Target Store to Get New “PFresh” Look

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Great news!  Big changes are coming to the Auburn Hills’ Target Store at 650 Brown Road in the Auburn Mile Shopping Center.

Just after Christmas, look for a $1 million, 13-week long renovation project to begin inside the building.  Contractors tell us that the new “PFresh” (Produce Fresh) store design is expected to be completed by early April 2013.   The store will remain open during the transformation, as most of the construction will occur at night.

Look for major renovations to begin inside the Target Store on December 27th.

Target’s new “PFresh” retail strategy is the result of detailed consumer preference studies which indicated shoppers wanted them to carry just enough food products to cover their weekly shopping basics.

Example of the fresh produce section coming soon.

So, the store will soon include an array of perishable and frozen foods, meat, and dairy products.  It will include select, barcoded fruits and vegetables, and pre-bagged items like bananas to eliminate the need for scales and weight-based pricing.

The store will not have an in-house bakery or deli, but will carry a small number of baked goods and pre-packed deli items.  As a reference point, the new produce area will be located in the existing electronics section.

Target will soon provide just enough produce and baked goods to meet your weekly needs.

Beyond the new grocery aisles, the updated store will feature additional improvements to the beauty, home, shoe, and baby departments.  It’s great to see this excellent retailer continue to evolve and improve to meet its customers needs.

Target Store to Get New “PFresh” Look

It’s All About the Animals

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Located at 2660 Auburn Road

In my routine Code Enforcement patrols around the City of Auburn Hills, I observe a lot of things that I sort of take for granted without really finding out what they’re all about.

For example, for the last few years I’ve seen a sign on Auburn Road that reads “All About Animals.”  It has a picture of a cat and a dog, a stethoscope, a house, and a heart.  So naturally, I figured it was routine veterinary office.  Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When All About Animals Rescue advised the Community Development Department that they were changing offices in their building at 2660 Auburn Road from Suite 700 to Suite 400, we learned so much more about what they do.

They’re a non-profit organization based in Warren that has two satellite locations -this Auburn Hills site and one on Detroit’s southwest side.  They provide low-cost veterinary services, such as vaccines, heart worm testing, flea preventative, and probably most important the low-cost spay and neutering of pets.  In addition, they can provide free pet food, straw, and dog houses to low-income pet owners in need of temporary help.

Director Kathy Jenkinson with “Muffin” the cat

Part of their Spay/Neutering program include free transport to the clinic in Warren from locations across Michigan (call 248-212-0781 for details.)  Another is the Spay & Neuter Mobile.  This innovative method of reaching out to the pet owning community involves a rolling vet clinic that can spay or neuter your pet on the spot (again, call for details.)

Another interesting service they provide is their Trap-Neuter-Return for feral or wild cats.  Cats who have grown up in the wild and have never been a pet are captured harmlessly, neutered, and then returned to the only environment they’ve known.  This program maintains the population without the breeding that can make the cats a nuisance.  It can also keep down rodent populations.

Their Auburn Hills’ location is open three days a week (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) and has a licensed veterinarian and a veterinary technician/assistant on staff.  Everyone at the clinic are very friendly and helpful.

So, don’t be like me.  Look beyond the sign and discover this valuable resource right here in the City of Auburn Hills.

It’s All About the Animals

Sweets! … Life is Short, Eat Dessert First

Posted by – VeRonica Mitchell, Auburn Hills Planning Commissioner

As a proud resident of the community and a member of the Auburn Hills Planning Commission, I’m always elated to see activity in our beautiful Downtown.

I recognize that Downtown Auburn Hills is still in its developing stages, but I’m optimistic that BIG changes are on the horizon.  I can envision a day when the hustle and bustle of all the pedestrian traffic will make it just plain inconvenient for me to pedal my bike down the walkways.

Sweets! located at 3395 Auburn Road

I’m seeing signs of the coming changes already, the latest indication, a promising new shop on the corner of Auburn and Squirrel Roads called Sweets!

If you have not yet tried this place, I highly recommend it.  They have a wide menu of options ranging from specialty ice cream, to baked goods, to gourmet coffees, teas, and cocas.  I personally recommend the Chai Tea with skim milk.  They even offer a frequent visitor’s card with great deals.

But it’s not just the menu that makes Sweets! a pleasant place … it’s the atmosphere.  The colors are bright, joyful, and scream “This is a Happy Zone.”  There are hands on activities for little ones and even greeting cards to browse as you wait for your beverage to be prepared.  Their menu is also expanding.  During my most recent visit, I was offered a sample of chili or soup.

Some of the great treats Sweets! offers daily

We wish Sweets! all the best and hope you will take the time to stop in and experience the offerings of one of the area’s newest trendy places right here in Downtown Auburn Hills.

VeRonica Mitchell

Note: VeRonica Mitchell is a member of the award-winning Auburn Hills Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission is a nine member panel of residents appointed by the Mayor (and confirmed by the City Council), which is charged with guiding the City’s land use and development.  The Community Development Department provides expertise to the Board.

