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Judge To Rule Whether Half-Empty, Crime-Plagued Northland Mall Will Close

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - Is it just about last call for Northland Mall?

An Oakland County Circuit judge on Wednesday will be asked to board up the once popular shopping center, and evict all remaining tenants, after the owners defaulted on a $31 million loan.

About half the stores are already closed.

"Today is the busiest day that I've seen it in about a month, because they know it's busy and they're looking for sales," one Ann Arbor resident, who walks the mall on her lunch hour, said Tuesday.

Several people talking to WWJ's Sandra McNeill, including Linda Perry, say the problem is too much crime.

"I was in here one day in the summer and I heard this boom...and someone was shooting in the food court," Perry said. "And, you know, the elderly people come and get their hair done. Well that day there must have been four or five elderly women; their husband told them they couldn't come back here — it's too dangerous."

Perry blames the mall's management, adding that the place could be cleaner.

Brittany Brazil, who drove up from Dearborn just to shop at the mall, said she'd be sad to see Northland go.

"Some things they don't have at all the other malls, I can come here and get it, so it used to be my favorite mall, but it's going down now," Brazil said. "I mean, they closing everything. Macy's is one of the biggest stores in here, and they're closing it."

"There's nothing here now but boutiques, but I still shop at some boutiques and the Kid's Foot Locker for my kids," she added.

Mohammmad Hardwallah, who's worked at the U.S. Jewelers stand for the past five years, is concerned for locals who don't have many options.

"A lot of people here, whenever they come to the mall they don't have the transportation and they come on the bus," Hardwallah said. "I don't know how they'll survive and where they'll go for their shopping, with all the unemployment in Detroit. So this is going to be very bad for Detroit and Michigan."

Many remaining tenants at the mall told WWJ they haven't been given a lot of information and don't know where they'll move if the mall shuts down.

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