A Touch of Paint Can Make a Big Difference

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

We all know that sometimes little things can make a big difference.

For example, last week a member of the City’s Foreclosure Task Force observed a problem with a house in the 2700 block of James Street while performing a proactive vacancy inspection.  The home is currently unoccupied and owned by a federal agency.  At the time, its front and side windows were boarded up with plywood.

Before
Before

We have made it a practice in the City of Auburn Hills to not allow the wholesale boarding up of windows with bare wood.  The rationale is that the house is immediately seen as vacant and not habitable.  Under such conditions, they can become targets for vandals and squatters.  As a matter of fact, a person we met at the scene stated that the place “looked like a crack house.”  That’s not what Auburn Hills’ residents want in their neighborhoods!

So, contact was made with the federal agency and the City’s policy and ordinances were explained.  They were asked to appropriately secure the boards to prevent entrance and to give them a coat of paint that would blend into the trim of the house.  Though hesitant at first – after it was explained that if they didn’t address the blight the City would contract out the task and place a lien on the property for the expense – the agency quickly changed their tune.

Within days, the windows were secured and the plywood was painted with a shade that accented the rest of the house.

After
After

It may not seem like much, but little things like this are proven to help stabilize and strengthen neighborhoods.  As a team, we take pride in protecting our City … one home at a time.

A Touch of Paint Can Make a Big Difference

The “Smell Good” Store

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Coming up with a great gift idea is not always easy, especially as pre-holiday shopping days continue to dwindle.  As luck would have it, Scentsual Perfume just opened in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and they carry an impressive selection of … you guessed it … perfume and cologne.  Perfect for the holidays!

perfume 001

Looking for a deal?  Their designer fragrances are specially priced “buy one, get another half off” for the holiday season.  Owner, Avraham Vahnounou is very excited about opening his new store in Auburn Hills.  He tells us that he carries just about every possible scent available on the market.  If he doesn’t have your favorite perfume or cologne on hand, he’ll gladly special order it for you.

Scentsual Perfume is located in District 5 near Sports Authority.  Also, check out their “kiosk” location near Bass Pro Shop across from Forever 21.  Happy Shopping!

The “Smell Good” Store

Jake’s Fireworks Coming to Town

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Empty and unfinished since April 2008, the former “Retailworks” strip center at 4211 Joslyn Road will soon have new life.

Jake's Fireworks will soon renovate the building across from Home Depot / Sam's Club on Joslyn Road
Jake’s Fireworks will soon renovate the building across from Home Depot / Sam’s Club on Joslyn Road

Jake’s Fireworks, Inc., the leading U.S. distributor of wholesale and retail fireworks, has purchased the incomplete project with plans to soon finish it.  The company intends to utilize the north half of the building with their new fireworks store and showroom, which is anticipated to open by May 1, 2013.  The high-tech, interactive showroom is unique in that it will allow customers to view videos of their fireworks selections before making a purchase.

The south portion of the building is expected to include three to four new retail tenants. They’re hopeful to secure a drive-thru coffee shop to accommodate the large number of southbound Joslyn Road commuters that head toward I-75 every morning to get to work.

Stalled by the Great Recession, this incomplete project will soon be finished.  Now, that’s something to celebrate!

Jake’s Fireworks Coming to Town

Auto Supplier Selects Auburn Hills for New Headquarters

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We are excited to report that Continental Structural Plastics, the largest compression molding company in North America, plans to move its corporate headquarters and R&D center to the City of Auburn Hills at 255 Rex Boulevard.  The project will bring 110 new jobs to our community.

Founded in 1969, the company is best known for developing and manufacturing light-weight plastics primarily for the automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural, HVAC, and building construction industries.

New Home of Continental Structural Plastics
New Home of Continental Structural Plastics

Many of their products are supplied to Chrysler Group, GM, Ford, and Toyota to assist in lowering the weight of new cars and trucks to allow the vehicles to become more fuel-efficient.

Extensive renovations will start soon at the 70,000 sq. ft. building.  The total project investment is estimated at $4.4 million.  Wonderful news!

Auto Supplier Selects Auburn Hills for New Headquarters

Planning Commission Meets Tonight

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Well, tonight is the final meeting of the year for the Auburn Hills Planning Commission.  The only regular business item on their agenda is the public hearing and review of a senior assisted living facility called Angelica’s Place.

To learn more about the project click here … “Angelica’s Place” Planned for Walton Boulevard Site.

DOC110712angelica-revised

The meeting will be held tonight (December 11th) at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.  So, come join us to learn more about this excellent project.

Planning Commission Meets Tonight

New “Healthy” Sweet Shop Opens at GLC

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Executive Assistant

Sweet Earth Opens at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets
Sweet Earth Opens at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

A “healthy” indulgence during your next holiday shopping trip?  Yes!  Don’t bah-humbug the idea.

New York Cheesecake & Caramel, Birthday Cake & Vanilla Frosting, Greek Tart & Black Raspberry … all fat-free!  Fat-free yogurt, that is.

Sweet Earth, a new frozen yogurt shop at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, offers a relaxing atmosphere and a healthy twist on these otherwise decadent options.

Located in District 7 between Windsor Fashions and Hot Topic (near Rainforest Café) Sweet Earth also offers wheat free – gluten free, Vegan and Organic choices, and non-dairy soft serve.

Yogurt has a number of health benefits.  For relatively few calories, it provides the body with calcium, vitamins, and protein.  It also contains disease-fighting, healthy bacteria.
Yogurt has a number of health benefits. For relatively few calories, it provides the body with calcium, vitamins, and protein. It also contains disease-fighting, healthy bacteria.
A wide variety of topping are provided ranging from the healthy fruit to chocolate.
A wide variety of topping are provided ranging from the healthy fruit to chocolate.

Skip the guilt and stop by Sweet Earth to see how they’re “Making a Sweet Earth One Cup At A Time!”

New “Healthy” Sweet Shop Opens at GLC

Only Seven Months … Amazing!

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

It was a pretty cool experience.  He just smiled and shook our hands and said, “It only took us seven months.  The owner’s very happy … we couldn’t have done this without the City’s help.  Thank you!” 

General Contractor Jim Reb and Building Official Jeff Spencer inside the finished building
General Contractor Jim Reb and Building Official Jeff Spencer inside the finished building

His name is Jim Reb, owner of Reb Construction.  Jim received a final Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Auburn Hills today for the new $2 million, 46,400 sq. ft building he constructed for Plastics Plus, Inc. at 4237 N. Atlantic.   Plastics Plus, Inc. is a family-owned and operated distributer of thermoplastic resin.   The company plans to move its staff into the new digs next Friday.

Jim said the key to their success was the quick approvals he received from the City.  It saved his client both time and money and allowed him to beat the winter weather.  To put things into perspective, Jim first won the bid from Plastics Plus, Inc. to build the project in mid-May.  City staff first saw the proposal at an internal review meeting on May 29th.  The City Council approved the project’s design plans on July 9th.   Thus, the City reviewed and approved his project in just 42 days!  Jim told us most municipalities he builds in take six months.

The project broke ground on July 18th.  Today, five months later, the building was approved for occupancy.  That’s lightning speed for the construction industry.  Many contractors can’t build a home that fast!

Congrats Jim on a job well-done.  Glad we could help.

Only Seven Months … Amazing!