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New EV auto agency Polestar okayed by planners

By Grace Lovins

The final site plans and designs for a new LaFontaine Polestar auto sales agency was recommended for approval by the Birmingham Planning Board during its meeting on Wednesday, July 12, after initial postponement due to missing information.

Polestar, a high-end electric car brand, is proposing to completely renovate an existing building at 33866 Woodward Avenue – the former location of Blossom’s florists. When the board initially reviewed the site plans on Wednesday, June 14, a representative said Polestar will operate similarly to Tesla. Customers will be able to order and build their car online and the company will primarily deliver the finished vehicle to the customer’s house.

Board members voted to postpone a decision on the final site plan and design review during the June meeting given that the application was missing some details while others were submitted the same day of the meeting.

In June, developers confirmed the agency will not have any outdoor sales but plans to keep about five cars on hand for display and test driving. No servicing will be offered in Birmingham and will instead be handled by Volvo in Farmington. A public electric vehicle charger will also be moved from the company’s temporary location in Royal Oak to the outside of the building in Birmingham.

During Wednesday’s meeting, planning director Nick Dupuis said all the missing information – dumpster placement, loading zone measurements and screen wall drawings – had been supplied by the developers. Lighting information was also supplied but Dupuis noted the levels needed to be brought down slightly so they don’t impact the surrounding residential area.

The company is proposing to cover the outside of the building with all white aluminum composite material and new front glazing. Developers brought samples of the material at the request of board members during the last review. Two small Polestar logos will also be placed on both sides of the building facing Woodward and Adams.

Originally, the plans were short two parking spaces for a total of 11 spaces. Developers requested and were granted three on-street parking spaces on Woodward Avenue by the city commission. Polestar will be responsible for fixing up the severely cracked spaces and removing a bump out impeding one of the spots.

After minimal questions, board members voted unanimously, 7-0, to recommend approval of the plans to the city commission. Alternate board members Jason Emerine and Nasseem Ramin voted in place of Daniel Share and Stuart Jeffares.


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