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the03avenger

whats the deal with Southfield

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Just wondering peoples opinion on if Southfield is ever gonna build any midrises again or has its time past for that? I find it odd that they havent built anything of significant height for at least 10 yrs now.

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Like most inner-ring suburbs, Southfield's time has come and gone, at least in terms of it ever being the "next big thing" again. That title has moved out of the area to Canton and Macomb Township, each of which are around 80,000+ in population, now. Sprawl simply begets more sprawl, and Southfield wasn't an exception. Luckily for it, though, of the older sprawlburbs, it was able to get quite a bit out of its popularity before it waned, and it's still one of the largest office centers in Metropolitan Detroit.

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But also, developers realize that they can develop retail in Southfield and feed the Detroit (city) market. One, feed those who still live in the city, and two, feed those who they know are migrating to Southfield.

And just to add, there is one development that I am aware of called 10 Ten. It's called that because it is located at 10 Mile Road and M-10, the Lodge Freeway.

http://www.10tenliving.com/

http://www.internest.com/10tendevelopment/...opment27363.asp

property27363.GIF

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who cares about building midrises in Southfeild, how 'bout they build some in Detroit. ;)

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But also, developers realize that they can develop retail in Southfield and feed the Detroit (city) market. One, feed those who still live in the city, and two, feed those who they know are migrating to Southfield.

And just to add, there is one development that I am aware of called 10 Ten. It's called that because it is located at 10 Mile Road and M-10, the Lodge Freeway.

http://www.10tenliving.com/

http://www.internest.com/10tendevelopment/...opment27363.asp

property27363.GIF

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Yah, you have great points. Southfield is no doubt a has-been. What will keep it afloat, IMO is its concentration of office space. As we see it AS A HAS-BEEN, it's like we realize office concentration did not have to be built there after all...since office (read "jobs") is being built elsewhere, typically further out. But since it's there (existing infrastructure), I think it will be a redeeming quality of SF in the future.

Racially and class speaking, I see SF getting better before it gets worse. Every time I go out there, I observe it as the "new Detroit". That's basically what it is is well-to-do blacks from Detroit embracing what they COULD have in the city and claiming it as their territory to do their business. Not in a bad or racist way, but in a functioning/working market kind of way.

But then at the same time, there are those that have been in SF for some time now and are on their wey out to Farmington Hills. It seems as if that community is heavily diversifying like SF did years ago before the demographics were majority black. It will be interesting to watch what happens to Novi. But based on what you said about Detroit, LMich, I think that could dictate patterns in the Metro...(how desirable Detroit may or may not become in the future).

To me it boils down to race (diversity) and class (the comfortability of living among socioeconomic groups closely related to your own). Will SF remain balanced like it is today, or will it continue what we've seen for the past 50 years? It's hard to say and I think we might see a little of both.

There's really not much incentive culturally, geographically, socially to live in Southfield, kinda just like all the other nondescript suburbs of Metro Detroit. What is there though is an aging housing stock, shrinking amount of available land, diversification in the population, and an AGING infrastructure.

Lots of things seem to overlap one another in what could be a fine community. It just lays in the hads of the metropolitan community and how they choose to be accountable for it.

[/ramble]

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Yeah, I'm really interested, myself, to see what will become of Southfield, socially. I'm hoping (though, I'm a bit skeptical) that the still sizable white community will stick around to maintain the diversity. I guess we'll see the make-up of the city in 2010. I'm skeptical, though, because it's mirroring, alot, what happened in Detroit. There are some substantial differences that could change that, though. The city, though, is still largely segregated. Southfield is most definitely a great social study, and a place to watch.

BTW, SmithGroup, not too long ago, did a masterplan for Southfield Town Center to actually make it into a real town center (or at least as best it can). I wonder if their planning department ever adopted it? I think Southfield's development future is in its town center, and it needs to jump on this quick.

On a side note, the office market in most of suburban Detroit has been horrible the past few years and it's not looking to get any better. The whole metro is danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant if the regions don't find some way to reinvent themselves. I mean, even Troy is hurting.

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Southfield still tops Troy probably as far as office importance...its library is kick ass though

culturally speaking it is quite unique. Most of the anglo-white gentiles moved out along time ago. The remaining population (which is probably about half black half "white") of whites is mostly comprised of jews and chaldeans/arabs. There is still a strong jewish tradition and remaining jewish institutions in Southfield, though there are no were near as many jews in Southfield now as there were 15-20 years ago. It seems to follow demographic changes of Detroit, which also had a large jewish population...during the white flight, gentiles would not sell their homes to black people, only jews would thats why they seem to follow the jewish demographic (jews in general have been moving west though West Bloomfield, North Farmington, Franklin)..I still live directly next door to Southfield though in Beverly Hills

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I'm pretty sure that Troy has been the premier office center in the Metro for at least a decade now. I think it overtook Southfield in the late 80's/early 90's in terms of office space. I'll have to try and find the current office space numbers.

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I love the Southfield skyline, I'm always amazed that it seems very dense at parts mainly the south and then there seems to be pockets of undeveloped woods and fields and very low-dense developments. I would love to see SF fill out and reach a peak population and maybe add a couple more highrises

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The skyline IS great, but really other than that, Southfield is kind of irritating...from what LMich said. It's diverse and ethnic, yet you would never guess that by just going there. There may be cultural influence, but it's all suburbanized as suburbanized as can be. You have to drive to get to it (restaurants or stores, etc). It's pretty uninspiring.

