Henniges Automotive broke ground Thursday on a new, green-designed headquarters in Auburn Hills.

Currently located in Farmington Hills, with operations in North America, Europe and China, Henniges Automotive employs 4,500 worldwide with 141 professional and technical staff at headquarters. It recently hired 20 and expects continued growth in Auburn Hills.

“Moving to Auburn Hills will allow Henniges the opportunity to create an exceptional world headquarters facility that meets our specific needs in both size and work space design,” says Henniges CEO Robert DePierre. “It will also allow us the unique opportunity to design a facility that is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, which was an important part of our decision to build. We are looking forward to working with the City of Auburn Hills, Schostak Brothers and General Development on this exciting project and look forward to an ongoing positive relationship with the local community as well.”

The Henniges headquarters will be 55,000 square feet and is located on High Meadow Circle in the Oakland Technology Park, near the intersection of I-75 and University. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy by June 2012. Livonia-based Schostak Brothers and Co. Inc. is the building owner and developer and General Development is the general contractor.

Said Jeffrey Schostak, director of corporate real estate services for his family’s firm: “This is another example that business is starting to pick up here in Michigan and that the auto companies are back on the right track.”

Oakland Technology Park was formed in 2010, following the purchase of 211 acres by southeast Michigan developers General Development LLC and Premier Equities from the former Chrysler Corp.

“Henniges is exactly the type of company we thought would be attracted to the Oakland Technology Park — an industry leader that wants a globally recognized business address,” said Bruce Brickman, principal of General Development.  “USFarathane was the first company to break ground in Oakland Technology Park in May 2010 and they are thriving at this new location. In addition to Henniges, we also have other significant deals in the advanced stages of discussion, so there’s no question that Oakland Technology Park’s presence in the local market is gaining attention.”

Auburn Hills City Manager Pete Auger said the fast growth of the Oakland Technology Park confirms the city’s appeal to business, especially those with global operations.

Auger added that Henniges’ aim for LEED certification will be supported by the city, which was the first in Michigan to have a formal policy to encourage and assist developers in seeking LEED certification.

“Even companies that aren’t as aggressive in obtaining LEED certification as Henniges tend to surpass their initial goals for energy efficiencies because Auburn Hills’ personnel have the knowledge to guide them during the building process,” Auger said.

Financing for the new Henniges world headquarters is through the PrivateBank.

Henniges designs, manufactures and sells a complete line of highly engineered vehicle sealing systems. The company’s products seal interior compartments of the vehicle from water, dust, and air leakage and reduce noise, vibration, and harshness. In addition to sealing, Henniges produces anti-vibration systems and glass encapsulation modules. The company operates 11 manufacturing plants and four engineering and technology centers in North America, Europe and China. Henniges was formed in 2007. More at www.hennigesautomotive.com

SchostakBrothers, now in its fourth generation of family-owned real estate business,  operates commercial properties in 19 states as a full-service real estate development, management, leasing and consulting company. Since 1920, the company’s activities have included development, acquisitions and leasing of retail, office, industrial, residential and mixed use projects, both urban and suburban. More at www.schostak.com.

Southfield-based General Development has been in business since 1983 as a full service real estate developer. GDC offers construction management, general contracting, property management, distressed asset management, and design and build-to-suit development services for all industrial and commercial requirements. Learn more at www.gendev.com.

More about the city of Auburn Hills at www.auburnhills.org.

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