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Health Care Developer, Southfield In Talks To Transform Old Northland Mall Property

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - Perhaps new life for the old Northland Mall property in Southfield, once one of the nation's oldest shopping malls.

Pacific Medical Buildings of San Diego is in talks with city officials about rebuilding part of the property for medical uses. Plans would include outpatient services, urgent care and senior housing.

The mega-outpatient community, as it's being called, would have local partnerships with the Michigan State University medical school, Providence Hospital, Lawrence Tech and Oakland Community College.

No definite plans or timetable have been set while the company looks at the project's feasibility.

The City of Southfield bought the Northland property in 2015 and razed the mall last year.

The mall, located just north of Detroit, opened in 1954. It was enclosed in 1971 and enjoyed many years of popularity until suffering a steady decline in recent years, losing both Macy's and Target — its anchor stores.

While city officials cited "changing shopping patterns" as the primary problem, shoppers complained about crime, and the struggling, half-empty mall closed permanently in 2015.

A unique feature of the property is its underground tunnel system, which opened with the mall in 1954. The tunnels were primarily used for making truck deliveries to stores, but also for storage, workshop space and even nuclear fallout shelters. The network runs several miles and includes nearly 500 rooms.

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