The former Firestone building at the Northland Center site, in the area of Eight Mile Road and Northwestern Highway, had a date with a wrecking ball recently. The city of Southfield won an award commemorating the redevelopment efforts on the property.

The former Firestone building at the Northland Center site, in the area of Eight Mile Road and Northwestern Highway, had a date with a wrecking ball recently. The city of Southfield won an award commemorating the redevelopment efforts on the property.

File photo by Deb Jacques


City wins planning award for Northland site

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published October 9, 2018

 Heavy machinery sits on the property earlier this fall.

Heavy machinery sits on the property earlier this fall.

File photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — The city recently received an award for its redevelopment efforts at the Northland Center site. 

Last month, city officials announced that Southfield had won the 2018 Michigan Association of Planning Excellence Award for Economic Development Planning for its Northland Mall redevelopment strategy. 

According to a news release from the city, MAP recognizes planning leaders and “exemplary planning work by professionals and students.” Recipients of the awards are selected by juries made up of out-of-state professional planners. 

Along with the city, OHM Advisors, the firm selected to develop a conceptual, market-driven master redevelopment plan for the Northland Center site, received the award. 

Last year, at an Oct. 23 meeting, the Southfield City Council unanimously approved a $572,650 contract for the Target and Firestone building demolition with Dore and Associates, of Bay City. Target was demolished Oct. 30, 2017. 

According to city officials, the environmental assessment, and an asbestos abatement and remediation of the former Firestone building, have been completed. 

Demolition of the building is slated to take around two weeks, and further demolition is planned as the environmental assessment and remediation of the remainder of the mall continues, officials said. 

In 2015, after a judge ruled that the mall would close, city officials announced that they had purchased the mall from the court-ordered receiver for $2.4 million and planned to demolish, remediate and sell the property to a qualified developer, according to Community Relations Director Michael Manion. 

The city then announced plans to demolish and clean up the mall to sell to a qualified property developer to build a mixed-use development containing office, retail and residential spaces. 

Soon after, the city hired OHM Advisors to develop a conceptual, market-driven master redevelopment plan for the site. 

Since then, the city has continued to receive letters of intent from numerous developers, according to officials, and has entered into due diligence agreements with three local and national developers.

Mayor Ken Siver said he feels the award shows that the city is on the right track in developing the site. 

“This is a validation of the work that we have done with our Northland Planning Committee, our DDA, our City Council, planning departments, city administration,” Siver said. “It’s always good to have validation from an outside entity telling you in this case you’re on the right track, that our plan was very comprehensive, and it’s great to see this external recognition.”

City Planner Terry Croad was also recognized for 30 years of consecutive membership and service in the American Planning Association. 

Council President Dan Brightwell said he hopes to display the awards the city receives going forward. 

“When we receive these awards and plaques, we will display them in a public area so our citizens are aware that progress is being made in the city of Southfield constantly,” Brightwell said. 

MAP is a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting sound community planning that benefits the residents of Michigan.