Informational Meeting To Be Held On Downtown Road Construction

Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities

The City of Auburn Hills will be holding a public informational meeting regarding the road and utility construction scheduled for Downtown Auburn Hills over the summer.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the University Center, which is located at 3350 Auburn Road.

There will be a presentation regarding the improvements, anticipated timelines of completion, and construction phasing.  City representatives and the selected contractor will be available to answer questions at the conclusion of the meeting.

Downtown Auburn Hills

Here are some quick project facts about the project and frequently asked questions:

  1. What is the anticipated timeline for the construction work?  Construction is scheduled to begin the first week of April and be complete by November 2018.
  2. When will the contractors be working?  Construction activities will take place weekdays, weather permitting. Work on weekends may occur and some night work may be required to make connections to the new water main without disrupting normal business operating hours.
  3. Will the road remain open during construction?  Traffic and local access will be maintained throughout the project.  At the least, one lane of traffic will be open along Squirrel Court and Auburn Road.  There are no scheduled road closures.  Additionally, all sidewalks and off-street parking will be open during construction.
  4. How will I be notified of construction activities?  Each week there will be a construction update meeting open to the public and hosted Downtown. Updates will be posted on the City’s website, as well as social media.  Please contact me, Sam Seimer, at 248-364-6806 with any questions or concerns you may have during the project.

All interested are encouraged to attend this informational meeting.

Passionate About Our Downtown? We Have A Job For You!

Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities

The City of Auburn Hills is extremely passionate about its ever-growing Downtown.  The City focuses a lot of time, resources, and energy in an effort to develop this area into a walkable urban center and beautiful gathering place for the community.

So, Auburn Hills wants to build on this momentum by hiring a part-time Downtown Specialist to assist in the growth and promotion of the Downtown.

City Council members scoop ice cream at Summerfest 2017 in Downtown Auburn Hills

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and self-motivated individual who is looking for a rewarding position and has experience in marketing and communications.  We want someone who has the drive to help the City attract visitors, customers, and additional investment to the Downtown.  Is that you?

To apply, please submit a completed employment application per the requirements on the City’s website.

If you fit this description, we want you!  If you know someone who might love this type of job, please forward this post.  Come join our team!

The University Center: An International Education Destination

Posted by – Sam Seimer, Director of Authorities

The University Center (UC), located in Downtown Auburn Hills at 3350 Auburn Road, is a local public-private partnership that has blossomed into something greater, even worldwide in recent years.

View of the University Center from Auburn Road

The UC is a partnership between the Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority, Avondale School District, Oakland University, Baker College and Oakland Community College.  Each semester many classes are hosted at the facility.

Lower level classroom

Upper level classroom

It’s no surprise with how diverse the Auburn Hills business community is, that the globalization trend has spilled over into classes scheduled at the UC.  As of Fall 2017, the building has been home to free adult English as a Second Language Classes for the Avondale community.  The program is provided by Troy Continuing Education, and assists parents within the Avondale community learn life and job skills, as well as American Culture.

Beginning in 2018, the Oakland University Professional and Continuing Education program in conjunction with the Galileo-Saudi Arabia Leadership Project, teachers, administrators, and counselors will begin their program in the UC.  This cultural exchange program is a three-phase project that aims to immerse participants in the American educational process, and both participants and instructors can learn how training can be more effective.

Together, these programs will bring around 100 people to Downtown Auburn Hills and the UC each weekday!  This infusion of people helps the local businesses in the Downtown commercial district by providing additional activity and potential partons.

These programs are just some examples of classes hosted at the UC, if you are interested in learning more about the facility, other events, or rental opportunities, please click here.

New Housing “Riverside Townes” Proposed In Downtown Auburn Hills

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Almost a decade ago, the City of Auburn Hills hired a nationally-acclaimed firm, HyettPalma, to develop an economic enhancement strategy for our Downtown.  The City has followed that plan to a T, especially its primary recommendation to “make every effort to develop the greatest number of quality housing units possible in and near Downtown when market conditions allow.”

Traffic volumes through the Downtown’s commercial district are not sufficient enough at this time to attract national retailers like Starbucks or Blaze Pizza, thus the recommended strategy is to work to add people living in the area 24/7 to create life and a sense of place.  It has been proven nationally that this type of synergy can be developed over an extended period of time to support existing businesses, and attract new ones, in communities similar to Auburn Hills.  However, the firm advised the City that this strategy will take time to implement (decades) and that the community has to stick with the plan and be patient for it to work.

