An artist’s rendering illustrates what the new Royal Oak City Hall will look like once constructed.

An artist’s rendering illustrates what the new Royal Oak City Hall will look like once constructed.

Image provided by the city of Royal Oak

Construction begins on new City Hall building

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published February 5, 2019


ROYAL OAK — Construction crews have begun the foundation of the new $12.2 million, 36,160-square-foot City Hall building in the south parking lot of the Royal Oak Farmers Market, between Third and Troy streets.

The new two-story building is set to be complete in the spring of 2020. Afterward, the current City Hall will be demolished to make way for a downtown park.

It is part of a $110 million civic center project, which will include a new Police Department, a six-story medical building developed by the Lansing-based Boji Group, a 581-space parking deck and a downtown park.

The current 29,880-square-foot City Hall building was built in 1955, and a Plante Moran CRESA study determined that repairing the City Hall and Police Department buildings would be too extensive and costly. 

Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said the new City Hall has a larger square footage to add more conference rooms, expand the City Commission chamber to include more seating and an overflow area with video screens, and give each department 20 percent more space.

“Currently, our City Hall, for all practical purposes, has one legitimate conference room. We also have a tiny office room that we use as a conference room,” Davids said. “This project is necessary to service our community more efficiently. We will increase community engagement through modern facilities that represent the needs of the residents.”

The new City Hall will include user-friendly kiosks, prioritize accessibility for seniors and those using wheelchairs or strollers, and adhere to energy-efficient standards, according to a city press release.

Last summer, Chris Becker, of Plante Moran CRESA, gave a presentation to the City Commission outlining how Royal Oak-based Krieger Klatt Architects refined the proposed City Hall and Police Department plans in an effort to shave costs.

Becker said the firm truncated the City Hall basement to house electrical and mechanical systems only and also nixed several proposed aspects of the Police Department, including two architectural elements called “eyebrows,” the geothermal roof and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“We turned (the green roof) into a LEED-sustainable item, as it’s going to be a white roof to reduce the carbon footprint of the building,” he said.

Environmental elements will still include native landscaping, water-use-reduction urinals and toilets, LED lights, glazed windows to reduce glare and heat, and using 90 percent recycled materials for construction.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue added that the Police Department would use the entirety of its approximately $1 million forfeiture fund to help cover the costs of the new $18.7 million police building, which will be located along 11 Mile Road and will connect to the existing 44th District Court.

 “One of the main cost increases was a 5 percent increase in cost just due to the delays of not being able to start roughly a year ago when we were originally planning to start,” Becker said at the Aug. 13, 2018, City Commission meeting.

He credited the delay to litigation against the project brought forth by a group of property owners and businesses. The suit was originally dismissed in Oakland County Circuit Court and then dismissed in appellate court.

In a prior interview, Ethan Holtz, counsel representing the property owners and businesses, said the suit challenged the legality of the project in terms of giving the Boji Group $5.5 million, violating the city’s charter in regard to the selling of bonds, and awarding the contract without soliciting bids.

The parking garage is set to open in June 2019, the Police Department is set to be complete in 2020, and the downtown park is estimated to done in 2021.

For more information, visit or call Royal Oak City Hall at (248) 246-3000.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.