Everything Old Is New Again
Meadowbrook Village is being transformed into Michigan’s first lifestyle center
By Randall Shearin, Shopping Center Business
Though Oakland County, Michigan is the nation’s second wealthiest county with a population over 1 million, the area has recently begun to introduce new shopping center concepts and renovations to area consumers. The 2002 opening of Meadowbrook Village in Rochester Hills will debut the first town center retail concept to the state.
Meadowbrook Village will be constructed on the site of the current Meadowbrook Mall, a one level regional shopping center owned and managed by Robert B. Aikens & Associates for the past 30 years. The original center, developed in the early 1970s as a neighborhood mall, has undergone numerous renovations over the years. Yet none were of the scale or magnitude of this rendition.
"Oakland County demographics, particularly those in the Rochester Hills area, could not be ignored,” explains Bruce Aikens, executive vice president of development for Robert B. Aikens & Associates. “Additionally, the site is located just off I-75, the state's major thoroughfare, providing easy access and ample opportunity for tourist traffic.
Anchored by the state's second Parisian department store, the 354,000 square foot center is located in the heart of Oakland County's growth area. Within a 10-minute drive from the center, there exists a population of 494,000 with more than 17,000 new homes constructed in the last four years. The average household income within this same radius is over $100,000. The affluence of the center's immediate trade area is exemplified by the 567 homes — each starting at $1 million — being constructed only miles from Meadowbrook Village.
Currently, this pocket of affluent consumers has to travel 30 to 45 minutes to reach a regional mall. The upscale demographics of this trading area, combined with relatively few lifestyle shopping options within the immediate trade area, led Robert B. Aikens & Associates to create a mosaic of retailers that meets the needs of this community. The newly constructed center will also include respected national retailers in various segments, including apparel, home and entertainment.
While the developer has focused on attracting leading retailers to the center, Aikens has also compiled a team of experts to ensure that this project's quality is unrivaled in the state. JPRA of Farmington Hills, Michigan, will oversee the architecture while Grissim Metz Associates, also of Farmington Hills, will be the project's landscape architect. Both firms come to the project with extraordinary credentials, including The Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan.
"We understand that the key to creating a true Town Center is the sense of place it creates," explains Aikens. "We want to ensure that this project is creatively designed and effectively implemented. In addition to a shopping center, Meadowbrook Village will also serve a downtown gathering place in the midst of this suburban enclave."
Robert B. Aikens & Associates broke ground on the project in October. Meadowbrook Village is scheduled to be complete by Spring, 2002.
The introduction of the town center concept to Michigan marks an important advancement in retail development for the region. Just as communities increasingly lament the loss of community-oriented developments and shopping options, Meadowbrook Village will act as the litmus test for the town center concept within the Motor City.