Eastland Mall in Harper Woods to head to auction

The end is near for Eastland Center in Harper Woods. The mall that was once a thriving part of the Detroit area will soon go the way of Northland Mall and will be auctioned off the highest bidder.

The old mall has been facing battles in recent years with major department stores vacating and fewer cars parked in the parking lot. It's already been through bankruptcy and now, the owners plan to auction it off.

"There's not much left so I understand why they're going to do it," Stephanie Peterson said. She was shopping at what few stores were left on Monday.

Stan Osborne was also there Monday and says Eastland Center means something, even today.

"It supports the surrounding area, gives the people a place to go and the stores are leaving so it's not a good thing, I don't believe," Osborne said.

Harper Woods is facing the same decision Southfield had to make about Northland Mall. The northern suburb now owns that mall and is working to redevelop it. So what's next for Eastland?

It will go up to auction in a couple of weeks and the city hopes to partner with the winning bidder.

The 640,000-square foot mall on the auction block does not include the old Macy's or Target. The city envisions a mixed use space - both residential and retail - and would include moving Harper Woods city hall and public safety to that space.

"What about the people that work here? People losing their jobs might have to relocate because they're no longer employed. So what's the big picture? It's makes you wonder," Osborne said.

The city says the mall isn't even at 40 percent capacity and they're concerned about safety at the mall. In 2015, Eastland was the scene of a deadly shooting. 

City leaders are now hoping for a fresh start for this space that would benefit harper woods and the surrounding cities.