Northland Could Become Michigan's Largest Mixed-Use Apartment Complex

November 16, 2020, 6:07 AM

A rendering of a planned apartment complex on the city of Southfield.

(Rendering: City of Southfield)

The Southfield City Council on Monday will consider a proposal to transform the former Northland Center on Greenfield Road, north of 8 Mile, into possibly the state's largest mixed-use apartment development, Crain's Detroit Business reports (paywall):

In all, across two phases, Bloomfield Hills-based Contour Companies LLC's ambitious vision for 97 acres of the 120-acre site would bring 2,885 apartments, lofts and townhouses across three different components. It would also converting the old Hudson's store into 337,000 square feet of food, home furnishing and entertainment space akin to Ponce City Market in a former Sears Corp. catalogue facility in Atlanta.

Bruce Kopytek, chief architect for Contour Companies, told the Southfield Planning Commission late last month that where other developers planned to demolish the mall, his company sees value in keeping it.

Mayor Ken Siver backs the plan in a city press release.

“Following the purchase of Northland in 2015, the City held several 'Imagine the Possibilities,' public input meetings with the community to share their ideas and input for the future of the former mall site. The City held strong to that community vision for four years with little developer interest. Contour not only supports the City's vision, they actually plan to exceed it.

"Further, Contour believes in adaptive reuse of existing structures,” he added. “I have felt all along that it would be a wasteful shame to demolish the entire mall. The Hudson's building and the original portions of the mall were extremely well built and should be saved. We construct buildings for one use, times change and instead of demolition, we should invest in repurposing those structures for new uses.”

Northland was a mall on the decline for decades. The once-world class mall that sprung up in Southfield in 1954, had lost its vibrancy long before it closed in 2015.  Still, in the final weeks, some stores told Deadline Detroit that business was good and they were disappointed to see the mall closing.

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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