On Jan. 5, 2015, Waterford officials placed condemnation signs on exterior doors at the nearly 2 million-square-foot property.
What would you as a developer do with the property?
I can see a quarter of the space available being used in a retail nature for a power center regional retailer like a Sam’s Club, Walmart, Lowe’s or Home Depot, but envision the rest of the space being used for an office, high tech, research or light industrial facility.Maybe it even becomes a hub location for a UPS or similar shipping providers to build a distribution facility.
The property’s location has good characteristics, including good exposure on Telegraph Road and easy access from I-75, but I don’t see it as a regional retail development space anymore.
So No More Retail
What happened with Summit Place Mall is that that geographic spot was the right location in the 1950s through the 1980s.
As developments happened in Auburn Hills and Bloomfield Hills, Summit Place Mall became outflanked as a regional retail corridor because of the demographics of the subject property relative to the other options out there.
So Bloomfield Plaza area developed into a regional retail corridor (Telegraph-Square Lake area). Likely, what is going to happen is the Kmart will be a good candidate to be cut up into additional high-end retail.
Eventually, the Bloomfield Park project, which has been sitting idle, will get developed into some type of power center retail.
Then you have the projects in Auburn Hills—Great Lakes Crossing and Ramco’s Auburn Mile—those kind of became the new regional retail hubs and took out Summit Place Mall in terms of that characteristic as a result of the demographics of that project.
What are the site’s positives and negatives?
There are many positive aspects of this property. It’s got great Telegraph frontage and the location is a large, available track of land.
Waterford is a forward-thinking community that would be very supportive of a good development on the parcel and there is good access and egress.
The property also is located in a major corridor.
Some of the challenges include the demographics and outflanking of this location with the developments in Auburn Hills and Bloomfield Hills.
Demolition costs and potential environmental mediations also present obstacles.
Is there another property to compare?
We have not seen a property like Summit Place Mall in a long time, so there is not much to which we can compare it.