Round 1 Opens In Auburn Hills

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets welcomes Round 1 Bowling and Amusement as the center’s newest entertainment attraction.

There is a little something for everyone at Round 1 – food and drinks including beer and wine, a huge arcade with over 250 games, 18 bowling lanes, eight billiard tables, four dart boards, four ping pong tables and…four private karaoke rooms.

Round 1 is located in District Five and is open from 10 am to 2 am every day of the year.  And 8 to 5’ers – don’t just eat at lunchtime – visit Round 1 for a great mid-day escape.

Parking is best between Entry 4 and Entry 6

Swimming With Dinosaurs

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

If you haven’t been to SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium lately, you might not have heard about the great work they’re doing to help protect Michigan’s Lake Sturgeon population.  SEA LIFE Michigan has partnered with the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division to help conserve these sea creatures that have been swimming our waters for more than 201 million years.  Yes, that’s right – more than 201 million years.

It’s quite amazing to think that sturgeon were around during the Triassic Period which took place between 252 million and 201 million years ago, right before the Jurassic Period began.  That means sturgeon were swimming around when the first dinosaurs started to roam the earth.  What’s equally fascinating is that Michigan waters are home to these “living fossils” that can grow to 200 pounds and seven feet in length.

According to Shannon Mueller, Educational Specialist at SEA LIFE Michigan, Lake Sturgeon have become a threatened species because they have a slow life cycle compared to other fish.  They take a long time to mature – at least 15 years for males and 20 years for females, and they only lay eggs once every three to five years.  To make matters worse, these fish are highly susceptible to habitat destruction.  SEA LIFE Michigan has joined the DNR’s effort to help conserve and rehabilitate the Lake Sturgeon population in Michigan.

Here is how the conservation program works.  Lake Sturgeon are hatched in the spring at the Black Lake Fish Hatchery right here in Michigan.  SEA LIFE Michigan then receives the young Lake Sturgeon where they grow over the winter before being released back into their native home in the spring.  SEA LIFE Michigan provides environmental enrichment while they are on-site, which gives the young sturgeon the skills to survive in the wild.  Through this program, SEA LIFE Michgian is able to help repopulate a threatened species, collect and report data on sturgeon behavior, growth, and husbandry best practices.

SEA LIFE Michigan offers classes that explore the species’ adaptations, anatomy, lifecycle and the reasons they have become endangered.  Lake Sturgeon are extremely important to Michigan’s lakes because they eat decaying matter and invasive mussels!

We applaud SEA LIFE Michigan for their dedication to protecting this marvelous fish species that has survived for hundreds of millions of years.  We hope they survive hundreds of millions more.

If you’re interested in joining the effort in helping protect and preserve Michgian’s local Lake Sturgeon population, you can follow some of these simple tips:

  • Avoid eating sturgeon meat and caviar
  • Clean all of your recreational equipment to help prevent the spread of invasive species and diseases
  • Reduce litter on the ground and in the lakes
  • Only fish for lake sturgeon if you have a permit and return any accidental catches of lake sturgeon
  • Call the Report-All-Poaching number at 800-292-7800, if you witness illegal fishing or see anything that could harm Michigan’s sturgeon population.

To learn more about Michigan’s Lake Sturgeon, please visit the MDNR Fisheries Division Lake Sturgeon website at www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_18958_61264—,00.html.

For more information about SEA LIFE Michigan’s conservation programs, visit www.visitsealife.com/michigan.

Start Your Morning Right At Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

There’s a brand new coffee house in Auburn Hills called Gloria Jean’s Coffees.  Some folks might be familiar with their existing café located in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, but this new establishment can be found in the Auburn Square Shopping Plaza at the northeast corner of N. Squirrel Road and Walton Boulevard.

Gloria Jean’s offers a wide array coffee blends and flavors to satisfy your taste buds.   If coffee isn’t your preferred drink of choice, their menu includes an assortment of other flavorful beverages to quench your thirst including chillers, ice coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, tea, hot chocolate, and pop.

