At its Sept. 9 meeting, the Auburn Hills City Council approved a plan for The Moceri Companies to develop 21.51 acres of land west of Adams Road, north of the Clinton River Trail. Once completed, the entire development is projected by The Moceri Companies to have a market value of $75 million.
The Planned Unit Development (PUD) project called The Parkways will consist of 76 townhouse units, 72 stacked flat units and a three-story 160 unit congregate senior care complex situated along a new public boulevard. In addition to the residential living, more than two acres of open park space will also be created.
“We are pleased that The Moceri Companies will be making such a large investment in Auburn Hills,” said Pete Auger, City Manager of Auburn Hills. “This public-private partnership will be a crucial building block in the resurgence and expansion of Downtown Auburn Hills.”
The land was initially purchased more than a decade ago by the Biltmore Corporation for the development of the Forester Square Condominiums. Forester Square originally had great market success, but, much like many of the residential developments in Michigan, it feel on hard times during the recession and only 205 of Foresters Square’s proposed 832 units were built. After three years of unpaid taxes, the vacant parcels within the development went into foreclosure. In late 2010, Auburn Hills was notified by the Oakland County Treasurer that the city would become the owner of these properties as long as it did not object to receiving them. Upon receiving the deeds for the property and paying the back taxes, the city immediately began marketing the land for development. In June 2012, The Moceri Companies entered into a purchase agreement with Auburn Hills to buy a large portion of the land.
“The Moceri Companies is headquartered in Auburn Hills and has always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the city. When this land became available, we saw the potential to develop the area with multi-generational residential living options that add to the community’s appeal. We believe strongly in Downtown Auburn Hills and the positive direction of the city. We wish to continue investing in its future,” said Dominic Moceri of The Moceri Companies.
The Parkways will be comprised of five phases, with the first slated to being in spring 2014. The Moceri Companies intends to complete the massive project by the end of 2017. When finished, the project will offer multiple benefits to the city and its residents. There will be increased housing opportunities for all ages, including much needed senior-oriented housing, a new public park more than two acres in size and a city-owned public boulevard. This new road will serve as the eastern gateway from Adams Road to Downtown Auburn Hills.
“This project was intentionally designed to meet Auburn Hills’ formal commitment to become an Age-Friendly Community with a variety of housing opportunities, parks, sidewalks and complete street considerations,” said Steven Cohen, director of community development for the city of Auburn Hills. “As a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities program and a recipient of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) Community for a Lifetime designation, this private investment by The Moceri Companies to build a multi-generational development is a huge victory for the city. It’s a game changer for Downtown Auburn Hills.”
A unique aspect of the project is that The Moceri Companies has pledged to make the development plug-in electric vehicle ready. It will be the first residential project of its size in the State of Michigan to commit to prep its units with conduits and wiring for charging stations, along with upgraded electric panels in each unit. The project’s alignment with the city’s nationally-recognized comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance will help enable market acceptance of this emerging technology. As the home of Chrysler Group LLC and hundreds of automotive suppliers, Auburn Hills has been working diligently to support the next-generation technological innovations developed by its hometown companies.
“If considered when a project is first built, preparing for electric vehicles is very easy and inexpensive. By prepping these garages with proper wiring, new residents within this development will only need to add a charging station on the wall if they buy or lease an electric vehicle. It’s like adding a garage door opener and the costs are now very similar. Having proper infrastructure in place will help this technology succeed. It just takes forward thinking,” said Cohen.
To learn more about community development in the city of Auburn Hills and to view site plans for The Parkways, visit the city’s website here. To learn more about The Moceri Companies, visit, http://moceri.com/home_corevalues.html.
About Auburn Hills
Celebrating 30 years as a city in 2013, Auburn Hills is home to 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. 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 www.auburnhills.org.