With that being said, we’re pleased to report that an application has been submitted to the City of Auburn Hills by Robertson Brothers Homes to develop the vacant one acre parcel located at 3321 Squirrel Court, which is situated just east of Riverside Park.

Site Plan

The company intends to construct three townhouse style condominium buildings totaling 14 units.  Each unit will be approximately 1,184 square feet in size and have an attached one car garage.  The total investment in the project is estimated at $3.25 million.

Preliminary Building Elevations

The project will be constructed in a manner that will be aesthetically pleasing with the surrounding developments in the area.  The landscaping proposed has been designed to provide an attractive appearance for those passing by along Squirrel Court, as well as those paddling by along the Clinton River.  The company also proposes to maintain the existing tree canopy along the Clinton River to help preserve and protect the City’s urban cold water fishery that continues to grow in popularity.

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the application is anticipated by the City Council on Monday, February 26th.

Designhaus Architecture Plans Move To Downtown Auburn Hills

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Y2018 is expected to be an exciting year for the City of Auburn Hills and we’re happy to announce the following good news.

An application has been submitted to the City by Designhaus Architecture to develop the property located at the southeast corner of S. Squirrel Road and Auburn Road.  The site is currently being utilized as a City-owned parking lot.  The new project will be located across the street from the proposed Residences at Thirty-Two 50, which was previously approved by the City Council in late 2015.

The new Designhaus building will be a catalyst for Downtown Auburn Hills

Designhaus plans to construct a four-story, 25,243 square foot mixed-use building on the site.  The proposed building is designed to accommodate a restaurant on the first floor, private office space on the second and third floors, and six loft-style apartments on the fourth floor.  The main floor will have access on three sides of the building, allowing patrons to enter the structure in different locations.  The office space will be marketed towards medical, automotive, education, and design professionals and designed to be flexible to meet the client’s needs.  Designhaus intends to utilize the third floor of the building as their new corporate offices.  The six apartment units will offer loft-style living geared toward emerging professionals.

Perspective view of the proposed building with the Residences at Thirty-Two 50 mixed-use development envisioned in the background. It is expected that construction on both buildings will begin this year.

The company believes this will be a landmark building for the City of Auburn Hills and is excited about developing the project and furthering the City’s vision of creating a vibrant Downtown.

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  A final decision on the application is anticipated by the City Council on Monday, February 26th.

We Want You … In Downtown!

Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities

The Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) is always seeking creative measures to help the community thrive.  Nearly a decade ago, the Directors of TIFA implemented a Site Improvement Grant, which provides a dollar-for-dollar match to businesses for the improvement of their landscaping, site furnishings, signage and other façade enhancements.

Some of the most recent and noticeable TIFA Site Improvement Grants include The HUB Stadium and Nexteer Automotive.

The TIFA Board of Directors is dedicated to growing Downtown Auburn Hills, and in that spirit, they have approved a new Business Expansion Grant of up to $300,000 in 2018!

The purpose of this grant is to assist commercial businesses looking to expand to a second location in Downtown Auburn Hills.  This recruitment tool can help a restaurant or retail store furnish the building and make it move-in-ready for the new tenant.  The grant is subject to approval by the TIFA Board and is similar to the Site Improvement Grant in that it also requires a dollar-for-dollar match.

The Grant application will be available online soon. If you have any questions, or perhaps are a business owner looking to expand in our Downtown, please contact the City at 248.370.9400.

Update On Downtown Project: Residences At Thirty-Two 50

Posted by – Samantha Seimer, Director of Authorities

If you have driven through Downtown Auburn Hills lately you have probably had these two thoughts: 1) the holiday lights and decorations are amazing, and 2) when will we see that project at the southwest corner of Auburn and Squirrel Roads begin?

This past year, over $1 million was spent on the environmental cleanup of the property located at 3250 Auburn Road to make it development ready  The City’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality both contributed loans to support the project.  In addition, the developer has been working to secure financing for the project guaranteed by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Residences at Thirty-Two 50 will consist of a 4-story building with approximately 3,900 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and 48 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.  The investment is estimated at $7.5 million

The developer says that, although the process has taken longer than he wished, he is “very excited about getting started” … and so are we!  Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2018.  Y2018 will be an exciting time for Downtown Auburn Hills as more developments are anticipated to come.