Week of 5.22.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Older Persons Commission Charity Gala

The 15th annual fundraiser for Rochester’s Older Persons Commission’s Meals on Wheels program attracted 375 ($150 ticket) to the Royal Park Hotel to party in a Monte Carlo mode. Chance-takers could bid on jewelry from Aurum Designs, pick their own prize in a chance raffle of 13 packages and, after dinner while Frank Sinatra tribute singer Mark Randisi entertained, play casino games and turn their winnings into raffle tickets. WXYZ’s Dave LewAllen emceed the dinner program in which 96-year old Erv Bauer, a Meals on Wheels recipient since his wife died three years ago, admitted, “I can’t even boil water.”  He called the program “a real treasure” because ....” the drivers (greet you) with a smile...and are someone to talk to every day...we really appreciate you sponsors...thank you kindly.”
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

June 2017

DUMBING IT DOWN: State Rep. Mike McCready (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) has introduced a legislative proposal to reduce the number of members of the state House of Representatives from 110 to 76, or about one-third. "We currently have three House members for every three state Senate seats," McCready said, noting there are 38 state Senate members. Each state ...more»
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Birmingham envisions major city project

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
03/17/2017 - After grappling for several years with a shortage of parking, and recognizing an opportunity to redevelop the site at Bates and where the N. Old Woodward parking structure is located, the Birmingham city commission on Monday, March 13, unanimously approved having city staff develop and send out a request for qualifications (RFQ) to solicit developers, engineers, architects and other interested firms in pursuing its redevelopment to include residential, commercial and retail while incorporating hundreds more parking spaces.

Birmingham Planning Director Jana Ecker noted that for the last several years city staff and the commission had been addressing parking and the shortage that has developed in the city as office space and its usage has changed. A couple of years ago the city looked at adding two floors to the Pierce Street parking structure, as it is the only parking garage with that capability, but parking demands in the city have changed, she noted, "and now the recommendations are that we move forward with the N. Old Woodward deck first." The existing parking lot would be demolished. She added that the city's master plan advises for the redevelopment of Bates Street, with a Bates Street connector going through the area behind the N. Old Woodward flat lot.

Rather than having potential developers come up with plans and their own concepts, the city hired noted Birmingham architect Victor Saroki to create conceptual options on how a public/private development could look that the city would prefer. Ecker said that RFQ "would allow for a two-step process, where we would send this out, and they would show how they qualify, what experience they have, their financial ability, how they could work with the government. Then we would pick a few to work with, and invite those to submit a RFP (request for proposal), and we could be very specific about what we want – the activation of the space and the streets. We recognize the economy goes in cycles, and we think this may be the best time to move forward, rather than wait another five years."

Saroki explained that he had come up with two main versions, each with an alternate plan. "It became pretty apparent that this location was the most optimum. It could yield a maximum amount of parking, it created a new street, and it provided the opportunity for new development opportunities, alongside the Willits Building, which is five stories; the Google Building at four stories, and Brookside Terrace, being built, at five stories."

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