Summit Place Mall; Waterford, Michigan

Summit Place Mall pylon in Waterford, MI

Dear readers, I’m back from my extended weekend in the Detroit area.  Why Detroit, you ask?  Well, the area has always fascinated me beyond belief.  The way the entire city is this fallow wasteland, seeming as though it is sleeping, like some sort of urban garden that hasn’t been watered in a while.  Juxtapose that with the booming, successful suburbs, which is where most of the commerce in the metro Detroit area takes place, and it makes for an interesting exploration.  Not to mention all the abandoned neighborhoods that have been converted to this eerie urban prairie of overgrown grasses, trees, and weeds.   And the malls.  Nearly all of the malls in the metro Detroit area have some interesting design features about them, whether they’re extremely dated, nearly dead, or remarkably amazing and successful.  Not surprisingly, Summit Place Mall in northwest suburban Waterford is no exception.

Summit Place Mall opened in 1962 along Telegraph Road in the midst of Oakland County’s suburban boom.  While the mall is technically located in Waterford Township, across Telegraph is the city of Pontiac.  Oakland county’s most urban city, Pontiac is definitely separate from the suburban millieu that sprawls across much of Oakland County; it is its own city, and grew up not only because of Detroit but in tandem with it as well.  It should also be mentioned here that Oakland County is the richest county in the state of Michigan, and aside from the Grosse Pointe areas along the shores of Lake St. Clair, it houses the cities with the highest per-capita income.  Essentially, when everything (and everyone) left the city of Detroit, it came to places like Oakland County, leaving behind massive swaths of wasteland in Detroit, but concurrently building up a sprawling infrastructure of suburbia: Interstate highways, subdivisions, commercial and industrial parks, and shopping malls.

When Summit Place Mall opened, it was much smaller than it is today.  It had two anchor stores: Hudson’s and Montgomery Ward, and a row of stores along an enclosed hallway between them.  In 1973, a Sears was attached to the north end of the mall; however, the mall portion was not extended to Sears.  Instead, Sears was essentially a standalone store tacked onto the north side of the mall.  Eventually, developers realized the potential with this burgeoning, successful property and opened a JCPenney store behind Wards on the west side of the mall in 1988.  Also during 1988, the mall was extended to JCPenney from Ward’s and again extended to the north to Sears, making it mall accessible for the first time after 15 years.  By 1990, the mall added a Mainstreet (later and currently Kohl’s) store between Wards and Sears and a new food court was built to accomodate trends and the massive shopping crowds.  A Service Merchandise was also added to the Hudson’s (Marshall Field’s) end of the mall.  During the 1990s, this mall was the place to be.  Several large strip malls were built on the outlots or just across from the mall, including a Sam’s Club, Target, HQ, Builders Square, Circuit City, major grocery, Sports Authority, and Best Buy, with space for even more.

The pinnacle of success was breached in about 1995, with the closure of HQ in the plaza on the north outlot of the mall.  Shockingly, and as a testament to the mall’s dramatically fast failure, the HQ stands vacant and preserved today.  However, the mall continued to prosper into the late 1990s until a deafening blow came with the opening of Great Lakes Crossing, a major, outlet/hybrid (think the Mills malls) enclosed mall in Auburn Hills, just a few miles away.  The grocery store (Farmer Jack) and Sports Authority closed up shop, leaving more vacancies in the outlots.  In 2001, the mall saw more changes and another blow as Montgomery Ward closed up shop.  Also in 2001, Hudson’s was rebranded Marshall Fields, though the store essentially remained the same aside from the name change.  Many national brand retailers left the mall for greener pastures (Great Lakes Crossing) and also stores in the outlots left as well.  From the late 90s to the early 2000s, the mall’s vacancy rate jumped from 20% to 50%.  The mall was sold.

abandoned HQ in Waterford, MI

Today, there are talks about what can be done with this giant center to make it profitable again.  In her Oakland Press article, Lara Mossa wrote that in November of 2005 there were plans to demolish approximately half of the center and replace it with housing, making the mall a mixed-use development.  She also reported that the new owner Namco also wanted to put a water park in the mall, but was unable to find the financing to do so.  The article also reports the dramatically fast downturn of the mall.  As recently as 1998, the mall employed 1800 people; today it employs 400.  Other reports from more unofficial sources have heard rumors that the entire mall will be torn down for a condo development.

The decor of Summit Place is also interesting.  Since many stores abruptly left since the late 1990s, many storefronts which are vacant are quite dated.  Some vacant storefronts have ads for other stores in the mall, notably for Marshall Field’s.  A large child’s play area sits on the concourse with the most stores, the original concourse between Marshall Field’s and dead Montgomery Ward.  Between Montgomery Ward and Sears the stores are sparse, and all the way down by the Kohl’s wing there is almost no activity whatsoever.  The food court has one lone pretzel vendor.  Between Montgomery Ward and Sears there is also a very strange display of plastic trees and stuffed animals that is almost disturbing.