The Town Center of Southfield is actually the Cornerstone District, aka Northland (at 8 Mile and the Lodge).

Master Plan pdf:

http://www.cityofsouthfield.com/department...e86fff8271c9e78

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I've never been much a fan of the skyline, as I think it's overrated. The Town Center is literally, what, a thin line of about 5 high-rises? The rest is squattered.

Yeah, Northland has always been the historic center (or about as historic as you can get for Southfield), despite being in the very southeastern corner of the city. That's where my old childhood doctors office used to be, and of course its where everyone came to shop (i.e. northwestern Detroit and more). The Town Center is really not much more than an office park by the freeway.

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One thing ill give Southfield for a city under the 100,000 mark its skyline is comparable to some nice mid sized citys. But yeah i think its hey day is over as far as building anything with height. Places like Royal oak an Troy will see more of the bigger developments.

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I'm not sure about Royal Oak (they are trying to keep a more human scale, and I don't see anything going up taller than the Fifth in my lifetime), but Troy may see some new towers. Still, I think the days of high-rise office parks in suburban Detroit are largely gone, now, and that goes for all cities. I think the metro is to the point that the only high-rise office buildings we'll be seeing will reconcentrate back in downtown Detroit. Anything setting up in the suburbs will most likely be suburban campuses or low-rises.

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this may be a little off topic but do you think that there will be a demand for residential mid or high rises along the lake or river or even more in southfield for that matter? anyone?

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...and somewhat Lake St. Clairfront. Troy is building the Monarch. Isn't it like a 25-story condo tower? Stupid if you ask me. Just pretentious planners, developers, politicos playing with the term, "downtown". Misguided. I don't know how this thing is ever going to get fully occupied. Sure, this kind of environment works in Atlanta, but Troy? It's ugly and bland...and on top of that, residents don't want it. Can we be any more backwards than that?

Detroit is a threat. The suburbs realize that. To obtain the true highrise living experience with an actual place of to live a lifestyle on your ground floor outside the front doors, you can only get that in very few places in Michigan. The heart of Detroit is that place.

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You're not arguing that high-rise residential towers can't work in suburbs, are you? I say better in Troy, with a city that at least has the infastructure that can handle this type of stuff than say a Livingston County or Canton where it really wouldn't make sense. I can't see how the Monarch is any worse off than the 1010 you posted.

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The fact that Big Beaver is a "freeway". Heck, downtown Brighton is more traditionally urbane than Troy.

Cities/suburbs are built in certain ways and certain intents. Troy was built a certain way on purpose. It was a way in such that the Monarch goes against it in almost every way imaginable. It's hypocritical, the residents are against it (because they live in Troy in the first place because of its original intent, and that's where I have the problem.

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I agree that it's disingenuous, and that alone could make a good arguement against it, but aren't most residents against high-rises residential tower almost anywhere but in the densest of neighborhoods (when even there you bring out the NIMBY's)? To me, the fact that the residents don't want it (and I didn't get much an impression of that from the media, at least not anymore so than any other high-rises project) doesn't mean much. Seriously, what's the difference between Monarch and 1010, and why are you not also railing against 1010? Southfield is almost just as much a sprawlburb as the rest of them, the only difference being that it was the original. I guess I'm just confused about the seeming double standard, here.

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I don't mind 1010 at all. The Monarch would actually be fine in Southfield if placed away from the single family home zoned areas. It would go better with the character of Southfield than in the middle of a field in Troy.

Of course most people fight highrises. But as a planner, there are people who are justified and those who are not (as much). In my opinion, those NIMBYs in Troy are justified. Southfield has built its infrastructure up along the Lodge, revealing higher densities and therefore taller buildings. The rest of the community rose up away from that. Troy is the opposite. Southfield mixes high profile office space with high profile residential properties. Big Beaver is more or less a big business corridor, with a buffer bordering low density residential neighborhoods.

They're two completely different suburbs. I get your point, though.

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Troy may be spraled out but I think it has the potential to build more dense and more urban, they just choose to build taller buildings first, there is a lot of vacant land left to be filled in, and there can be transformations of the many surface lots and houses along big beaver into more dense housing, retail, parking structures ect. My point is, there are already a good amount of taller buildings there as well as in SF and I don;t understand the NIMBYism agaings them because its not like they are going up in Wixom.

Also I mentioned lake shore and riverfront highrises, I realize there are already some, I was wondering if there would be a demand for more in say St. clair shores, Wyandotte, mt. clemens/clinton?

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The reason why St. Clair Shores probably won't have high rises is because the shore is a bunch of canals and houses. In most places, it would require a lot of re-arranging to get something to work.

But I don't think Grosse Pointe will ever have anything tall. The south end of Saint Clair Shores is where I'd guess that developers would go from there (prefering SCS over Detroit). City service wise, it's probably better than Detroit, and it's still only 20 minutes from downtown.

Aside from the 20 or so story tower that's already in SCS, there's a 10 or 15 or 20 (I don't really remember, and it keeps on changing) planned. I'm not sure what's holding it up, and I don't know if it's ever really going to be built.

There are condo developments sprouting up on the lake south of Metro Beach, but I don't think there's any real reason for them to get any taller than they are. I'm surpised that they're even building condos in the first place.

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There are two major condo projects planned for Saint Clair Shores that have floundered because of financing and lack of demand. One Water Place is currently on hold, and I've heard nothing out of the more recently proposed Yacht Club Tower, either. Yeah, the Pointes are off-limits for this kind of development and probably should be because of their build.

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