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 has entered into an agreement with a local company to develop a portion of the site.

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 has entered into an agreement with a local company to develop a portion of the site.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield enters agreement with Northland developer

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published April 16, 2019

 Heavy machinery sits on the Northland Center property last fall.

Heavy machinery sits on the Northland Center property last fall.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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SOUTHFIELD — A local company has entered into an agreement with the city to develop 9.7 acres of the Northland mall property.

At its March 18 meeting, the Southfield City Council unanimously consented to enter into the agreement with Jonna Development and Management.

Deputy City Administrator John Michrina said in council documents that Jonna is a family-owned and operated commercial development company with properties that span across Oakland and Wayne counties. Currently, the company is working on an apartment development of up to 200 units, as well as developing mixed-use property for Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.

In Southfield, Jonna developed the mixed-use property at 12 Mile and Southfield roads.

Michrina said in council documents that the city and Jonna have entered into two separate, nonbinding “letters of intent to purchase” property at the site, 21500 Northwestern Highway. In total, the two properties comprise 9.7 acres on the southeast portion of the property, adjacent to Greenfield Road.

The due diligence agreement expires 120 days from March 18, with the option of a 90-day extension, according to council documents.

Upon signing the purchase agreement, Jonna will pay the city a refundable deposit of $10,000.

Should Jonna decide not to go through with the purchase, there is a plan in place.

“If (Jonna) is not able to satisfy itself within the due diligence period, it may, in its sole discretion, cancel the purchase agreement upon written notice to the seller and be refunded 100% of the deposit, and the parties would be released from any further obligations to each other under the agreement,” Michrina said in council documents.

The council has 60 days to negotiate with Jonna before possibly entering into a purchase agreement for the property. The matter will then be brought in front of the council again for a vote.

If the purchase goes through, the land will be sold for $1,045,440, which is $4 per square foot of land, according to council documents.

“It’s sort of the first step in buying property,” Southfield Mayor Ken Siver said during his State of the City address last month. “We have several other developers in the pipeline. Some are waiting. They’re interested in buying, but they’re waiting for more of the mall to come down, because you don’t want to build and then you’ve got this behemoth behind you.”

Siver said the city is continuing with its demolition plan for the property. At some point this summer, he said, the next phase of demolition will begin.

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.

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

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