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Penske Automotive expands presence in United Kingdom

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Penske Automotive Group, a Bloomfield Township-based international transportation services company, has announced an agreement today to acquire CarShop, one of the U.K.’s leading retailers of used vehicles, known for their fixed retail prices and transparent customer buying experience.

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GM to begin autonomous vehicle manufacturing and testing

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Just days after Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation allowing autonomous vehicle testing in Michigan, General Motors Co. has announced plans to begin doing so on public roads. The company also announced it will begin producing the next generation of its autonomous test vehicles at its Orion Township assembly plant in early 2017.

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Labor of love: Otus Supply in Ferndale set to open today

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Two years after breaking ground, Otus Supply in Ferndale is now open for full operations.

The 11,000-square-foot restaurant and performance venue, originally dubbed Black Owl, has been divided into more intimate spaces created by Chicago-based designer Alex Morales.

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$1 million gift gives Detroit's tigers something to roar about

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The other Detroit tigers are getting a new home. A $1 million donation by the Bloomfield Hills-based Richard C. Devereaux Foundation will help fund a major renovation and expansion project for the tiger habitat at the Detroit Zoo. The expansion project will triple the size of the original space, from 10,326 square feet to 34,000 square feet, and offer multiple viewing areas, including an 85-foot-long acrylic window.

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New mixed-use development underway in downtown Auburn Hills

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Recently, construction fencing went up along the perimeter of the property at the southwest corner of S. Squirrel and Auburn.  This fencing represents the first phases of construction for the new mixed-use, multifamily development “The Residences at Thirty Two 50”.

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Bowling, karaoke to join Great Lakes Crossing entertainment options

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A new development slated for completion in 2017 will bring bowling, karaoke and billiards to shoppers at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.

Round 1 Bowling and Amusements will join the Auburn Hills shopping center with a nearly 60,000 square-foot scheduled to open in fall 2017.

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The Conserva to open in Ferndale this Saturday

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The Conserva, a new Ferndale-based restaurant offering an eight-item, rotating menu that features meats, seafood, pickled vegetables, fresh mustards, and aioli, will open on Dec. 10. 

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Korean automation software developer opens new offices in Wixom

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A new operation of SureSoft Technologies, Inc., a Seoul, Korea-based software automation testing tools company, has opened an office in Wixom.

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Thumbs up: $11.7 million in new private investment approved

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The City Council recently approved two new projects that have a combined investment of $11.7 million.

First, Basil Bacall received authorization to construct a 96-room, Hilton Garden Inn hotel.  The site of the new three-story, 67,740 square foot building will be located at 3900 Baldwin Road adjacent to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, directly east of the TownePlace Suites hotel.

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Light Guide Systems moves to Wixom facility for augmented reality technology

Light Guide Systems, an augmented reality tool that is transforming manual assembly and manufacturing processes for companies worldwide, celebrated the expansion of its Metro Detroit footprint by building out a larger and more robust facility in Wixom. OPS Solutions founder, president and CEO Paul Ryznar made the announcement.

The new 10,000-square-foot facility, located at 48443 Alpha Drive, Suite 175 in Wixom, Michigan, will provide OPS Solutions’ leading team of engineers with a substantial and custom-built space to hone advanced features and demonstrate new manufacturing and assembly applications for Light Guide Systems. 

“Demand for our augmented reality technology has grown dramatically in the last several years and we are excited to expand operations in Southeast Michigan’s technology corridor,” Ryznar said. “While our global presence is increasing steadily, it is critical to be part of the manufacturing landscape in Detroit and we look forward to growing our partnerships with powerful local manufacturers to make factory floors smarter, safer and better with technology.”

Light Guide Systems Classic helps reduces errors and radically improve manufacturing and assembly processes by projecting a digital operating “canvas” directly onto virtually any work surface and providing audio and visual prompts, guidance, pacing and direction. Light Guide Systems Pro takes the tool to the next level by incorporating its proprietary software into the powerful yet compact Sprout Pro by HP PC platform to deliver a clean and compact package that is portable, flexible and affordable.

The new OPS Solutions facility is a welcome addition to the Wixom business community, according to Wixom Mayor Kevin W. Hinkley. 

“As an active business community with a strong history of manufacturing, we are thrilled to welcome OPS Solutions to Wixom,” Hinkley said. “The Light Guide Systems team and technology bring a unique, innovative and ultimately practical approach to manufacturing technology, which has the potential to improve American manufacturing and grow jobs in our community, across the region, and around the world.” 

The Wixom facility is now open and operational, employing a local staff of approximately 22. Guided tours of the all-new facility are available.

Light Guide Systems is currently available worldwide. Visit www.ops-solutions for more information.
 

Downtown wins state funding to pursue spot on national list

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Downtown Oxford is finally going to get its shot at being listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the state is going to pay for it.