What will become of Summit Place Mall?  Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the 1.5 million square foot center is far too large for its current demand.  However sad the mall is, though, people still continue to shop there.  The Marshall Field’s is slated to become a Macy’s in mid-2006 and will not close, at least right away.  The Sears and Kohl’s at the mall do fine for themselves, it’s just the two dozen or so remaining tenants in the mall that are problematic.  If anyone has any more info, contributions are always welcome.  Pictures taken by me, July 2006.

2009 UPDATE:  After protracted suffering, Summit Place Mall officially closed in September 2009. 

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158 Responses to “Summit Place Mall; Waterford, Michigan”

  1. That Marshall Fields had to have been something else originally? We have stores here with the exact same exterior facade.

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  2. As far as I know, it was always a Hudson’s from the early 60s until 2001 when Target Corp. changed Dayton’s and Hudson’s into their “more venerable” Marshall Field’s brand. Also, I know the store was completely renovated from top to bottom in 1994.  Maybe that’s a clue.  I’m sure some of our readers know for sure; maybe they can help.

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  3. The Hudson’s was originally a Hudson’s Budget Store, it later turned into a full scale Hudson’s.

    Also, there was a Kresge center court when the mall first opened. I think DEB Shop is there now. (Was?)

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  4. Any chance this could’ve been a Taubman built mall? The place looks too cheapened now which is why I say “built as” a Taubman. Those ceilings are making me think so…

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    ohio Reply:

    @XISMZERO, If you look at the early pictures (when it was originally named Pontiac Mall) it looks nothing like a Taubman-built mall.

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    ohio Reply:

    @ohio, the early pictures can be seen here:

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/11/pontiac-mall-now-summit-place.html

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  5. I don’t think so. If it were a Taubman it’d be two story with a big-@$$ center court.

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  6. Hey I live in the Pontiac area (neighboring Waterford) and I used to shop at Summit Place when I was in middle school and then-like everyone else- started shopping at Great Lakes Crossing when it opened (in fact I work there now).

    Anyway to update on Summit Place, I drove by there a couple of days ago to shop @ Target and in the HQ space, they recently opened a Steve & Barry’s University store (a college clothing store). I did’nt walk in but it looks like they opened up in half of the HQ space. And from what I know, the Macy’s is doing enough business to stay at Summit.

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  7. I remember shopping there many years ago, back in the 70s, when the place was called the Pontiac Mall (big “the Mall” in red letters at the front of the main mall entrance). My parents and I always went there through the late 1970s, it was THE place to go back then. Montgomery Ward and Sears were their favorite places to shop.

    It’s good to see that Steve and Barry’s has moved into that empty HQ space. I had heard that S&B relocated there from Great Lakes Crossing, which is several miles away. Perhaps a pattern? One can only hope.

    Waterford Township is holding a series of meetings in the next several months, where the planning commission’s made Summit Place and its surroundings its focus for 2007. Stay tuned.

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  8. The S&B @ Great Lakes is always packed (because it’s almost in the middle of the mall) and does great business so I don’t think there relocating. They just added another store near Summit Place.

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  9. I just realized the S$B @ Great Lakes is closing, and has made the Summit Locale it’s new location. Weird because Summit is’nt much of a retail destination anymore.

    I noticed a couple of other stores at Great Lakes closing, hopefully it’s not a pattern.

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  10. I can’t find anything about Steve & Barry’s closing at Great Lakes Crossing. What’s your source DRoman?

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  11. I work at Great Lakes Crossing (in District 1) and I walk by S&B all the time. THere’s signs at both entrances that say the store is closing on the 14th and will be at the Summit Place Location.

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  12. Weird. Wasn’t that the first mall based Steve & Barry’s?

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  13. A co-worker of mine said it was, but I’m not sure. Still I think S&B was one of the main attractions for Great Lakes (I see on average about 5 people a min with a S&B bag). I think their closing is going to affect the mall traffic, unless another store fills that space fast.

    Oh and just sending in a request to have Great Lakes Crossing featured on labelscar as well. :D

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  14. Once I get a car (hopefully within this lifetime), maybe I’ll get around and blog about some of the more unusual malls in the Midwest.

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  15. There has been a rumor going around that Target will be closing soon. Has anyone heard that too….I hope it isn’t true.

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  16. This is still my favorite mall in the area, even though there are virtually no stores left. I like the ambience and the memories of what it used to be.

    I went there in mid-January (2007) and again today (February 2007). In less than one month’s time, Bath and Body Works closed down, too. Interestingly, all of the mall maps had been updated with the change.

    If you look closely at some of the abandoned stores, you can see where the old name labels used to be (the lights or glue left a slight residue on some storefronts).

