Shuttered Macy's at Northland Mall may become luxury condos

Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 16:15:12-04

What was once the largest shopping mall in the world when it opened in 1954 may now pave the way for modern malls facing demolition because of changing retail habits. 

"When Northland was built, it changed retailing in the world," said Southfield Mayor Ken Siver, who has big plans for the now-shuttered mall. 

Southfield took over the vacant Northland Center in December of 2015, and now the mayor wants to make it a mixed-use campus. 

"Be a shame to tear it down. This building is extremely well built," he said. 

The old Macy's could turn into lofts with residential parking -- inside of the building. 

"So for instance, I have a loft on the fourth floor. I drive my car to the fourth floor. I get out. Open the down, go down the hall and I'm in my unit," said Siver. 

However, the rest of the property, which is about 125 acres total, will be torn down and re-developed into parks, offices, restaurants and medical buildings.

"Providence Hospital has expressed strong interest in moving southward," he explained. "Their campus is full."

Michael Manion, Southfield community relations director said the city is trying to determine how to re-develop an intricate maze of underground tunnels that run throughout the whole mall and were used for shipping and receiving.  

Manion said they are looking at models of a Korean city that filled the tunnels with water to make small rivers that flow throughout the development. 

But as for the condo's inside Macy's dubbed "Luxury of Space" there is work to be done before major construction can happen. First, crews have to remove asbestos and then construction could start by next year.

"By the time we get rid of asbestos, easements, shopping, financing, but this is our plan and we think it's very viable," said Siver.

The mayor will speak about the details during his State of the City address tonight.

For more information,