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 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.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Northland demo continues as groups eye site

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published September 13, 2018

 Heavy machinery makes its way through the wreckage of the former Firestone building.

Heavy machinery makes its way through the wreckage of the former Firestone building.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — It’s been nearly three years since the city of Southfield swooped in on the Northland Center site, and three developers have their eyes on the former mall after its most recent date with a wrecking ball. 

At 9 a.m. Aug. 27, demolition began on the Firestone building at the former mall, 21500 Northwestern Highway. 

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 on 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 the firm 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 nationwide developers. 

City Administrator Fred Zorn said in council documents that the due diligence agreements include investigating the site, undertaking demographic market analytics and developing a financial plan. 

The due diligence agreements are at no cost to the city, Zorn said in the documents. 

The city entered into a due diligence agreement on Nov. 27, 2017, with Pacific Medical Buildings. 

According to City Council documents, PMB is located in San Diego and is one of the country’s pre-eminent full-service health care real estate developers. 

The company is looking at building a mixed-use medical development, according to council documents, on 25-30 acres on the northeast side of the property, which is directly across from Providence Hospital.

The city is also in continued talks with Edward Rose and Sons, whose due diligence agreement started Feb. 26. 

Edward Rose and Sons is a Bloomfield Hills-based luxury residential developer. The group is eyeing approximately 30 acres on the northwest side of the property for residential development, including senior housing. 

Downtown Development Authority Director Al Aceves said he visited an Edward Rose and Sons property in Novi and was impressed with what he saw. 

“It is an A-1 project. If we were fortunate enough to get something similar to that, I think everybody in the city would be really proud of it,” Aceves said at the Feb. 26 City Council meeting. “Very high class. Just from an aesthetic standpoint, (it) really popped out.”

Gary Goodman, the senior managing director of brokerage services at Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions, provided the council with some background on Edward Rose and Sons. 

“Everything they do, they retain. They almost never sell a property that they develop, and the product type is generally very high quality,” Goodman said at the meeting. 

The Southfield-based General Development Corp. has expressed interest in developing 20 acres of the southwest side of the Northland property. 

The city entered into a due diligence agreement with GDC July 9. 

Mayor Ken Siver said in a written statement that officials see the importance of keeping the Northland site a Southfield landmark. 

“We are very excited about the current developments proposed, and we remain confident that this project will be a great success,” Siver said in the statement. “We are literally paving the way for redevelopment, and we hope that this project can be a model for other communities across the country.”