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  17. I too remember this as a wonderful place to shop. I have lived in W’frd for 34 years and basically grew up in “the mall”. It was always the place to go for anything. I miss being able to run up to the mall to shop on my lunch hour or just not having to take hours to run to Great Lakes or Twelve Oaks for shopping. I really wish the owner would try to do something productvie with the mall and not just take the tax credits. If they did mixed use that would be fine- put up some nice brownstone style housing, some green for area w/a park like setting, still have shopping and add offices above them or around. Or even a YMCA would be great. People would have a specific reason to come and then could do some shopping before or after.

    Yes, Target is trying to move to the corner of M-59 (Highland Rd) & Elizabeth Lk Rd in Waterford. While it is nice having that target – they need to update it.

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  18. I agree that a YMCA or some community-based business would help Summit, but I don’t think there’s any plans to get Summit back on it’s feet.

    And with Target moving away from Summit West, then that’s going to kill off the DOTS, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and the Game stop stores that are left on that side.

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  19. There is work in progress to bring the summit mall back to life and make it a thriving part of the community. a possible ymca, condos, offices, retail, nature destinations are all being considered. to get involved or to give your extrememly needed suggestions, attend the public meetings. call 248.674.6255 for date(s) and locations, see the waterford web site, or write to Waterford Planning, 5200 Civic Center, Waterford 48329. the mall’s location could serve several communities and provide jobs. Any ideas?

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  20. We are trying to remember names of some of the stores that were there long ago, not the anchors. ie: Winkleman’s, limited express, van horne’s,etc Help, it’s giving us brain cramps! (1980′s and early 90′s)

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    S. Osier Reply:

    Bakers Shoe Store, Foot Locker, a Leather Coat store that was across from the jewerly store, Express, JC Crew or something to that affect, also My Photographers. There was that “gag” store with funny gifts, I forget the name though. There used to be a “pop corn” store down by the Ruby Tues Hall way, before exiting the Mall.

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  21. This isn’t a complete listing as far as I know, but I did find these stores in a 1989 phone book.

    Anchors
    Hudson’s
    JC Penney
    Jo-Ann Fabrics
    Kohl’s
    Montgomery Ward
    Sears
    Woolworth Express

    Accessories
    Afterthoughts
    Claire’s Boutique

    Books, Gifts
    B. Dalton Bookseller
    Things Remembered
    Waldenbooks

    Clothing
    American Eagle Outfitters
    Au Coton
    B & C Clothing
    Casual Corner
    Chess King
    Foxmoor
    Gantos
    The Gap
    Lane Bryant
    The Limited
    Limited Express
    Marianne
    Sizes Unlimited
    Wilson’s Leather

    Electronics/Entertainment
    Musicland
    Radio Shack
    Record Town
    Summit Place Cinemas

    Jewelery
    LeRoy Jewelers
    JB Robinson Jewelers
    Shifrin’s Jewelers
    Zales Jewelers

    Restaurants/Food
    Burger King
    Coffee Beanery
    Fannie May
    Hot Sam Pretzels
    Kerby’s Koney Island
    Olga’s Kitchen
    Original Cookie Company
    Popcorn Peddlers
    Sbarro
    Taco Bell

    Services/Specialty
    Circus World
    DOC Eyeworld
    Early Learning Center
    General Nutrition Center
    Pass Pets
    Singer Sewing Company dealer
    So Fro Fabrics
    Sun’N Sports Eyewear
    Vitality Shop

    Shoes
    Cobbie Shop
    Foot Locker
    Gantos Shoes
    Hanover Shoes
    Kinney Shoes
    Lady Foot Locker
    Naturalizer
    Payless ShoeSource
    Sibley’s
    Thom McAn

    Unclassified
    Alberts
    Bonnie & Clyde (listed as “ret.”, which I assume means “retail”…. that’s a lot of help… not!)

    Also, here’s a map of the mall from this past year. The stores marked in orange on the list are no longer in operation. http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/malldirectories/marble/summit.html

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  22. Does anyone know if there’s still some type of Prom dress shop open at Summit Place??

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  23. The only women’s clothing store left at Summit Place is Deb, it’d probably be there if anywhere.

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  24. Interesting that Radio Shack is listed among the dead–they’re usually one of the last to pull out of a dying mall (sometimes kicking and screaming in at least one case I’ve read).

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    Mark Reply:

    @Debbi, The RadioShack had no stores near it in the mall so they moved into the strip mall across the street when the lease was up.

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  25. Heck, Radio Shack pulled out of Lansing Mall, which isn’t even close to dead!

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  26. Radio Shack has gone through a long cycle of store closings, nationwide.

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  27. I used to go to Summit Place around Christmas.. I remember walking through the display Hudson’s had. Man that display was really cool! I also remember seeing JIm Harper from Magic 105.1fm do toys for tots in center court. those were the days..

