Southfield city council approves Northland Mall study

The City of Southfield made a decision on the old Northland Mall at its meeting Monday evening.

The city has owned the former mall for roughly three months and understand that time is money -- especially when the vacant mall costs about $4,000 a month.

It was the first mall in the country, and now is unused space, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

“This is a major piece of property,” said Jim Houk, vice president of OHM Advisors. “We would expect something to be very great on this property."

The City of Southfield decided to spend up to $300,000 on a consultant team based in Columbus to start a four-month study to see what could be done with the former mall.

"We’ll take a very comprehensive look at the property. We’ll be talking to the community -- the community will have plenty of chances to give input,” Houk said.

All but one council member was on board with the hire. The lone standout felt there wasn’t enough meat with the potatoes when it comes to the scope of the study. Still, the study received the council’s approval.

A finished project is still years away, but over the course of the next four months, the community will have a say as to what they want to see replace the original Mall of America.

"I just hope that we’re not undersold. ... I want to dream big, I want to see something that turns around the south end of the city,” said Southfield Mayor Ken Siver.

Changes will begin in the coming days, starting with the construction of a $115,000 fence around the mall’s perimeter.