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The Detroit area is seen by some as a bellweather for a number of conditions. Shopping malls sprouted up in upwardly mobile suburban destinations pulling consumers to experience “a day shopping at the mall”. They have been a common destination around the holidays for buying presents for everyone on your list.
However there’s been a remarkable shift in our buying habits. Online shopping has become more common place. As the internet bounced to life in the 1990’s consumers were extremely wary of putting their information online. Many cautiously created pseudonyms and kept our financial transactions offline. During the 2000’s confidence grew. People were finding jobs online (for example through Monster) and realizing if they practice some simple security and held online vendors to account. In roughly 20 years since the birth of the graphic internet the amount of online sales escalates daily and “offline” shopping experiences are fading as a result. Amazon reported $243.8 million in daily sales in 2014.
Dead and Dying Shopping Malls
A handful of metro Detroit’s dying malls were demolished in the past decade and redeveloped into open-air big box retail centers, such as the former Livonia Mall, the Universal Mall in Warren and Wonderland Mall in Livonia.
Summit Place Mall
Dave Hills, Waterford building inspector, left, places a condemnation sign on one of the eastern main entrances of the Summit Place Mall as John Phebus, Waterford Regional Fire Dept. lieutenant inspector, looks on. 1/5/15 Photo by Carol Hopkins, The Oakland Press
Summit Place Mall in Pontiac now has a condemned notice posted. The mall spans nearly 2 million square feet at the intersection of Telegraph and Elizabeth Lake Roads.
Northland Center Mall
Macy’s is one of those “anchor” stores that malls seek out… however the retailer is making the shift away from brick-and-mortar to embrace online sales. 170 sales associates at Northland Center Mall are seeking work now as the store prepares to close next month. Another anchor store, Target, closed earlier this month.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Wendy Potts said she saw few alternatives to closing the shopping landmark, as the mall is losing nearly $250,000 a month and will lack any anchor stores once Macy’s leaves
Northland’s court-appointed receiver will soon begin issuing 30-day eviction notices to the remaining 70 or so stores.
Northland Mall was deemed in receivership today and its tenant stores notified they would be forced to close. There are three potential parties interested in the mall, including the City of Southfield.
Northland Center opened in 1954 and was expanded and enclosed in the early 1970s.
After years of decline, the mall fell into receivership last fall after defaulting on a $31-million loan.
The property has been owned since late 2008 by a subsidiary of New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition, which also owns Eastland Center mall.
It would take an estimated $6 million or more to restore Northland to a “functioning shopping mall” due to the extent of the building’s deterioration. The mall also has $3 million in unpaid bills, including $700,000 in overdue water bills.
#DetroitWater – Corporate vs Residential
Detroit residents face the very real possibility of having the water on their homes shutoff if their balance is $150 or more for more than 2 months. Upwards of 300,000 Detroit residents have had their water shutoff since the aggressive shutoff contract with Homerich was approved. This contract was brought before the Detroit Bankruptcy court proceedings and Judge Rhodes ruled it as a fair and legal process by the City of Detroit.
However the same manner of treatment for corporate customers doesn’t exist. Northland Mall hasn’t had a day when the water was shutoff for non-payment of the outstanding water bill now at $700,000, which isn’t likely to be collected.