to Dexter Road, as their entrance and exit will remain on University Drive.

Aerial photo of the area

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 14th 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, June 26th.

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.

Having A Cheesy Time

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

We love supporting our businesses in Downtown Auburn Hills, whether it’s grabbing lunch at the Family Table or ice cream from Twist ‘N Dip.

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend my first special event at the Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room located at 3384 Auburn Rd.  It was a cheese and wine pairing featuring Zingerman’s cheeses.  I love cheese and I love wine, so it was the perfect event for me.   The staff at Michigan By the Bottle were fast on their feet, making sure we enjoyed every minute of our experience.

If you haven’t been to a special event at the Michigan By the Bottle Tasting Room yet, check out their website to see a full listing.  It’s good to pre-register, as nearly all events sell out early.

I’m looking forward to more events throughout the year, including Sips and Serenity which is wine and yoga on June 6th.  Hope to see you there!

Panda Express Now Open Near Meijer on Brown Road

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

In case you haven’t been through the area, we’re happy to report that the new Panda Express restaurant, located at 900 Brown Road, is open and doing well.  The 2,593 square foot eatery, which specializes in American-Chinese cuisine, has a convenient drive-thru facility if you’re in a hurry, and a nice outside seating area, if you’re not.

The new restaurant is situated just north of the Meijer Store within the Auburn Mile Shopping Center.   Check it out!