While you’re waiting for the barista to make your special drink, you might also want to take a peek at their display case that’s filled with fresh pastries and baked goods.  This new location offers free Wi Fi and plenty of space for you and your friends to enjoy your drinks while sharing stories.

Topgolf Auburn Hills Plans Finalized

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Great news!  In mid-July, we wrote that Dallas-based Topgolf submitted a development application to the City of Auburn Hills for approval to build a golf-themed hospitality and entertainment complex near Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.  Today, the site plan was submitted to the Planning Commission for public hearing and formal review.

In Fall 2017, Topgolf plans to begin construction on a 65,432 square foot building, with an associated driving range, on a 16.57 acre site located between I-75 and Great Lakes Crossing Drive, west of Joslyn Road.

Lowe’s was originally proposed for the site.  That project began in 2008, but unfortunately did not move past the mass grading stage due to the Great Recession, which left the site in a blighted state.  Now, almost a decade later, Topgolf plans to invest millions of dollars into this complicated property to give it new life.  In addition, Topgolf Auburn Hills is anticipated to be a catalyst in “driving” interest in the development of the adjacent 4.9 acres to the east.

Topgolf Auburn Hills will join Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, which hosts SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement Center (opening soon), and the AMC Star Great Lakes theater megaplex, in making the City of Auburn Hills a premier destination to shop and have fun.

Below are artist renderings of what the $12.5 million project is anticipated to look like:

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 16th 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, August 28th.

Topgolf Aiming “Fore” Auburn Hills

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Wow!  Dallas-based Topgolf has formally submitted a development application to the City of Auburn Hills for approval to build a $12.5 million golf themed entertainment complex near Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.  It will be their first location in Michigan.

Photos Courtesy of Topgolf

What is Topgolf?  TopGolf stands for “Target Oriented Practice Golf.”  Think of it like bowling or darts, but for golf.  When it’s your turn, you hit a golf ball containing a personalized microchip into one of 11 targets ranging from 25 to 215 yards away.  Every section of every target has a reader that detects the microchip in your golf ball.  That reader computes your score based on the accuracy and distance of the shot and then sends the score to your bay screen.  So, pencil and paper are not needed to keep score in this game.

Topgolf Auburn Hills will include approximately 3,000 square feet of private event space and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time.  It will feature an outstanding chef-driven menu, top-shelf drinks, 200 big screen TVs, and music.  The facility will be open year-round and programming will include events for kids and families, social leagues, golf tournaments, golf instruction and more.

This two minute video provides an overview of the venue:

The 65,000 square foot facility is proposed on a 16 acre site located between I-75 and Great Lakes Crossing Drive, west of Joslyn Road.  Lowe’s was originally proposed for the site in 2008, but the project did not move forward due to the recession.

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 16th 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, August 28th.

Topgolf anticipates starting construction soon after City Council approval with an opening to the public in Fall 2018.

New Nike Shop Opens At Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

No excuses now…it’s time to start training.  The new Nike Factory Store at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets opened last weekend to a large, pre-4th of July shopping crowd.

Located in District 9 – right next to the District 9 mall entrance near Bass Pro Shops – the new 14,000 sq. ft. store houses an expanded selection of merchandise including some of the Jordan Retro line.

Stop by for peek at Nike’s new digs.

Discover Something New at Sea Life Aquarium

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

A new exhibit recently opened at Sea Life Aquarium in Auburn Hills and it includes one of the most intelligent creatures of the ocean; the octopus.  Yes, you can now see this Einstein of the ocean at the new Octopus Hideout.

It may be a bit of a challenge to spot in the exhibit because this brilliant invertebrate is also a master of disguise.  It blends in with its surroundings and hides in the smallest of places.

Will you be able to spot it despite its camouflage?   There’s only one way to find out and that’s by visiting Sea Life’s Octopus Hideout where you can see this marvelous eight-legged creature.

The Hideout is also home to a nautilus, the common cuttlefish, sea hare and live coral.