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  28. Tara, Last I walk in there (a few weeks) there was a large dress shop that you could probably find something.
    Kari

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  29. Welllllll, I have been working at the Sears at Summit Mall since 1993 and I have seen a lot of changes in 13 years. I remember at Christmas time you didn’t even dare go to the food court for lunch because it was so packed with people that you would never have enough time, now there is virtually no food court. Poeple who work at the mall either bring their lunch or are forced to go elsewhere. Radio Shack is still around, it is just across the street at Oakland Point. The furthest we even venture into the mall anymore is to Kohls and Payless and the Starlight Theater. It has been months since I was down past the food court and I had no idea that Bath and Body Works closed. It is really sad the state that the mall is in now. Some of the only stores in the mall now are fly by night stores that only come in for the Christmas season. On Channel 7 news last night that Waterford is trying to build a professional baseball stadium on the corner of Telegraph and Elizabeth Lk Rd “near” the Summit Place Mall. I found this sight while trying to look up more information on this subject. So many rumors fly around about what is really going on people don’t know what to believe anymore. I live only a few blocks away and would love to see the mall come to life again.

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  30. Yes, I remember growing up going to the “then” Pontiac Mall (throughout the 70′s and late 60′s), it was definitely the happening place to be for the Waterford/Pontiac area-for shopping. I always remember also the gold colored “tin” type sign that looked like the sun– in the center/main court area that rotated around, the lights in the small pond (or pool, if you will) and loose coins all dropped in at one time or another plus there were ceramic type/cement stools you could sit on that were different colors along side all this. Eating in the old cafeteria that was in Montgomery Wards was a little different, the lighting in there was rather subdued or dark compared to the regular parts of the store. I remember the “seal” that sat up on a wall or shelf also in Wards that acted like an old vacuum cleaner in reverse and always blew this beach ball out in front of it’s face and it would just stay hovered there going around and around. The old lunch counter at Kresge’s was neat and the seats in front besides the booths. Hopefully some developers with some insight and Not just trying to make a $$ buck will do something nice for the property and stores (and the building overall) for in the future (of what’s left), that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. Someone suggested building some condo’s/apartments there, nothing personally against that but we need more of those like Oakland County needs a few more drugs stores and banks. There’s enough already!

    –Just remembering the “good ‘ole days” of what was….

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  31. Hey Melanie, you are amazing. I act at the starlight in fact I just got back from a show there. I really wish that more people knew about it. It is such a great theatre but not many people go there.
    Tara, yes there is for sure still a prom dress store in the mall, I walk by it all the time and me and my thespian friends always gasp at the beautiful dresses.
    I also know for a fact that the Steve and Berry’s did relocate from Great Lakes because the space was costing too much (Which I don’t really get because I can’t imagine they weren’t making enough money there), or the space was bigger in the old HQ.
    I can’t really speak of the good old days. Except for two things, I also remember the Hudson’s Christmas display, I’m a teenager right now so when that was still going on I was very young but that is probably my first memory. The other thing I remember is getting a huge M&M cookie at the Original Cookie Company. That is one of the few stores that has been there from the begging and is still there. In fact during rehearsal me and a lot of my friends go there and get cookies.
    I really hope that the city of Waterford can get the Summit Place Mall back on its feet. We often make jokes about all the two people in the mall, the security guard and that guy at the desk, oh wait the security guard is the guy at the desk.
    Oh and by the way anyone in the mood for some entertainment, should go to The Starlight Theater. It is right between Kohl’s and Claire’s. You can buy tickets or find out upcoming shows at http://www.starlighttheater.net. PLEASE COME!

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  32. Does anyone know what stores were there before they closed?

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  33. Before who closed the mall is still in operation.

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  34. Yes, the “good old days”…

    I remember going there in the late 70s as a child and always getting a frozen coke at Kresge’s and every Muppet movie at the cinema :o)

    Fast forward to 1989… Got a job working in the mall (just out of high school). The place was ALWAYS packed, especially during Christmas time (place to be). I remember shopping at Chess King, flirting with the girls at Cinnabon (only to get free cinnamon rolls), spending my lunch in the arcade (in the Food Court).

    I’m not 100% sure, but I thought it was 1/2 mile walking inside from Sears to the area between Hudsons and Service Merch?!!?

    Does anyone remember when the roof partially collapsed in the winter of 1992 (or there about)? It happened in the section between Montgomery Wards and Hudsons (but closer to Hudsons).

