Southfield mayor talks new city projects in annual address

It's been a busy 125 days for Southfield Mayor Ken Siver.

During his State of the City address on Monday, Siver talked about everything from schools to jobs to redevelopment, and even the effort to stop drilling for oil in their backyard.

"We hit the ground running and there are more things to come," Siver said.

Dozens of the area’s top business leaders, politicians and other professionals attended the gathering inside the Westin Hotel and learned for the 8th year in a row, the crime rate in Southfield is down.

And what will likely also come down soon are parts of the old Northland Mall. The city council is expected to vote on a plan for the million-square-foot property at a meeting Monday evening.

"We're not going to just rush in and take any offer," Siver said. "We want to develop a space that will be mixed use. It'll be retail on Greenfield Road and will probably be RND spaces, as well as housing and public amenities. And I can't forget to mention our wonderful partner Providence Hospital, which will being taking part of the space as the hospital expands."

City leaders also recently approved $50,000 in legal fees to fight the proposed project at a church near Evergreen and 9 Mile roads.

"I am not opposed to drilling -- we all live daily by the benefits of drilling," Siver. "It's about the place, and we have a difference of opinion with Word of Faith church and the Department of Environmental Quality about whether there should be drilling in a residential area and we say no."

The mayor's number one goal is to improve the quality of life and the property values in Southfield. More than $41 million for road construction projects -- many of them slated for neighborhood streets -- will help him accomplish that.