Southfield close to 'master plan' for developing old Northland mall

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Northland Center built in the 1950s. It was the country's first mall and for some, it's a vision of the past.

After being closed for about a year, the City of Southfield says this space is now a vision of the future.

"We expect in four months we will have master plan for entire property," said Southfield Mayor Ken Siver.

Purchased by the city for $2.4 million, the once vibrant mall closed last year after many of the stores shut down and the mall went into receivership.

But Siver says the prime location of the mall nestled around key expressways makes the property a developer's dream.

"We have been approached by Providence Hospital that would like to take some acreage to expand, save the Macy's building maybe it will be loft apartments," Siver said. "We see retail particularly on Greenfield Road."

But there is a piece of property located on the mall not owned by the city. The former site of JC Penney is owned by Triumph Church.

"We are waiting for Triumph Church to do a counter offer," Siver said.

A representative for the church tells Fox 2:

"Triumph Church is committed to moving forward with its plans to redevelop the JC Penney site into a world class facility and to start construction next year."

As the future of Northland Mall is being planned, fencing is going up to keep it safe and vandals out.

If you have a proposal or concepts for this space, contact the city of Southfield. Mayor Siver says the spirit of Northland will be kept alive by displaying its artwork, like the Boy and the Bear sculpture throughout the community.

"We are now on a fundraising campaign to get that art out for the public to view," he said.

The transformation of Northland is not finalized and Siver admits when it is, you will not see a change overnight - but he believes the project will have a major impact.

"We believe that we will get this property back on tax rolls and recoup all of our upfront expenditures and more," he said.

The complete statement by Triumph Church said:

"Triumph Church, under the leadership of Pastor Solomon Kinloch, is committed to moving forward with its plans to redevelop the JC Penny site into a world class facility. Our new facility will not be just a sanctuary- we are not interested in just building buildings-- but creating a facility that can be used for a multiple purpose, encourage young people to attend church, and embrace the community that it serves. We are in the final stages of putting together architectural drawings, engineering estimates, and performing due diligence necessary   to start construction next year."