Royal Oak breaks ground on City Hall construction

New building part of 'Rethink Royal Oak' development

Parking meters in Royal Oak, Michigan. (WDIV)

ROYAL OAK, Mich - Construction has commenced on the city of Royal Oak's new $12.2 million City Hall.

The modern, two-story will make way for a transformation of the city's downtown park and provide an imperative resource for community growth.

The new facility will provide better navigation, larger meeting space, higher energy efficiency, an increase inaccessiblilty, and new technology. Once the new City Hall is completed in 2020, the current City Hall will be torn down to make way for a two-acre park.

Built nearly seven decades ago, the current building was not designed for the uses the city needs today and, in the future. The work required to renovate the space is too extensive to repair according to a study commissioned from Plante Moran CRESA.

The new City Hall will be located between Third and Troy Streets, behind the Royal Oak Farmers Market. The Royal Oak also housed in the same building as City Hall will have its own facility along Eleven Mile Rd.

"This project is necessary to service our community more efficiently," said Royal Oak City Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids. "We will increase community engagement through modern facilities that represent the needs of residents. We need a building that grows with the city, and the new City Hall will do just that."

Royal Oak's new City Hall parallels the needs of a growing city and was designed to adhere to community needs. The building will provide larger, and more meeting spaces to increase participation in city engagements and affairs. The city commission chambers will have seating capacity and offer a better overflow option for meetings that draw shoulder-to shoulder participation. The overflow area will also allow for site lines into the chamber and provide video screens to visitors.

The design approach for the new buildings targets energy efficients standards that will save money and protect the environment. The model will also provide necessary, modern technology to visitors including user-friendly kiosks to provide a productive, cost-effective system for guests. The building plans to  prioritize accessibility, making circulation easier for seniors and those using wheelchairs or strollers in the current building.

Once the City Hall is vacated and demolished, construction will begin on a new two-acre downtown park in its place. Residents have played an integral role in helping direct the look and feel of the new green space. During construction, 186 parking spaces will be taken offline to make room for materials and equipments. The city has put together a guide to help visitors navigate alternative parking spaces in the vicinity. The guide can be downloaded at www.rethinkro.com.

A brand-new parking garage one block west of the construction site will bring 581 parking spaces to the area in June 2019. In addition, Royal Oak Farmers Markets will remain open during the construction. Market officials have implemented solutions to make the market user-friendly during the construction, including offering free valet parking and shopping carts.

Learn more about the City Hall project, including reviewing the plans of the two-story building, at www.rethinkro.com

About Royal Oak

Royal Oak is a vibrant metro Detroit community home to nearly 60,000 residents located in Oakland County. Destinations within the 12-mile community include The Detroit Zoo, The Royal Oak Music Theatre, William Beaumont Hospital, Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle and a successful Farmer's Market among others. The city's recreational services include more than 50 public parks and was recently named one of the top 10 Most Exciting Small Cities in America by Movoto and the Best Place to Live in Michigan by AreaVibes.

To learn more about Royal Oak, visit https://www.romi.gov.

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