Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks Coming to Auburn Hills

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

There’s a new restaurant coming to Auburn Hills, and it’s bringing the taste of South Philly with it.

Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks is a new casual restaurant that prides itself on serving authentic style cheesesteaks like the ones you would find in the cheesesteak capital of the world – Philadelphia.   Hungry customers will select from a menu that includes nine different styles of freshly made cheesesteak sandwiches, served on a traditional Italian bun.  If you’re not craving cheesesteak (made with thinly sliced ribeye steak), they also offer loose burgers, chicken, and vegetarian sandwiches.

Ziggy’s will be joining Dunkin’ Donuts in the Auburn Crossing Shopping Plaza located on the north side of University Drive just east of I-75.

We look forward to their grand opening that should take place sometime in October.

Ziggy’s Cheesesteaks Coming to Auburn Hills

Creating An Age-Friendly Region

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

The City of Auburn Hills was recently invited to give a presentation at Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) on what we have accomplished to help address the needs of the growing senior citizen population in our community.  We had the opportunity to interact with other communities who are just beginning their journey in this area.

My colleague Karen Adcock, Director of Senior Services and I discussed how we are making Auburn Hills more accessible to everyone.  We want to be a city where ALL generations feel welcome.  When you are in the business of delivering services, it’s important to understand how those services change over time as it relates to demographic shifts.  Auburn Hills now has more seniors than school-aged kids in our community.

We outlined our work since joining the AARP’s Age-Friendly Network in 2013.  We talk about community engagement, our action plan, and the initiatives our Planning Commission and City Council are making a high priority for Auburn Hills.

An Age-Freindly Community Conversation

It was great to hear from the experts talk about the role of local government and why it is vital in creating an atmosphere where people can age in place.  We know we have work to do, but we are now in a better position to address this important issue.

Creating An Age-Friendly Region

Robotics Giant FANUC America To Invest $51 Million In Auburn Hills

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

This past Monday night, the City Council approved plans from General Development Company to construct a 461,525 square foot light industrial facility for FANUC America Corporation on a 24.34 acre site located on the south and east side of West Entrance Drive.  The total investment is estimated at $51 million.

Rendering of the new FANUC America Corporation facility in Auburn Hills

FANUC America Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of industrial robots.  The company also produces software, controls, and vision products that aid in the development of robotic systems. The company’s name is an acronym for Fuji Automatic NUmerical Control.  FANUC’s global headquarters is located at the base of Mount Fuji, which is about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, Japan.

The new high-tech industrial facility on West Entrance Drive will primarily be utilized for the light assembly of add-on components to robots, along with warehousing operations

This new facility will serve as an expansion of their Americas Headquarters campus that is currently located in both the cities of Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills.  The company will consolidate and expand operations from other locations in the Metro Detroit area to this single facility.

Aerial photo showing the location of the new facility

Understanding that the project needed to meet a strict construction time frame to accommodate FANUC’s growth plans, all parties worked together to design this mammoth development.  Remarkably, it was reviewed and approved by the City in just 41 days, which is light speed for a facility of this complexity.  It was truly a team effort all around.  Construction is scheduled to begin on August 1st with completion anticipated by November 2019.

Once built, it will become the third largest industrial building in Auburn Hills with only FCA US LLC’s Headquarters and Technical Center and ABB’s North American Robotics Headquarters being larger in size.

With both FANUC and ABB now having their most significant facilities in Auburn Hills, we hope that we may soon earn the distinction of being the robotics capital of the United States.

Robotics Giant FANUC America To Invest $51 Million In Auburn Hills

City To Rezone Oakland Community College And Cooley Law School Land

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

A key strategic goal of the City Council is to proactively prepare underutilized properties for redevelopment.  This comprehensive rezoning proposal, along with The Palace of Auburn Hills redevelopment study and rezoning and the rezoning of the Oakland County Animal Shelter Property are excellent examples of the City Council, Planning Commission, and staff working together with private landowners to implement that vision.

In recent years, the City has participated in conversations with representatives from Oakland Community College and WMU-Cooley Law School regarding the re-use of their underutilized property located along Featherstone Road.  Due to significant demand for high-tech land in Auburn Hills that could accommodate corporate headquarters and R&D facilities, it was agreed by all parties that it would be prudent to conduct this rezoning.  The rezoning will allow additional land use flexibility in the redevelopment of the property, if so desired by Oakland Community College and WMU-Cooley Law School in the future.  New development would place the underutilized portions of these tax exempt properties on the assessing rolls, which will generate new property tax revenue and jobs.

