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Auto Europe looks to renovate, expand dealership

By Grace Lovins

High-end European auto dealership Auto Europe is proposing an extensive renovation of its existing dealership, located at 33816 Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, complete with a new two-story addition, and Birmingham’s planning board approved the final site plan and design during their Wednesday, March 27, meeting, sending it on to the city commission.

As noted in the meeting packet, the dealership is planning significant upgrades to the interior and exterior of the building as well as an addition to the building. According to a representative of Auto Europe, this would be the second phase of a two-phase project. The first phase included renovations to the south side of the building, a new sign and a new overhead door.

Planning intern Summer Aldred explained to the board that the proposed second phase will include updates to the facade and interior layout. The facade is proposed to consist of two-story windows lined with graphite and black aluminum composite. A new showroom will occupy the proposed 2,200 square foot addition to the building.

Aside from a couple of items, the project meets the departmental requirements, said Aldred.

The business is required to have a total of 17 parking spaces, but are short two spaces. Planning director Nick Dupuis noted that the dealership could try to obtain a variance for the two spaces or ask the city to grant them two spaces along Woodward Avenue to count towards their total.

While potential for light pollution from the building was brought up, most board members agreed that they felt it wasn’t a pertinent issue given the amount of space between the building and the closest residential units.

Several board members also said they would like to see improvements in the landscaping around the building in addition to the landscaping required in the parking lot.

Board members approved the final site plan and design review in a 5-0 vote. The approval included stipulations such as showing that the number of required parking spaces has been met, that Auto Europe landscapes the south end of the parking lot and looks at re-landscaping two areas along the alley, and the dealership must show that lighting from the second story of the addition will not violate the lighting ordinance from the parking lot line.

Bert Koseck, Scott Clein, Robin Boyle and Jason Emerince were absent from the meeting. Alternate member Nasseem Ramin voted in their absence.


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