Southfield is an international city bustling with people from a rich array of cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, including large African American, Armenian, Chaldean, Jewish and Russian populations. As Southfield’s demographics have changed, so too has the city’s approach to reaching and engaging the community. City leaders actively engage residents, through its boards & commissions, public meetings, and town halls, to gather input that is used to help shape policies and programs that reflect the community’s vision. In response to that input, the City of Southfield has increasingly focused on creating more reflective and inclusive community programming in addition to a more walkable downtown area.
Supporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement
As a community with a majority African American population, Southfield residents and officials have been particularly touched and impacted by the historic and recent acts of police brutality and racial injustice.
In response to the most recent national tragedy of the murder of George Floyd, the city installed new Black Lives Matter and Southfield Strong banners. The banner installation was just one of the city’s responses to the tragedy.
Protecting a Community of Color during the COVID-19 Pandemic
In response to the pandemic, Southfield declared a State of Emergency on March 13, 2020 and immediately activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Since that time, efforts to support the community and keep residents safe have been extensive.
Parks & Recreation Operations
Public Library Operations
Creating Affordable Housing Options and Sustainability through Adaptive Reuse
The City of Southfield is home to a significant and growing number of both senior adults and low- to moderate-income individuals and families who need safe, clean, and affordable housing options.
To provide that level of housing stock and opportunity, Southfield recently invested almost $20 million in two affordable senior housing developments. A tax credit financing and a construction loan was procured to renovate McDonnell Tower Apartments and the tower and townhomes at River Park Place. In addition to the renovations, upgrades to improve energy efficiency are expected to lower residents’ monthly utility costs and reduce the carbon footprint of the buildings.
The project included extensive exterior and interior renovations and energy-efficient upgrades. Additionally, the buildings received community amenity additions, including a new activities center, a café, a game room and an exercise room.
In 2015, the City of Southfield purchased the shuttered Northland Center mall, once the largest shopping mall in the world, with plans to remediate, demolish and sell the property to a qualified developer.
Following the purchase of Northland in 2015, the city held several “Imagine the Possibilities” public input meetings with the community to share their ideas and input for the future of the former mall site. The city held strong to that community vision for four years with little developer interest until Contour Companies of Bloomfield Hills came along.
Contour Companies proposed a true dynamic mixed-use redevelopment including apartments at various rental rates, retail and restaurants, office and green space that very closely mirrors the city’s original vision for the Northland redevelopment based upon residents’ collective input.
The purchase agreement with Contour Companies was approved along with a master plan for the 114-acre redevelopment.