Press Release -- Auburn Hills off to a Great Start in 2016

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Over $100 million in new investment planned throughout the city

Media contact: Kyle Scislowicz, Media Communications Specialist, City of Auburn Hills; 248.364.6726;

Auburn Hills, MI—May 3, 2016—The City of Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, has approved more than $100 million in new investment throughout the city. Projects range from corporate business expansion, to retail shopping development, to student housing construction. Several projects are underway with others scheduled to break ground later this year.

Mayor Kevin McDaniel is excited to see all the development occurring around the city.

“It’s truly amazing to look around and see the changing landscape. Auburn Hills continues to see increased investment from various sectors such as residential, business, and retail.  Businesses of all sizes and types are what make Auburn Hills a vibrant, dynamic and diverse community. We are very grateful for every business and investment in Auburn Hills,” McDaniel said. 

These investments are divided into five sectors within the city:

--Business & Industry
In June, Nexteer Automotive will open its global headquarters in Auburn Hills. The Saginaw-based automotive company will transfer some of its employees to the new Auburn Hills location. Nexteer Automotive is a leader in advanced steering and driveline systems.

Later this year, Windsor-based Valiant International will manufacture automotive skeletons in a 187,000-square-foot manufacturing plant located in the city. Valiant International will invest $32.7 million into this project. 

Burton Katzman acquired approval to transform the vacant 128,000-square-foot building formally occupied by GKN Automotive into space for multiple business tenants. The estimated investment totals $11.8 million in acquisition and renovation costs. Burton Katzman also plans to invest $9.5 million in a speculative building on a 7.20-acre parcel of land on the northwest corner of Opdyke and Featherstone Roads. This project is expected to break ground later this year.

Korean-based Shield Material Handling anticipates their new 75,050-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility to be complete by June. The $5.7 million development will allow more storage for products and parts for automotive suppliers in the region.

Northern Sign Company received approval to build a 18,585-square-foot building on the north side of Walton Boulevard between Lapeer and N. Opdyke Roads. The full service sign company will invest a total of $1.4 million.

RECARO Child Safety, LLC will move into their new 90,000-square-foot US Headquarters this summer. The $8 million project will provide more space for the German-based company to manufacture and produce high-quality child seats and strollers. 

Basil and Mike Bacall received authorization to build two new hotels at N. Opdyke Road. Their $14 million investment will bring a Staybridge Suites Hotel and a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites Hotel to the city. This project will begin soon.

The Dutton Corporate Centre near M-24 and Dutton Road may not be empty for long. Owner Rich LaLonde plans to construct a Kia car dealership at the site. A final decision on this proposal is anticipated at the end of the month by City Council.

The third tasting room for Michigan By The Bottle is set to open in Downtown Auburn Hills in early June. Approximately 40 wines are on the tasting menu at any one time—available in flights that can be paired with cheeses and chocolates. 

A new 12,206-square-foot retail center will occupy the former site of the Palm Palace restaurant at University Drive and N. Squirrel Road. Starbucks is the first business confirmed of the six retail tenant spaces available. 

Oakland University will invest $78 million to build a new 290,000-square-foot residence hall that will house 750 students. The residence hall, primarily for sophomores and juniors, will also feature new dining options, offices, multi-use space, and classrooms. An anticipated opening is scheduled for August 2018. 

Phase one of First and Main, the $28 million senior housing development, is anticipated to be complete later this year. The 102-unit assisted living/memory care facility will be the first of two buildings constructed in the community.

Villa Montclair is a 55+ active adult resort community that will be built on a 30-acre site located at N. Squirrel Road near Dutton Road. The $17.5 million investment from Moceri Companies will include 88 detached single-family condominium homes. 

The first residents will move into the Parkways development this week in Downtown Auburn Hills. Moceri Companies’ $46 million project will ultimately consist of 76 townhouse units, 72 stacked flat units, and a three-story 160-unit senior housing complex. 

In addition to these developments, several other residential projects are planned for the future in the Downtown area. 

--Sports and Entertainment
London-based Merlin Entertainments recently celebrated the grand opening of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The 32,000-square-foot space, located in District 6, features more than 1 million Lego bricks and several Lego-themed exhibits. This is the first LEGOLAND to locate in Michigan. 

In addition to these confirmed developments, several more are in the process of gaining approval.

McDaniel stated, “Businesses are continuing to make strategic investments in Auburn Hills and in today’s competitive global environment, world-class businesses expect a world-class commitment from the communities in which they operate. We will continue to foster a business friendly environment and create a wonderful quality of life for our residents.”

About Auburn Hills
The City of Auburn Hills is a distinguished leader in southeast Michigan. Home to approximately 23,000 residents, as well as a workday population of approximately 100,000, Auburn Hills continues to be a thriving global business address. It is home to over 70 international corporations and hosts the World and North American headquarters for numerous outstanding businesses such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Continental Automotive Systems, Faurecia, and BorgWarner. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at