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  35. After reading all the comments again, I started to remember more…

    Pontiac Mall:
    – The “seal” in (Monkey)Wards that would blow the beachball in the air (located next to the escalators)
    – The “creepy” part of the mall between Hudson’s and pre-Service Merch (the only thing I can remember is a shoe store and maybe a Franks-type craft store?)
    – I think there was a sewing store (Singer?) at the corner of the hallway leading to the “creepy” area (facing Hudson’s, last store on the right)
    – The arcade in the hallway leading across from Kresge’s (I think it was called Aladin’s)
    – The fountains/ponds
    – Hudson’s “budget” basement bargains
    – Always driving across the parking lot to Sears
    – The restaurant/counter in Kresge’s

    Summit Place:
    – The first “warehouse” type store in the area was Pace Warehouse (West Summit strip mall). I remember the first (and last) time shopping there with my parents and they were SHOCKED when you had to bring your own bag/box for your groceries
    – Opening and working at Radio Shack
    – Why there were 3 Radio Shacks (Oak Pointe, Summit Place, and the Computer-Only Radio Shack in West Summit strip mall)
    – Always heard rumors of enclosing the mall to the cinemas
    – The loooooong walk to the bank (on the outside of Hudson’s)
    – Chicago Hot Dog in the food court (awesome fries!!)
    – Buying “Hammer” pants at Chess King
    – Shopping at Babbages
    – Christmas time in the mall
    – Ordering a drink at Ruby Tuesday’s called the “Summit Plunge” (something like 8 different shots in 1 drink)
    – Working a Service Merch (when they opened) for a short time
    – Just “hanging out” there

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  36. Just passed by the SP mall today and there’s a Dollar General that’s opened up at Summit Place West . Don’t know when it opened but it must be recent since I did’nt see it there in April. This is the first DG I’ve seen around, unless there’s more in the Metro-Detroit area that I don’t know about.

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  37. New owner Namco? The people who make Pac-Man and other games?

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  38. According to Wikipedia, they wanted to wanted to remain the mall “Festivals of Waterford” and adding a waterpark, a “60,0000″ (sic) family entertainment center and a big box bookstore.

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  39. How would I save this mall? OK, first I’d rename to The Mall at Summit Place for a hint of modern-like mall lingo.

    First the Service Merchandise becomes a Borders or Barnes & Noble. Then, we knock down the old Wards, Boater’s World, Ruby Tuesday and ®M (as on the map). Next we tear out the old The Limited (near the Play Area) and #19 and #20 (as per Bobby’s map) to build a new corridor complete with a new food court and an entrance, making a “shortcut” to the other hallway.

    The old food court is demolished and a waterpark and the “family entertainment center” is built. Next, Kohl’s builds a new store near #114 and #115. The old Kohl’s is demolished. Roughly near the old Kohl’s, a Super Target is built. The old hallways once “plugging into” Wards become a new diagonal hallway. A smaller big-box store is also built. The strip malls could be repopulated too. Maybe a Big Kmart or a Lowe’s or whatever. Maybe an Asian market.

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  40. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9148720@N05/1382793695/ Here’s how I’d rework it, myself. By the way, I doubt Kmart would ever open a new store…

    The ® M on the map means restrooms and mall offices (2 levels).

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  41. I like your guy’s ideas for Summit Place, but I think the place should just be torn down and scaled to a smaller mall. Even if new anchors and stores came to SP, it would face competition all around (Great Lakes Crossing, Twelve Oaks Mall, Somerset Collections, and Oakland Mall). GLC is a big destination for the Auburn Hills/Pontiac/Waterford area now and to be honest is much better than Summit Place ever was.

    When I say to make SPM smaller, I mean to make it more like a discount or neighborhood mall. Maybe Make the Sears an outparcel and tear off that wing, Tear down Kohl’s and it’s wing to build a new one towards the back of the mall (where Target is) then get try to get the stores from the outlots (including the Oakland Pointe strip mall across the street) and tenant them in the mall. tear down the outlots and tenant them to a YMCA or whatever. Renovate the entire mall to bring it out of the 80′s and add Target and Steve & Barry’s to the list of anchors. With all that done the mall could be a small scale shoppin center and likely an auxilary mall to GLC. Far-fecthced but it’s all I can think about it besides just tearing the whole thing down.

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  42. Don’t forget a grocery store. And Steve and Barry’s is in an outparcel (the old HQ)

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  43. I know S&B’s is an outparcel, but I’m saying make S&B a tenant of SUmmit Place itself and do away with the outparcels entierly. A grocery store would work too, maybe a Kroger’s or even a Trader Joe’s would bring traffic back to SPM.

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  44. Since both yours and Bobby’s plans involve disconnecting Sears from the mall, why not just make it a Sears Grand?

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  45. I don’t think Sears will be opening or swapping any new stores anytime soon. Plus, the Sears at Summit is probably in the 200K square foot range, which would be enough for two or three Sears Grands.

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  46. I went ahead and used my own plans for Summit Place using Bobby’s map for a base:
    http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/7248/summitfd3.jpg

    First time altering a map so tell me what you guys think.

