Graduate housing, downtown parking and retail complex coming to Auburn Hills

A four-story, 97-apartment-unit, 279-parking space mixed-use development with room for 6,150 square feet of retail on the bottom floor is moving toward the start of construction and a completion date of January 2013.

The project in the Auburn Hills downtown area about two miles from Oakland University and Cooley Law School will be designated a preferred residence for the schools’ graduate students. As many as 130 students could live there.

City officials see potential to transform the city’s developing downtown at Auburn and Squirrel roads.

The $14 million development is a public private partnership with the city’s Tax Increment Financing Authority owning the parking structure and putting in about $4.5 million and the building being developed, owned and operated by Lansing-based Prescient Growth LLC, which is committing $9.5 million.

“With Oakland University, Cooley Law School, Baker College, Oakland Community College and an extension of Central Michigan University located here, Auburn Hills is visited by more than 20,000 college students on most week days. With the addition of this new residence, we will add a critical mass of students who bring energy and vibrancy and want to create a sense of place in downtown Auburn Hills,” City Manager Pete Auger says in a statement announcing the groundbreaking.

The building and parking structure will be done in a wrap style, where the housing wraps around and is attached to the parking structure. It masks two sides of the structure from view.

Amenities for the student residents will be plentiful and ideally the businesses in and around the building will be their go-to spots, says Stephanie Carroll, coordinator of community relations and legislative affairs for Auburn Hills.

That’s more in line with what comes to mind in a college town.

“We’re not trying to be an Ann Arbor at all,” she says, “But we thought what better way than to capture that student population but give them a place.”

Source: Stephanie Carroll, coordinator of community relations and legislative affairs, city of Auburn Hills
Writer: Kim North Shine