Royal Oak, Mich (WJBK) - Since the 1950's, downtown Royal Oak has been one dimensional, but developers want to change the landscape by building -- and they are building up.
Jackhammers and hardhats are the backdrop to foot traffic in Royal Oak. The city is changing up it's look to make space for businesses to do their business.
"We are in the middle of a significant building boom in the city and it's in response to a demand the market created," said Economic Development Manager Todd Fenton.
He says the last few years companies, especially in the tech world, zeroed in on Royal Oak, but there was nowhere to put them. Now, they will soon have 300,000 square feet of work spaces.
"We are open for business and you cannot build some of this fast enough for us," Fenton said.
They're saying goodbye to the parking lot outside the city offices this week. That's when it will transition six stories of office space. City Hall and the police station will get a new home, and the old buildings will be taken down and transformed into a park.
"That's us reinventing and reimaging what our city can be and we really think it's going to be a diamond for the city for Oakland county, for southeast Michigan," Fenton said.
Fenton says they're working hard to get residents on board, especially the ones who don't want Royal Oak to lose its charm.
To celebrate the development, there will be a Downtown Bike Rodeo from 6-9 p.m. May 11 in Downtown Royal Oak at 211 Williams St. in Lot 4 - the parking lot across from City Hall. There will be kids games and activities, plus BMX demos.