Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett announced Thursday, Feb. 25 the sale of 15 acres of unused city property to a German auto manufacturer which plans to invest $20 million into a new technology center and bring 250 jobs at an average salary of $90,000.
Jenoptik Automotive, a manufacturer and system provider for production metrology and laser cutting, according to city officials, has been operating in the city since 2007.
The announcement came at the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Outlook Breakfast at Oakland University.
The sale was approved by Rochester City Council Monday, Feb. 22, Barnett said, and authorizes him to execute the deal.
The property will be sold for $2.3 million, which is above market rate, according to city officials.
The property is located on West Hamlin Road, between Livernois and Crooks roads. Jenoptik currently operates out of a nearby facility.
The company is consolidating its three Michigan divisions and intends to build a technical campus for its joint engineering operations, according to city officials.
“As the company grows, so will their footprint,” Rochester Hills Economic Development Manager Pam Valentik said in a press release.
The property will return to the city’s tax rolls for the first time in 17 years.
The city purchased the property in 1999 with the intent of a joint development in partnership with local school districts, however the project never came to fruition and city officials decided to scrap the plans.
Two other parcels of the 22-acre property were sold in recent years, leaving the two lots to be acquired by Jenoptik.
The city could also be seeing another significant investment from another auto supplier.
An unnamed company could be moving into a facility formerly occupied by Volkswagen, making a $15 million investment and bringing 400 jobs, Barnett said.
The two projects continue an economic surge in the city similar to 2015.
City officials said businesses invested $126 million in Rochester Hills last year and the city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the county as well as its lowest vacancy rate in the past decade.
Barnett also announced the beginning of a community fundraising campaign for the planned upgrades to the city’s Riverbend Park, which will include natural playscapes, suspended walking paths, tree houses and an interactive water feature, according to officials.
“Riverbend is my passion and I am certain it will transform recreation in our region for generations to come,” Barnett said in the press release.
For more information about the park, visit rochesterhills.org/riverbend.
•New Rochester Mayor Cathy Daldin announced a recent study which ranked Rochester 16th in the nation in increasing property value, with an average increase of more than 40 percent over the past five years. The city will also be hosting a “Downtown Visioning Session” with residents and city officials seeking input to guide future planning for the city’s downtown, Daldin said.
• Crittenton Hospital Chief Strategy Officer Michelle Hornberger touted the Rochester Hills hospital’s recent merger with Ascension Michigan. The hospital is expected to “bring a strong northern Oakland County presence” to Ascension’s footprint, which in Southeast Michigan includes Warren-based St. John Providence hospital and Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc Township.
• Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner discussed a new exchange program which will allow 15 eighth- and ninth-grade students to travel with staff members to China on a 10-day trip. Students are expected to attend a school in China for two days, as well as tour historical sites in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
• Boulevard Health Center Administrator Sandra Haywood also spoke at the event.
Oakland University Vice President of Marketing and Communications John Young kicked off Thursday’s event by touting the school’s recently approved $77 million student residence and another planned $44 million expansion project for its Oakland Center.
A $32 million expansion of the Rochester-area school’s Elliott Hall is also planned.
“If you missed the cranes that dotted our horizon a couple years ago, they’ll be back,” Young said.
Source : theoaklandpress.com