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  47. I think it would be interesting to see them do something similar to that outdoor mall in Rochester. I remember going to that tiny mall as a kid, and they literally had nothing…I saw a puppet show at one point and a hallmark I believe. Now it has Parisian, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, among other fine retailers. Granted, not everyone in the Pontiac/Waterford area has that kind of money, but a decent amount do! Discount stores like TJ Maxx would be a plus also, since I believe the closest one is on Telegraph in Bloomfield, not the GLC one. I think that with a little effort Summit COULD prosper again, however I have heard rumors that the owner lives in Ohio or somewhere, and has so much money that he really doesn’t care about the place, but that’s just rumors. I miss the Gap, and the old Hudson’s fairy tale stories around Christmas time, the florist along that alley near Hudson’s, and Auntie Em’s. That place used to have such diversity, high-end shops with cheaper trendy stores, good food, weird import shops. It’s a shame since it would be so convenient. Thank God for Best Buy and Target.

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  48. I worked at The Mall from 10th grade (1981) into college.

    Here are a couple missing stores from that list above:

    Truan’s Candies – A family-owned chocolate shop
    Pizazz (formerly Happyland) – Stickers, rock shirts, stuffed toys
    Bally’s Aladdin’s Castle – Arcade
    Nino’s Pizza – Family-owned restaurant
    Leroy’s Jewlers – Jewelry
    Buster Brown Shoes – Kid’s Shoes
    Burger King (formerly the infamous Ted’s Restaurant) – My alma mater
    Canary & the Elephant – Similar to Claire’s. Jewelry, piercings, etc.

    Those were in the mid-1980s before the giant expansion, and mostly in the front end facing Telegraph Road.

    Back when I was little, there was…

    Grinnell’s – A music store to purchase instruments or take lessons
    Cunningham’s – A drugstore chain
    “X” Books – There were two bookstores I can’t title. One was across from Ted’s/Burger King. The other was in the creepy hallway next to Hudson’s by The Mall offices
    Hudson’s Sports – A collection of sporting goods that was in the South Mall next to the exit near The Mall offices
    Van Horn’s – Cheesy business wear and cheaper suits
    “X” Hobbies – There was a short-lived hobby shop next to BK for a while

    Those immediately come to mind. Then there were the special events like the annual camper and RV show, the auto show, the craft shows. I remember the old guy who would burn your family name into a piece of wood and stick a chain on it to hang from your front porch (The Jones’ for example). He was followed by a few other “cart” stores that were semi-permanent. There was the hot plastic suction machine that made custom license plates, and the cosmetic counter directly at the mouth of the main mall and the East Wing.

    Does anyone remember “Indian / Injun Joe?” A classic character. This old man grew his hair out and braided it, and walked around with a backpack dangling assorted coffee cups. Everyone felt sorry for him and would buy him coffee or a burger. This was waaaay before we had a homeless problem. I heard he wasn’t even Native American, and had likely been an outpatient or part-time resident of Clinton Valley (the psych hospital about 1/4 mile away). Haven’t seen him in 20 years if not longer. I hope he went out gently… He was an interesting cat.

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    Matt Reply:

    @Lew, Indian Joe passed away years ago. Not sure what year but I believe it was in the 90′s. He was frequently seen walking along M-24 between Oxford and Lake Orion and it was rumored that he had a place somewhere between the two. If I remember correctly, Indian Joe was hit by a car and that was how he passed. Very interesting cat indeed.

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  49. Ya, I remember Indian Joe and how much fun Summit Place use to be. I love reading all these posts because it brings back memories. I’m 26 now, and grew up with Summit Place mall. Christmas time was always fun, all the decorations, parades, the big lighted up summit place mall sign. I remember the foodcourt always being packed. Eating taco bell, burger king, pizza, chicago hotdog, olgas, lol. I remember always playing in that small arcade with my friends. Shopping at stores like Merry go round and another store across from it, but I can’t remember the name. I would always buy I.O.U. and cross colors clothes. I remember flipping coins in the wishing well, getting my ear pierced, haircuts, all the cool shoe stores. Does anyone remember that frozen yogurt place that was inside Hudson’s? I think….and there was that loooong hallway in front of Hudson’s.

    I really don’t like GLC mall that much. It’s not a real mall. It’s just one big circle, off the highway. I’ve been to better malls and Summit Place use to be one of them. Summit Place could be something again, but it’s going to take money and good planning. I would hate to see it torn down. It just needs some renovation. The anchor stores are still there holding there own. They just need to start putting things there that would make people come back. MJR theater should of been built at the mall. Build a Lifetime fitness club there. Bring food back in the foodcourt, have an arcade again or maybe a different kind of arcade that had xbox360, PS3′s and computers where kids could play online together, that would be cool. Just throwing out some ideas.

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  50. Hi guys,

    I have a question to post to you guys because you all seem to know the area extremely well. What you might not know is the area across the street Oakland Pointe is for sale. Can anyone tell me how the area really is? Has the mall been depressing the surrounding centers? Is there any viability left at all?

