Council to consider debt bond to fund upgrades
STERLING HEIGHTS — In an effort to compete with the new kid on the block, the Sterling Heights City Council will consider a measure to fund $3 million in upgrades to the Lakeside shopping district.
The Sterling Heights City Council set an Oct. 2 date for a public hearing to allow the 45 merchants who would foot the bill for the improvements at the mall at Schoenherr and Hall roads to voice their concerns to council — as Partridge Creek is scheduled to open down the street.
Construction of the Mall at Partridge Creek, a 640,000-square-foot open-air mall located on Hall Road between Garfield and Romeo Plank, continues. The mall, owned and operated by Taubman Centers, will have 90 stores and restaurants and is scheduled to open Oct. 18. Anchor stores will be Parisian and Nordstrom.
Lakeside Mall is more than 1.5 million square feet, contains 180 stores, was built in 1976 and is owned and managed by General Growth Properties.
Howard Abbott, general manager for the Sterling Heights Area Chamber of Commerce, told the council he has met with Lakeside Mall merchants a number of times in past weeks. He said there is a definite need for the upgrades to keep the mall competitive.
Councilmember Barbara Ziarko agreed. “This is almost a necessity to compete,” she said.
Planned improvements would include new marquis signs, decorative street lighting along the ring road around the mall, and improved pedestrian crossings along the spoke streets in the hub.
Luke Bonner, city development manager, described the upgrades as a preemptive measure to “solidify Lakeside as what it is, a solid retail destination.” He said that, as part of the process, the council might be requested to amend the current sign ordinance to allow a uniform banner on light poles in that district that would include the name of a retail store.
Lakeside merchants would pay for the improvements through a special assessment debt bond, which Bonner said he would explain in detail at a City Council meeting in the near future.
If approved, the improvements would be completed by this time next year, Bonner said.
City Manager Mark Vanderpool said that Lord & Taylor officials said they will stay at Lakeside, and that Macy’s recently resolved tenant issues since they took over the space from Marshall Field’s last year.
Beth Isola, marketing manager for Lakeside Mall, said that Claire’s Boutique, F.Y.E. and Select Comfort are remodeling and expanding retail space at the mall. Also, Charlotte Russe, Hot Topic and Spencer Gifts plan to update store concepts; Things Remembered relocated next to Macy’s; and remodeling at Motherhood Maternity will be complete this fall, she said.
Campus Den opened this past spring, and Prestige Jewelers, returning to the mall after a 10-year absence, planned to build a 2,500-square-foot store in the Macy’s men’s store and carry Lladro, Waterford, Swarovski, Movado, and Mont Blanc brand items. Kohl’s recently remodeled the store on Schoenherr at Hall Road, said Isola.
“It shows that these corporations see the value to stores in Lakeside Mall,” she said. “We are strong and here to stay. We are confident we will be the dominant shopping destination in Macomb County.”
In response to the traffic concerns of resident Charles Jefferson at the Aug. 7 City Council meeting, City Engineer Sal Conigliaro said that the city’s master plan includes widening Schoenherr to four lanes at Canal Road, but there are no plans for the project in the current city budget.
The city will install a new traffic signal at South Cove and Schoenherr.
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