Auburn Hills could see dramatic change under a proposal to bring college student housing downtown.
With Oakland University
and Cooley Law School attracting more out-of-towners, there's been a housing shortage, says Assistant City Manager Tom Tanghe.
Hausmann Construction Company
, which has built, improved and expanded other campuses for Cooley Law School
, would lead the project.
Cooley has locations in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor. The Auburn Hills student housing complex would have 97 rooms in a four-story building. There would be single and double rooms and the residents would most likely be graduate students from OU and Cooley, Tanghe says.
"They've literally run out of housing at OU. This year they housed about 30 students in a hotel," Tanghe says. "We kept saying to OU and to Cooley, 'Let's work with you to create an environment that makes coming to your campus more attractive.' "
A student housing complex on Auburn and Squirrel roads in downtown with walking distances of restaurants and within one to two miles from both schools may offer that attraction.
In addition, the complex would have a 288-space, wrap style parking deck that's popular in the South. The parking lot is wrapped on two sides by student apartments and has dedicated hallways leading from parking space to residences providing convenience and security. On the ground floor of the apartment building would be 5,000 square feet of retail space. So far about half of that space already has interested tenants, Tanghe says.
About 33,000 students, the majority at Oakland University and Oakland Community College, attend school at six campuses in Auburn Hills.
"This could be transformational for Auburn Hills," he says.
If the planning commission approves Hausmann's plan, the construction shovel could go into the ground in October in time for an opening around August of 2012, in time for the next school year.
Source: Tom Tanghe, city of Auburn Hills assistant city manager and director of human resources and labor relations
Writer: Kim North Shine