Celebrating the City in Style
This year’s State of the City Address was hosted by the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce at the newly-redeveloped Best Western Premier Hotel. It was a red carpet event where all the movers and shakers of the City of Southfield gathered to hear about the recent accomplishments and exciting new initiatives Southfield has in store.
The event opened with networking and a spread of booths featuring new businesses and projects happening in Southfield. Cuisine was provided by The Epicurean Group and included artistic displays of seafood, salads and more—like an “edible black olive dirt” vegetable tray! The main hall where the Address was given was beautifully designed and each place setting got a sneak peak of the new Northland Mall redevelopment campaign—The Heart of It All.
News from The Mayor of Lathrup Village
After opening remarks from Tanya Markos-Vanno, the Executive Director of the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Paula Tutman, DVIC’s Local 4 journalist, the City of Lathrup Village Major Frank Brock took the stage. The City of Southfield and Lathrup Village have always been strong partners—Lathrup Village contracts Southfield for dispatch, fire and EMS services, and Lathrup Village supports our growth and redevelopment initiatives.
One of the biggest improvements the cities have collaborated on lately is the reconstruction of Evergreen Road, which they hope to repeat with Southfield Road. Another redevelopment project headed by Lathrup Village is the expansion and transformation of a shopping center into the new 178,000 sq. ft. headquarters for Michigan’s First Credit Union. This project will bring in $24 million worth of work. Construction is to begin in spring of 2017 and will be completed over the course of the next two years.
In addition to the redevelopment project, Lathrup Village is also focused on supporting the Business District with walkability and green space projects as well as providing cultural experiences through their community events. Their Farmer’s Market will open on May 10, their Summer in the Village event is scheduled for June 18 and they’ll be hosting a two-day Jazz Festival August 11 and 12!
The State of the City Address from The Mayor of the City of Southfield
City of Southfield Mayor Kenson Siver has an impressive history. He has lived and worked in Southfield for almost 50 years—teaching English, Journalism and American History; acting as an educational superintendent; authoring three publications (including books about Southfield); serving on the city council since 2001; and serving as Mayor since 2015.
His State of the City Address focused on Southfield being “Redevelopment Ready” with plans in place to support a more sustainable future—a “Sustainable Southfield”. He expressed that as an established community, Southfield’s future lies in renewal and redevelopment and they have outlined a new five-year master plan that includes an approved economic development strategy.
To kick off the announcement of new initiatives, the Mayor talked about advances in the redevelopment of Northland Mall—a project he is incredible passionate about and referred to as “the biggest undertaking we’ve ever done as a city.” The City has developed a vision for a mixed-use space and will begin demolition in the spring or summer. The Hudson’s building will be one of the first priorities. In hopes to save a piece of history, they are planning an adaptive reuse of the Hudson building that will include retail and loft apartments with drive-up parking.
The Southfield City Centre will also be updated with the development of 8.5 acres at the intersection Evergreen and Civic Centre Drive and plans to create mixed-use spaces a more walkable community called “EverCentre”. Additionally, last year’s redevelopment of Evergreen Road was a huge success that elicited four awards and the Arbor Lofts’ expansion adds 70-80 modern townhouses to Southfield.
Lawrence Technological University will also experience growth with the new Taubman Complex, a first-time football field and team, a new 320-student dormitory and the establishment of the LTU Collaboratory.
In the residential space, Southfield has pursued housing redevelopment and neighborhood reinvestment initiatives that include the rehabilitation of 45 tax-foreclosed properties and 480 units in the McDonnell Towers and River Park Place.
Public art initiatives have also become a priority for Southfield. A recent campaign to save the art collection from Northland Mall yielded $601,086 and new sculptures have been placed around town—you can find out about all the art throughout the city in the new Public Arts Guide.
For infrastructure, Southfield accomplished a lot in 2016. The city repaved 12 miles of major roads and neighborhood streets, and completed work on 53,591 ft. of water mains, 1,884 feet of sewer lines and 2.7 miles of new sidewalks—bringing in $40 million in projects.
On the education front, the Southfield 20/20 program was implemented by the Board of Education, a new High School for Arts & Technology opened and a new building for Yashiva Beth Yehudah school is underway. There were also great business expansions and business openings over the past year including Detroit vs. Everybody, 123 Net and Sandler & Travis (which will add 300 jobs).
With all these new developments, the Mayor joked that 2016 was the “year of the ribbon cutting.” He closed his speech by expressing his passion and excitement for all the new initiatives and developments as well as the team behind it that shares in common goals, which will empower a more Sustainable Southfield. “It’s a great time to be in Southfield!”
Thank You to The Event Sponsors
The closing remarks of the ceremony were given by David Dallo, Chairman of the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, who thanked everyone who attended and contributed to the event. The State of the City Address was sponsored by The City of Southfield, Blue Cross Blue Shield, St. John Providence, Sandler & Travis, Southfield City Centre, DENSO, Lawrence Technological University, Beaumont, St. Anne’s Mead, TCT, Airea and Pinnacle.