This year’s Southfield State of the City Address, hosted by the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by St. John Providence, was held on March 19 at the Shriner’s Silver Garden Event Center in Southfield.
Southfield city officials and business professionals gathered to hear Mayor Kenson Siver share the city’s successes in 2017 and initiatives for 2018. Among the attendees were representatives from all of the event sponsors—Ascension, Lawrence Technological University, Everstream, TCT, Cybernoor, Motor City Mini, the Better Business Bureau, and Pinnacle.
The event started with a welcoming message and remarks from Tanya Markos-Vanno, Executive Director of the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, who highlighted the organization’s recent achievements, which included 21 ribbon-cutting ceremonies, 44 events, and 68 new members.
Health & Wellness
The next speaker was Joe Hurshe, President of St. John Providence Hospital, who shared some exciting investments and innovations the health system is developing. To date, the Southfield hospital has been awarded the designation of a Top 100 Hospitals in the U.S. for the tenth year in a row—an honor that speaks volumes to the expertise and customer service they provide. Providence Hospital continues to grow, with new services lines and programs like Mobile Units that will provide mammography, heart, and vascular screenings.
Hurshe also emphasized the fact that Providence is a regionally and nationally preferred academic teaching center, with 16 different residencies, fellowships, and research programs that are connected to Michigan State University, Lawrence Technological University, and the American University of the Caribbean.
Additionally, another local health system, Beaumont Health, has just purchased an office building on Northwestern Highway in order to consolidate its support operations.
Following Hurshe, Kelly Garrett, the first African American Mayor of Lathrup Village, talked about ways in which her city is supporting their community and the City of Southfield.
There are new officials in place that will help Lathrup continue to thrive, including Sheryl Mitchell, the new City Administrator, and Scott McKee, the new Police Chief. Lathrup Village’s current developments include constructing the residential Townhomes of Lathrup and the expansion of The Michigan First Credit Union, which will add 100 new jobs to the area.
When it was time for the formal State of the City Address, Mayor Siver shared that Southfield is focused on reinvesting in and renewing the city.
The first topic was construction and renovation projects. With a $30.3 million budget, the city is venturing to repave 246 miles of local roads, including Eleven Mile, Nine Mile, Evergreen Road, Lahser Road, and Franklin Road. Planned construction for the year will also roll out across housing, business development, and efforts to enhance the community.
Southfield has always worked to maintain attractive, safe neighborhoods for its residents and continues to pursue projects that support the beautification and safety of these spaces, in order to drive out blight.
To do this, the City wants to improve public infrastructure, raise property values, and assist homeowners and renters with yard care. Programs that support these efforts include Oakland Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity – Rock the Block, the Southfield Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (SNRI), and the Big Rake—a neighborhood clean-up effort that last year brought together 350 volunteers to rake 120 yards in six days!
Additionally, Spring Haven Apartments is a new residential building under construction and will provide more luxury apartment living options in Southfield.
The Southfield Town Center is undergoing $56 million in renovations this year, with upgrades that include parking structure and infrastructure repairs, as well as modern design makeovers of the lobbies and a new conference center.
The Southfield Westin Hotel just completed the reconstruction of guest rooms, meeting rooms, and public spaces. Likewise, the Best Western Premier Hotel (the venue for last year’s State of the City Address) is now a destination for business travelers and business meetings or conferences after $3.6 million in upgrades to the hotel and the restaurant (which is now called The Nomad Grill). Additionally, a $6 million, 20,000 sq.-ft. Southfield Conference Center is to be built on 12 Mile, just east of Inkster Road.
Adding to those developments, more than 17 new businesses joined the Southfield business district. Vibe Credit Union built a new store in the City Centre, Kroger just completed a $1.6 million renovation, and New Seoul Garden is working on a total remodel and will reopen later this year. Further, automotive and technology giants Stefanini, Autoliv, and Lear have expanded operations in Southfield.
One of the biggest and most exciting redevelopments is that of Northland Mall! This complicated undertaking has made huge advancements in demolition and unraveling the 33 property easements placed on the space (they are down to one easement!). The city is also stockpiling dirt that will fill the old shipment tunnels beneath the complex. Among other businesses that are considering moving into the new Northland space, St. John Providence Hospital will a 30-acre site for their new Pacific Medical Building.
This year marks the City of Southfield’s 60th Anniversary! To promote Southfield and engage the community, the City will be putting on some of its signature events including the Summer Soulstice Fun Run, the Corporate Challenge, Eat to the Beat, Jazz & Blues, and A Taste of Southfield.
Recent recreational improvements to Southfield include a pedestrian loop that adds more walkable space to the community, a bike-sharing program with seven locations around the city (LTU, Civic Center, Marriot Courtyard, Town Center, City Centre), and the Red Pole Park public art installation along Northwestern Highway.
Southfield is also increasing the presence of public art throughout the city, and after securing 18 pieces of artwork from Northland Mall. ‘The Pioneer Family II’ sculpture has been installed at the Mary Thompson Farm, the ‘Soral Elrog’ sculpture has been put in the south garden of the Municipal Building, and The Boulder Garden at Carpenter Lake is under construction.
While there were many more announcements and impressive accomplishments shared in the 2018 State of the City Address, the idea that Southfield is actively working to ‘Reinvest & Renew’ is the inspiring thought that makes us excited for what’s to come!