Sweets! … Life is Short, Eat Dessert First

The “Fab” Places of Auburn Hills

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Award Winner

Have you ever watched the program Curb Appeal on HGTV?

Homes on that TV show are transformed from drab to fab with just small landscaping efforts and exterior improvements.  The “after” shots show dramatically improved properties.

While not everyone gets on TV for their exceptional efforts in real life, the City’s Beautification Advisory Commission reaches out to encourage, recognize, and celebrate the exceptional efforts of our residents and businesses who create beautiful “curb appeal” for their properties right here in Auburn Hills.  It’s a terrific program.

The Beautification Awards Banquet, held in late September, honored 75 families and businesses this year with over 150 people in attendance.   The honorees gathered to receive their award plaques, enjoy dinner, see a slide show of all the winning properties, and participate in a raffle of gardening items and mum plants.

City Manager Pete Auger speaks to the award winners at the celebration
The Beautification Awards Dinner is one of many programs that make Auburn Hills a great community.

This special event allowed residents to connect with each other, trade tips, and talk with City officials.  It was fun to honor these folks as they play a critical role in preserving the integrity of our neighborhoods and setting a positive example for others.  We hope to see you there next year!

The “Fab” Places of Auburn Hills

New Jobs Coming Soon!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Manufacturing is alive and well in Michigan!

We are pleased to report that P&F Systems, a wholly owned group of the Cosma division of Magna International, Inc., plans to invest $18.8 million to renovate the former Uni-Solar Building at 3800 Lapeer Road.  The facility is located behind The Venue Bar and Grill, across from The Palace of Auburn Hills.

P&F Systems plans to renovate the former Uni-Solar plant at 3800 Lapeer Road

P&F Systems was recently awarded a major contract to supply parts and components to a large OEM automotive manufacturer.  In order to fulfill that contract, the company plans to transform the vacant 167,500 sq. ft. building into a state of the art manufacturing, assembly, and sequencing facility.

This new investment is projected to create 230 jobs at the site.  No doubt, this is great news for the City of Auburn Hills and the State of Michigan.

New Jobs Coming Soon!

Building With Confidence

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

A Good Contractor Will Ensure Safety

Every year, we receive hundreds of permit applications for various home improvement projects ranging from replacing a water heater to adding a new backyard deck.

As a rule of thumb, most home construction projects require safety inspections and permits per the State Code from one or more of our trained staff.  We will always work hard to facilitate the approval of these permits to help keep projects on schedule.

Not All Contractors Are Qualified

Why is the inspection process important?  Well, it provides a level of confidence to you as the homeowner that the job was done correctly by your contractor.  Sadly, many home fires and accidents are caused by projects where the owner (or previous owner) failed to obtain proper building safety permit approvals.

We understand that finding and selecting a contractor to do a job is not an easy one.  It will take a little more research than a quick Google search to find a good one.

Knowing that many of these improvements can cause most homeowner’s some anxiety – especially when it comes to selecting a qualified contractor – we created a brochure called “Making the Right Choice” to help.  So, click here to review this excellent guide.

We hope these hints will help make that difficult decision of selecting a qualified contractor a little easier for you.

Building With Confidence

An Investment In Constant Learning

Posted by – VeRonica Mitchell, Auburn Hills Planning Commissioner

Late last week, I had the excellent opportunity to spend a few days with hundreds of community planners, engineers, and Planning Commissioners from all across the State.  I participated in the Annual Conference of the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) in Traverse City.

Each day was filled with informative sessions highlighting changes in legislation and accomplishments from fellow Michigan communities who have successfully implemented a new practice or process.

I heard sessions on farmers markets, environmental practices that support local economies, transportation, walkable communities, and many other topics.  As I was absorbing this new information I had one continual thought … Could this be adopted in Auburn Hills?  How might this benefit me or my neighbors?

The City of Auburn Hills was even highlighted for its ground breaking efforts completed by the adoption of an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance; as well as for its progressive partnering with businesses to install charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles around the City.   Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development, along with our partners at OHM and the Clean Energy Coalition, presented to their peers in an excellent session on the topic this past Friday.

Auburn Hills Presented a Session at the MAP Conference on Preparing for Plug-In Electric Vehicles

It’s great to have been given an opportunity to learn new things, but more than that it’s a true blessing to be a part of a community that’s willing to invest in the education of its staff and local officials.

The leaders of Auburn Hills recognize that the more educated its representatives are the more likely they are to identify opportunities for improvement.  Also, the more we are informed the less likely we are to engage in missteps or mistakes that could negatively impact our residents, or damage relations with our developers and business partners.

We have successfully created an atmosphere of growth, cooperation, and continuous improvement within our community.  I am thankful there’s a determined commitment, even in these challenging financial times, to continue this important investment.

VeRonica Mitchell

Note: VeRonica Mitchell is a member of the award-winning Auburn Hills Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission is a nine member panel of residents appointed by the Mayor (and confirmed by the City Council), which is charged with guiding the City’s land use and development.  The Community Development Department provides expertise to the Board.

An Investment In Constant Learning