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  51. i remember this place so well. indian joe…that crazy old man stunk and was always hitch-hiking around the area, to bad great lakes put them out of business.

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  52. Seriously – what was that yogurt place inside hudson’s???? I remember it was so creamy and the fruit was FRESH. They were cutting it up in front of you. No goopy, frozen stuff!

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  53. Was it “Fruigurt”? Had some catchy name. It was inside the Marketplace.

    It has bugged me, too, and I tried to look it up on google. As soon as I hear it, I will remember it. :)

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  54. Yes, it was Frutigurt.

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  55. http://www.spinalcolumnonline.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2002-12-11&-token.story=42439.231113&-nothing

    That describes some of the planned “Festivals of Waterford”. Does anyone have more information on the other “festivals” of the failed mall redevelopment?

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  56. Here’s my second shot at redoing Summit Place. This one I worked hard at. Questions/comments?

    http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/9338/shopsatsummitplacemk4.png

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  57. As you can see, I renamed Marshall Field’s to Macy’s (that’s what it is now!). I filled in the old Service Merchandise to Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (it may or may not open into the mall, though), disenclosed a corridor and added shops around that, added a fountain (outside), and added an Old Navy (interior/exterior exits). I partially tore down the vacant Wards for a National Wholesale Liquidators and a Dillard’s Clearance Center. The mall between Kohl’s and Sears was razed. Sears expanded to Sears Grand and a pet store filled in extra space. There is a large fitness club in the back.

    Finally, I renamed the mall to “The Shops at Summit Place”.

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  58. This is a complete listing of stores in Summit Place Mall as of December 2001:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20011211113740/www.summitplacemall.com/StoreDirectory.asp

    Lovely place, huh?

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  59. What about parking across the street from the mall and watching fireworks? Geez…..I read these comments an I’m a kid again. Goofy how you miss silly stuff like this isn’t it?

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  60. from what i heard not to long ago, their going to a minor league baseball park by the where the old movie theater is, and what they said is that their going to tear down the movie theater and the jc penny, then i guess their moving the target down down the road. so from what i heard their going to move the jc penny where the mongomery ward and use the target and the rest of the plaza for parking for the ball field. so what i think they should do is put the office max- dots- the family christian store- weight watchers, and what ever else is in there, to the mall so people have a reason to go in there, then as more people go in the mall put more stores and boom!!!!! the mall is alive and then we dont have to waste our time and money ,for gas, to go to great lakes.

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  61. The unfortunate part is that the area is depressed with Pontiac to the east not doing so well, crime is up, police staffing is down. Attracting any serious mid-level development to that corner is going to be difficult. JC Pennys is opening a new store 10 miles west of M-59 in White Lake, just past where they already opened a new Kohls. While there is possibility for that corner, I don’t forsee anything grand happening to it like the old days might have been, which is sad. I enjoy a good mall. And I agree that GLC is not as great a mall as it is made out to be. Seems to me that the allure of it has worn out with a neverending rotations of stores coming and going, as well as established stores hop-scotching locations around the mall too.

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  62. I’d say that the whole Metro-Detroit area is depressed. Especially in Wayne County but Oakland has’nt fared better either. Businesses are closing in Waterford, Pontiac, Auburn Hills and Rochester (in the strip malls that I’ve seen). And the crime is being increased not only in Pontiac but in other cities as well (I heard about a car radio system being stolen in the parking lot behind me and I live on the Oakland U campus!)

    Oakland Pointe is still limping along and has moer than SPM but it’s not the same as it once was. There’s barely anything left around the SPM prpoerty (the gas station and Ponderosa are gone near the mall).

    And GLC is being afftected as well by this economy. Like Mike said, the mall does’nt seem as busy as it was when it opened and the store rotation is getting bad (recently Gamestop and Earthbound Trading Co. vacated) and vacancies are starting to show more. I fear that the only malls left around here will be the Somerset Collection and Twleve Oaks and that’s because their “upscale” and economically guarded in these times. *roll eyes*

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  63. The mall had some serious security issues in later years that the owners
    seemed to ignore, and this prompted some store closings and made folks hesitant to shop there. Car theft, shoplifting, and muggings
    cannot be handled by a minimum wage, poorly trained group of skinny kids in their early 20′s wearing geeky uniforms. They were somewhat of a joke and I can’t imagine most of these kids confroning anyone. Sure hated to see things go south at SP. I saw the very same thing happen in another state back in the 70s, and for the same reasons. Pooor sucurity and a new mall opening. Hopefully some inovative individual will come up with a solution.

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  64. Does anyone have any clue to any blueprints/further plans of the “Festivals of Waterford” idea?

    http://www.spinalcolumnonline.com/1editorialbody.lasso?-token.folder=2002-12-11&-token.story=42439.231113&-nothing

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  65. http://www.cruisersbaseball.com/t-about_us.aspx

    More about the minor league team planned for the area. I stumbled across your site while researching why the Frontier League is playing with a traveling team for 2008, that being the Midwest Sliders, which will become the Oakland County Cruisers if a stadium can be built. It looks like Summit Place is the best site.

