State board OKs tax incentives for Northland mall redevelopment

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Tax incentives for the redevelopment of the Northland Center site in Southfield were approved Tuesday by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund board.

The board granted $26 million in brownfield tax credits to Michigan-based Contour Companies’ Northland City Center LLC for the $402 million project that will involve a partial demolition of the former mall and the construction of a city market and mixed-use buildings.

Northland Mall redevelopment renderings

The project at the site, which sits at the southeast corner of Southfield along Greenfield Road, is expected to be complete in 2024, officials said. 

Southfield City Administrator Fred Zorn said during the meeting Tuesday that the project “represents seven years of effort since the departure of Macy’s, Target and the bankruptcy of the mall.”

After Northland Center closed in 2015, the city of Southfield bought it for $2.4 million with plans to remediate, demolish and sell the 115-acre site. The city sold the property to Contour Companies this year.

Under the latest development plan, a portion of the mall will be rehabilitated. Fourteen buildings will be constructed on the 8,000-space parking lot surrounding the former mall.

The brownfield tax credits through the Act 381 Work Plan will offset costs to prepare the site for development. The $26 million tax increment capture will begin in 2022 and is expected to continue for 13 years. The city of Southfield is also supporting the project with $35.4 million in local tax incentives through the Act 381 Work Plan.

David Dedvukaj, a founder and chief operating office for Contour Companies, said his company first discussed developing an 11-acre parcel at the site and the project grew from there. 

“We envision creating a city within a city at Northland City Center,” he said.

According to the MEDC, the 3-million-square-foot project will include Hudson City Market, a 530,406-square-foot food and goods marketplace that will offer dining and entertainment options centered around an atrium.

The former Hudson's department store will be reformatted for the market, said Dominic Romano, community assistance team specialist with the MEDC.

"This project will be impactful and be a catalyst for Southfield and neighboring communities, Detroit and Oak Park as well as Oakland County and the state," Romano said, adding that it will address a need for housing in the area.

The project will include 254 loft-style apartments next to the market and 1,292 units throughout the 14 new buildings on the site.

Rents for a one-bedroom apartment, ranging from 720 to 1,200 square feet, will be $1.75-$1.86 per square foot, which translates to a range of $1,260-$2,232. The rates fall within the 80-100% average median income range for Oakland County, according to the MEDC.

There will be more than 674,928 square-feet of commercial space with rental rates ranging from $22-$24 per square foot. 

Public improvements will include addresses sidewalks, curbs, streetlights, water main, sanitary mains and storm water pipes, officials said.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN