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In another big blow, Northland Mall to lose Macy's

via shopatnorthland.com

Another major retailer is bowing out of Southfield’s struggling Northland mall.

Macy’s announced this week that it’s shuttering 14 stores nationwide—including the Northland location.

It’s yet another serious blow to Northland: Target also recently announced plans to close its Northland location this year. The mall itself is in receivership.

The Macy’s location has been “a major piece of property” in Southfield for decades, says acting Southfield Mayor Donald Fracassi.

It was initially the site of the first suburban Hudson’s department store, as retailers increasingly left Detroit’s downtown core starting in the 1950s. Northland grew up around it in subsequent years, becoming one of the country’s first suburban malls.

Now, it’s unclear what will happen to the site. Fracassi says the Macy’s news came as a surprise to city officials, and there’s no clear strategy to deal with it yet.

But, “The fact does remain that they are closing it, and we’re going to have to deal with it as a city,” Fracassi said.

The mall complex sits on 116 acres in Southfield’s Downtown Development District, and its “success…directly affects the property tax revenues of the [Southfield Downtown Development Authority] and the City of Southfield,” according to 2013 city documents.

It also provides some revenues to the Oak Park Public Schools, according to Fracassi.

Another complicating factor for any potential re-development plans: Macy’s owns the property, but it’s enclosed by the mall.

“Whether it could be annexed into Northland properties, whether it’s going to be sold off as-is…that is a big question right now,” Fracassi said.  

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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