Architecture :Development News

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Rochester College park project seeks artist submissions

Muralists wanted to create place-based art reflecting the Rochester region along the Clinton River Trail at Rochester College.

Regional development news round-up for April

Pontiac's Strand theater, rebranded Flagstar Strand Theatre of the Performing Arts, breaks ground on a $20 million dollar rehab; Center Line awards Sodecia USA tax exemption in exchange for company headquarters; Cranbrook art graduate program ranks # 6.

Craft Salon opens in downtown Royal Oak

The new salon caters to every clientele and offers a variety of hair and cosmetic services. 


Approval granted for 100-unit luxury apartments development in downtown Milford

This Monday, the Milford Village Council approved a $22-million, high-end development on the former Iverson's Lumber site.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. to open new location in Clinton Township

The new brewing facilities will be used for large-scale production and distribution, but will also feature a 280-seat taproom and a kitchen offering small plates.

Former industrial building near downtown Royal Oak to be transformed into 75 apartments

The new development, dubbed "The Harrison," promises to be one of the most unique adaptive reuses Royal Oak has seen.

Historic Auburn Hills log cabin now a co-working space with wireless internet, free coffee

Auburn Hills' oldest building, the circa-1836 Nusbaumer Homestead Log Cabin, has been transformed into a modern co-working space.

Griffin Claw Brewing Company plans Birmingham expansion, second location in Rochester Hills

Fresh off the December 2015 opening of a new retail area at their Birmingham bar and brewing facility, Griffin Claw Brewing Company has announced plans to open a second location in Rochester Hills.

Preservation group forms to protect historic character of downtown Farmington

A cluster of Victorian-era Queen Anne houses greets visitors as they enter historic downtown Farmington from the east, but a newly formed preservation group fears these historic structure are at risk from developers.

Ford House renovations to restore historical elements, enhance visitor experience

Changes to the estate include major electrical upgrades and a new stormwater management system, as well as a bridge to Bird Island.


Cooley Law School's building ranks as one of world's most impressive

A rainwater harvesting system, a green roof, low flow plumbing and other eco-focused features has landed Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills on the list of the most impressive law school buildings in the world.

Best Choice Schools' independent ranking put Cooley, which has undergone major renovation and a 64,000-square-foot addition, at #35 out of 50 law schools. Architects and engineers from Rockford Construction and SHW Group designed the building.

Cooley's building on its Auburn Hills campus at 2630 Featherstone Road is a LEED silver certified facility that was constructed with sustainability at the fore. "Building architects sought to maximize light and air flow throughout the structure with large windows and open spaces," according to Best Choice Schools.

Cooley is the fourth law school in the U.S. to be LEED certified.

Source: Tyler Lecceadone, spokesperson, Cooley Law School, Auburn Hills
Writer: Kim North Shine

Construction to start this fall on Dearborn's City Hall Artspace Lofts

With most, if not all, approvals, funding sources and other demands squared away, construction on the City Hall Artspace Lofts in Dearborn can begin in the fall. Hopes are, when complete, a live-work-display-sell-perform campus will host an artists' community that has the potential to paint a rosy economic picture for the city -- if not the Metro Detroit region.

The project, which will renovate the historic Dearborn City Hall into living spaces, workspaces, retail spaces, galleries and more, recently won a $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation's Supporting Diverse Art Spaces initiative. City Hall operations will move down the street near other city offices in September or October, says Melissa Kania, of the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.

The East Dearborn DDA and the city of Dearborn are working with Minnesota-based Artspace to renovate the old city offices into an arts campus that could be an economic stimulant for the city and the region and build on Metro Detroit's history of invention and innovation.

The plan calls for 46 affordable live/work spaces for artists and their families, work studios, co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and artists, a live/work unit for an artist-in-residency program, and galleries spread out on the city hall campus off Michigan Avenue.

In similar partnerships around the country, Artspace has developed 35 affordable artists' communities, and another 12 are in mid-development. The projects add up to about $600,000 in investment in local communities. The Dearborn development is estimated to cost $15.7 million.

Neumann/Smith Architecture and Ghafari Associates have drawn up design plans for Dearborn City Hall Artspace Lofts. They feature high ceilings, tall windows and open floor plans that play off the historic style of the building.

A public meeting to learn more about the Artspace Lofts is planned for Wednesday, June 18, in Dearborn City Council chambers.
Source: East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Revival in the making for historic Hills Theatre in downtown Rochester

Local history lovers and civic boosters in Rochester are pushing a plan to bring back the 1940s-era Hills Theatre downtown, and the idea got a boost recently when a feasibility study showed it could well be economically viable.

If the idea moves forward, after a major fundraising campaign and renovation Rochester would join several Michigan cities who are turning to "theater-nomics" to add life and dollars to their downtown.

The 820-seat Hills Theatre is located in the heart of downtown at 412-416 S. Main Street, and a renovation could cost between $3-4 million.

The Rochester-Avon Historical Society started exploring the idea about two years ago, and along with the city's Historical Commission worked with a consultant, paying $15,000 to advise on the best use of the theater and how to proceed with a campaign and building plan.

While the crux of the project will rely on private donations, Mayor Jeffrey Cuthbertson has said the city could provide services, engineering and other professionals in the interest of building a downtown entertainment destination.

The supporters of theater revival also expect to ask the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to chip in on Rochester's project as it has in other cities.

Source: Rochester Avon Historical Society and city of Rochester
Writer: Kim North Shine
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