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Birmingham countertop supply consolidation co. continues expansion with Kansas City acquisition

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As part of its plan to actively seek new opportunities in major metro areas across the United States, Clio Holdings, a Birmingham-based consolidator of regional countertop supply and fabrication businesses, has acquired Kansas City-based Top Master. Terms of the deal, which is the company’s third acquisition since launching this year, were not disclosed.

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Lake Norcentra Park successfully raises more than $100,000 for improvements

Improved fishing access. Bike parking and a bike repair station. Bench and hammock seating. All these features and many more are coming to Lake Norcentra Park in Rochester. The multiple improvements come as a result of a $51,201 crowdfunding campaign and a $50,000 grant.

The crowdfunding campaign was first announced this past September. It was part of the ongoing Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative, funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Because the Lake Norcentra Park project was able to raise at least $50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, MEDC and MSHDA will follow on their promise of a $50,000 matching grant. The Lake Norcentra Project finished its five week-long crowdfunding campaign $1,201 over its desired target, bringing the total money raised for the park to $101,201.

"Everyone who knows Lake Norcentra Park and looks forward to what it is becoming is so thankful to the people who donated over $50,000 to this campaign," BT Irwin, project manager of the Lake Norcentra Park project, says in a statement. "Every dollar is going straight into building or repairing something in the park that everyone in the community will be able to enjoy next spring."

The park, which is located at the intersection of the Clinton River and the Clinton River Trail, has been the focus of a series of placemaking efforts first announced in February 2016. Local officials have been working to improve access and the usability of the park on the Rochester College campus. Lake Norcentra Park is open and accessible to the public.

Additional improvements include lighting, fountains, concessions, a picnic garden, green and wooded space, interpretive signage, and gathering places for outdoor learning programs and social activities. A public art project, the Rochester Community Mural, will also be installed, the winning artist having been selected in July 2016.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Royal Oak made-from-scratch bakery to open second location in Birmingham

A favorite bakery is expanding with the opening of a second location in Oakland County. Love & Buttercream, the Royal Oak bakery that opened in 2012, will be opening in Birmingham as Love & Buttercream Too.

At 6,300 sq. ft., the new Love & Buttercream is more than five times the size of the Royal Oak location. Like the original location, Love & Buttercream Too will feature hand-crafted treats made on-site and always from scratch.

There will be some differences, however, as the abundance of space allows owner Brooke Wilson Vitale the opportunity to try some new things. The Birmingham location will have a retail and seating area, including breakfast options, coffee service, and WiFi. A private events space will allow for wedding cake tastings, event planning meetings, children birthday parties, girls' night outs, bridal showers, corporate events, and baking and decorating classes.

The Birmingham location's daily offerings include five to eight varieties of cupcakes, French macarons, cake pops, sugar cookies, cakes, mini pies, whoopie pies, scones, mini donuts, and more.

"We set ourselves apart by using fresh, high-quality ingredients, and try to source organically and locally whenever possible," says Wilson Vitale. "No shortenings, preservatives, oils, or any of the fake stuff here."

Though Wilson Vitale opened Love & Buttercream in 2012, she has been baking for much longer than that. She grew up baking with her grandmother, eventually working out of her parents' basement. By 2010, she was taking cake orders and baking from home.

The Royal Oak Love & Buttercream location remains open. It's located at 3202 Crooks Rd.

Love & Buttercream Too celebrates its grand opening Wednesday, Nov. 9 and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's located at 746 E Maple Rd. in Birmingham.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Skateboard shop opens up in Clawson

Clawson-area skateboarders have a nine-year-old boy to thank for the Clawson Skate Shop, which is celebrating its grand opening this Friday, November 5. Well, a nine-year-old and his father.

Clawson resident Jeff Richards set out to open the Clawson Skate Shop last July and, after a series of start-and-stops due to some bureaucratic headaches, has finally done so. A soft opening last week preceded this week's grand opening.

The shop carries everything from skateboard equipment, including decks, trucks, wheels, and bearings, to safety equipment, shoes, and clothing. Notable brands include Girl, skate boardTum Yeto, SK8MAFIA, Skate1, and Alien Workshop.

Clawson Skate Shop will also serve as a community center for the skateboarding community. Richards plans on bringing in couches and a television for people to watch skateboarding videos and play video games.

Richards, a carpenter by trade, got the idea to open a skateboard shop from his nine-year-old son Mason, who Richards says was pretty persistent. Mason started skateboarding at four years old and, after putting it down for a year, picked up the skateboard in earnest, skating up to 14 hours a day.

"He's been patiently waiting but every day it's been him asking, when are we opening, when are we opening?" says Richards.

With skateboarding being added to the Olympics, Mason hopes to one day skateboard in the international competition. Mason's younger brother, Dylan, now skateboards, too.

Richards believes that with the popularity of the nearby Clawson Skate Park, the skate shop should stay pretty busy. He's already planning for the future, too, saying that he hopes to find an additional space, maybe at around 15,000 to 20,000 sq. ft., to build an indoor skate park.

Clawson Skate Shop is located at 1024 W. 14 Mile Rd. in Clawson.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
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