(WXYZ) — City leaders in Sterling Heights have voted 5 to 2 to approve a deal to turn Lakeside Mall into a billion-dollar mixed-use retail, office, and residential space.
It’s a trend that's been happening for years now and something we've seen happen with the Northland Mall in Southfield, the Eastland Mall in Harper Woods, and Summit Place in Waterford.
The irreversible decline of shopping malls around the country was one of the catalysts for this decision.
“When we were going through our vision 2030 process we all saw the writing on the wall," Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool said.
In a 5-2 vote, the council rubber-stamped the plan by Lionheart Capital, a Miami-based real estate firm, to turn Lakeside Mall into “Lakeside City Center."
City leadership, along with the city’s mayor see this as a slam dunk for financial and public interest promising new jobs and further investment in the hall road corridor.
But, not everyone was celebrating during Tuesday's meeting including one community member who said they feel like the city hasn’t been transparent enough about the process.
Out-of-the-box Ventures bought the mall in 2019 with the vision for redevelopment.
“There has been no reports about this particular subject that went out to the public where they understand it,” the community member said.
“What’s going to happen with us," a man who runs a jewelry shop inside Lakeside said. "When are we going to move out? One year? Two years?”
The developers say this redevelopment will be a lengthy process. They aren't expected to break ground until the end of 2024 at the earliest. The entire process could take 12 years and it will be done in phases.
The first phase is adding some retail and repositioning existing anchor stores.
Macy’s and JCPenny will remain at the mall during and post construction.