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M-1 RAIL has released conceptual renderings of the nearly 19,000 square feet Penske Tech Center facility, where the streetcar’s technology systems, vehicles and operations team will be based. The Tech Center will be located between Bethune and Custer Streets, at the northern end of the 3.3-mile modern streetcar system.

“We have communicated extensively with the residents and business owners from the neighborhood where the Tech Center will be located, and their input has been invaluable in making sure that the new Tech Center becomes a vibrant part of the community,” said Paul Childs, chief operating officer, M-1 RAIL.

“From the types of vegetation we use on the grounds, to the building’s actual design and location on the property, the voices from the community have given M-1 RAIL terrific guidance.”

Childs said that among the design decisions for the Tech Center, the community members’ recommendations included:

■ The Tech Center building will be closer to Woodward Avenue, putting streetcar storage in a well-kept area behind the facility.

■ The exterior will be made of red brick, which is more representative of the historical look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood than other materials such as stucco or metal.

■ Decorative metal fencing will be used for the perimeter of the storage area behind the facility.

■ Decorative lighting will be used on the exterior of the building, and will be both functional for safety and security, but will not disturb surrounding properties.

■ The landscaping will include plants and other vegetation indicative to the neighborhood.

Tech Center construction is already under way and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

The Design/Build Team for the Tech Center includes Turner Construction Company, 3.L.K. Construction, ABE Associates, Inc., and RNL. ABE Associates, Inc., and 3.L.K. Construction are registered Detroit-headquartered Businesses (DHB), Disadvantaged-Business-Enterprises (DBE) and Minority Business Enterprises (MBE). Turner is a registered Detroit-based Business (DBB). The fourth team member, RNL, is a national designer of light rail and mass transit maintenance facilities and is teamed with ABE Associates, Inc. for architectural services.

Nearly 60 percent of the subcontractors hired by the Design/Build Team to construct the Tech Center are Detroit-based, DBE, MBE and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (WBE) companies. The goal is for 51 percent of the construction workers who build the Tech Center to be Detroit residents.

The facility is named Penske Tech Center, in recognition of Roger Penske’s leadership of M-1 RAIL and Penske Corporation, as one of the major donors to the M-1 RAIL project.

The cost to design and build the Tech Center is estimated to be $6.9 million.

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