ROCHESTER HILLS — The southwest corner of Auburn and Rochester roads will see a new restaurant and retail development within the coming year.
A gas station and the buildings of a former automobile dealership currently occupy the corner. Developers plan for a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant, a coffee shop and more.
The new center will feature four buildings, pedestrian-friendly walkways, seating areas and a patio area.
“The idea is to take all the buildings down to make for redevelopment of a cohesive, consistent retail design to house retailers and restaurants,” said project architect Mark Drane, of Rogvoy Architects. “Creating a streetscape. All the buildings are a similar size. We’ve eliminated four of the (current) seven curb cuts, and two (curb cuts) have limited access in and out. It is challenge at times to get through that intersection.”
“A curb island will force drivers to make a right-hand turn and not allow and encourage any left-hand turns,” said Rochester Hills City Council member Greg Hooper.
“It is one of the busiest intersections in the city and it is in desperate need of redevelopment,” said City Council member Adam Kochenderfer. “But it has to be done in a very specific way that minimizes traffic concerns. It looks like you have done that.”
Council member James Rosen agreed. “That is one of the intersections to avoid if you want to turn left on Rochester Road,” Rosen said. “You can be there for two or three lights.”
Property owner Doraid Markus, of Rochester Auburn Associates LLC, said the development is currently in negotiation with several national retailers, under terms of confidentiality. “There is more demand than I have space,” he said. “A coffee shop, sandwich and submarine shops, major restaurants to utilize the patio area.”
By a unanimous vote June 10, the City Council approved a conditional land use permit for the new development.
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