Southfield Mayor Ken Siver delivers his State of the City address March 21 at Southfield City Hall.

Southfield Mayor Ken Siver delivers his State of the City address March 21 at Southfield City Hall.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Southfield mayor focuses on progress in annual address

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published March 27, 2019

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SOUTHFIELD — It would be hard not to notice all the change happening in Southfield recently.

From new businesses to revitalizing neighborhoods to major milestones, 2018 was a banner year for the city.

Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett and Southfield Mayor Ken Siver delivered their annual State of the City addresses March 18 at Regency Manor in Southfield.

The address was hosted by the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to the speech, networking and a luncheon were offered.

Siver shared his speech again March 21 inside the Southfield City Council chambers, which was free and open to the public.

Siver said it has been a big year for business in Southfield.

“Is there anybody that doesn’t know that Beaumont has moved to Southfield? OK, good. I was going to say if you raised your hand and you said you didn’t know that, then you haven’t driven down Northwestern Highway,” he said. “This is a big story for us.”

Last October, officials of Beaumont Health, a nonprofit hospital with headquarters in Royal Oak, announced the purchase of the First Center building in Southfield, 26911 Northwestern Highway.

Officials said the goal of the building purchase is to consolidate shared-services employees, who are currently working in 16 owned or leased buildings across three counties in metro Detroit.

The property, now known as the Beaumont Service Center, houses administrative employees and will serve as the training and conference hub for Beaumont Health. It is a 686,000-square-foot multitenant building built in 1984. It sits on 31 acres.

“The reason they’re here is because we’re centrally located, and that’s a plus,” Siver said.

Siver said many businesses choose Southfield because it really is the “Center of It All.”

“People ask me all the time, ‘Aren’t you worried about what’s going on downtown and Dan Glibert this and that?’ You know, we market a totally different thing here. Not everybody wants to be downtown,” he said. “I have never been and I’m not a Detroit basher. I go downtown and I’m very happy for what’s happening downtown; however, we offer something different. And a lot of the people are making a choice to come to Southfield because they look at, where is their workforce? And we’re in the geographic and the population center of the Detroit metropolitan area.”

Numerous tech companies have also made their new home in Southfield, including Configit, P3, Technosoft and Sasken, Siver said during his speech.

As far as Northland Center goes, Siver said the project is moving toward progress at a slower pace.

“We continue to slide along. It’s a very, very complicated project,” he said. “This past year, we had the demolition of the Firestone building. This was part of phase 1. The Target building was done last year,” Siver said. “Just when we think all the asbestos is out of the mall, more is found.”

The city also continues to reinvest in its housing stock, which took a hit during the Great Recession. Siver said the city continues to work with the Southfield Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which is a nonprofit aimed at reinventing Southfield neighborhoods by buying tax-foreclosed homes, renovating them and selling them.

The initiative is a  partnership between the Southfield City Council, the Southfield Nonprofit Housing Corp. — of which Siver is the board president — and Habitat for Humanity.

“One of the houses had been flipped 10 times. It was an $80,000 house in 2000, and from 2000 to 2016 it had been flipped 10 times, with no repair. This is why we’re doing this program,” he said. “We are fighting against the unscrupulous landlords and flippers. They don’t do our neighborhoods any favors.”

2018 was also a big year for public art, with numerous installations happening throughout the course of the year, and the city celebrated its 60th anniversary in April.

A PowerPoint presentation of Siver’s speech can be found online at cityofsouthfield.com.

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