The vision is to transform the underutilized land like this “sea of parking” along Featherstone Road into an attractive high-tech business park with corporate HQ and technical center buildings, greenspace, and trees

Thus, the City has initiated a rezoning application, as generally described below:

  1. The WMU-Cooley Law School property located at 2630 Featherstone Road (Sidwell No. 14-26-226-004) is proposed to be rezoned from SP, Special Purpose District to T&R, Technology and Research District.
  2. The Oakland Community College property located at 2900 Featherstone Road (Sidwell Nos. 14-26-226-006, 14-26-226-007, 14-25-101-005, and 14-25-101-004) is proposed to be rezoned from SP, Special Purpose District and O, Office District to T&R, Technology and Research District and I-1, Light Industrial District.

Lastly, it is noted that the rezoning will also facilitate the State permitting and construction of a digital billboard sign, previously approved by the City Council in January 2016, on Oakland Community College’s CREST Center property adjacent to M-59.

Mock-up rendering of the billboard sign adjacent to M-59 previously approved by the City Council

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th Wednesday, September 12th 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 27th Monday, September 24th.

City To Rezone Oakland Community College And Cooley Law School Land

Autoliv Proposes Impressive North American Headquarters Expansion

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

We’re pleased to announce that Swedish-based Autoliv, the world’s largest automotive safety supplier, has submitted plans to construct an expansion of their North American Headquarters and Technical Center located at 1320 Pacific Drive.  The new three-story, 71,207 square foot building addition will house the majority of the 550 high-tech workers anticipated to be employed at the facility when complete.

Rendering of the proposed building addition looking south from I-75

Autoliv supplies airbags, seatbelts, steering wheels, passive safety electronics, and active safety systems to all the major car manufacturers in the world.  Each year, their products save more than 30,000 lives and prevent ten times as many injuries.

Autoliv employee preparing a dummy for a crash test

The construction of this technically complex expansion project is planned through a series of phases that will take approximately 18 to 19 months to complete.  The first phase is expected to begin later this year with final occupancy by Fall 2020.  The building will be 258,798 square feet in size when finished.

Site plan showing the expansion in the color blue

Those interested in learning more about this proposal are encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th Wednesday, September 12th 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 27th Monday, September 24th.

Autoliv Proposes Impressive North American Headquarters Expansion

Providing A Full Auburn Hills Experience Through iLead

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

Last Friday, the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce kicked off their new six-month leadership program called iLead (Learn, Engage, Achieve, and Discover).  iLead is designed for early to mid-level leaders in the Auburn Hills community.

Session One was held in our City Council Chamber and featured current leaders of the City of Auburn Hills.  Each staff member gave an overview of their department, shared experiences that lead them to want to be leaders in local government and discussed what makes Auburn Hills so unique.  After the presentations, Assistant City Manager Don Grice provided a tour of the City’s campus.

It was such a fun morning.  We appreciate and feel honored that the Auburn Hills Chamber chose the City to kick off its new leadership series.

We look forward to learning about the first iLead class’s experience at the 2019 State of the Community event.

Providing A Full Auburn Hills Experience Through iLead

EV Maker Tesla Installs “Superchargers” At Meijer

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

Tesla, one of the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturers, selected the Meijer at 800 Brown Road to be a part of their nation-wide network of charging locations by installing eight plug-in electric vehicle “superchargers” in their parking lot.

The charging stations are located in the parking lot south of the Meijer gas station

Over the past few years, Tesla has been installing supercharger stations along well-traveled routes, like the I-75 corridor that runs through Auburn Hills.  They select locations such as Meijer because the store is open 24-hours a day, is a WiFi hotspot, and is located near restaurants and retail stores.  Thus, the site provides folks with many ways to occupy the 30 minutes it takes to fully charge their car, like grabbing a bite to eat or doing a little shopping.

Tesla’s goal coincides with the City’s ongoing actions and efforts to be a Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ready Community and helps eliminate the “range anxiety” many electric vehicle owners experience today.  The City thanks Tesla for selecting Auburn Hills as one of their new supercharger station locations.  We look forward to seeing people charging their cars right here in our community.

EV Maker Tesla Installs “Superchargers” At Meijer