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  66. I remember going to the Mall in pontiac when I was a kid, There used to be in the old part of the mall an old art store next to the Gap in the early 70′s called Fingers ( my dad used to get oil paint, and art supplys there ), toward the front of the old entrance of the mall ( When it had the old “the Mall” logo in Red Letters ) was Aladdins’ Castle ( arcade ), as you would walk down the hallway you could see kresgees at the other end, a KB Toys was at the beginning part of the mall to the right, as you left Montgomery Wards to go into the Main area of the mall , Burger King was actualy in the mall on the same side as Kresgees towards Hudsons, near American Eagal, When you would walk to the enterance to Hudson’s before you would get to the ( what people call the creepy hallway to get to the back section of Hudsons ) was a little shack like structure that was a store that sold novels, and books, between Sears, and Wards was and Automotive repair shop, and a Farmer Jack store, Behind Sears was the old Cinema wich had 3 theater screens, and behind the Mall ( by the Hudsons area ) was a resturant called Burger Chef, latter Burger Chef was turned in to the Auto repair shop, I too remember Indian Joe, I used to see him around the Lake Orion area where I used to live, I consider the Mall/ Summit Mall a land mark of Waterford/Pontiac, so many people remember that mall, and have so many memories there, the best way to get the Summit Mall running again is look at the near by Malls, see what stores they don’t have, and put thoses stores in there, that way people would go there again and shop, it would be to costly ( with todays Economy ) to tear it down and build something new!

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  67. Wow, the Mall! I practically grew up there! I remember Indian Joe, who, I have heard, did pass away, harmless old guy, actually quite friendly if you talked to him. Here are my earliest recollections of the stores, beginning at Ward’s..cunningham drugs, alberts, maybe winkelman’s, kinney shoes, a tandy leather shop, a barber shop, the corn cabin (where I had my first frozen coke!), finger’s, some men’s clothing store, foxmoor, richard’s boys and girls wear, hughes, hatcher & shiffrin, hudson’s and hudson’s rainbow shop (downstairs) hudson’s restaurant upstairs and the large plush women’s bathroom…the little bookstore in the “creepy hallway” I think was owned by hudson’s, they also had a plant/flower stand there, a leather belt/buckle kiosk by the bookstore, hudson’s ski shop, a levi’s store of some sort (not the gap then), burts shoes, lady orva hosiery, another women’s clothing store, can’t remember if it was alberts or winklemans, I think winklemams, marianne (two shops in the mall), koney island inn, hot sam pretzels, and so-fro fabrics. Going back up from there, I remember kay baum, (where singer’s used to be) ted’s cafeteria, the vitality health food store, miami bakery, kresge’s, the other marianne’s, baker’s shoes, a hallmark store, grinnell’s music store. I’m sure my dates have crossed and I forgot a few, but those were the highlights! Nice to remember that old place…I remember the giant gold sun over the fountain and the pine-looking metal trees in the fountain. Oh! Community national bank on the outside corner…

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  68. What a big mall! I would love to visit, but am stuck here in cali, Marhsall Field’s has a restaurant? I only knew Macy’s or Nordstrom to be the restaurant type stores? How weird, but anyway, is Frutigurt still open for business?

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  69. Well, Hudson’s had the restaurant, I don’t think Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) has/had one. This was a while ago…I don’t think the Fruitgurt lasted too long. I remember getting fresh watermelon juice there, though! Too bad the place is a ghost town now.

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  70. I found these pictures of the Pontiac Mall on another site, one is the outside of the Mall ( Main enterance ), and the other is the water fountain with the gold sun above.

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  71. http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/images/center/pontiac_mall.jpg

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  72. And the Pontiac mall main enterance ( entitled THE MALL )

    http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com/images/center/Summit_place_mall_pontiac.jpg

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  73. Oh, wow. This is my local mall, I spent far far far too much time here as a kid in the early ’90s. my friends and I went there about every Saturday and bought more than our fair share of IOU shirts and Skidz. ;) I’m actually the second generation of mallrats there, haha— my mom used to walk up there on the weekends and she and her friends would get kicked out for dunking in the fountain. She was actually on the team that opened the Sears, and I want to say that was ’71, right after she graduated.

    In the late 80s-early 90s it WAS extremely busy and I remember going the day after Thanksgiving– you couldn’t sit in the food court. We sat on the edge of the planters. Chaos! There was always a slightly sketch element because of it’s proximity to some rougher Pontiac neighborhoods, but it was a good mix of kids from the city and kids from then-prosperous burbs like Waterford and Clarkston. There were nice stores, too– the wing of Hudson’s attempted an upscale-ish feel with Gantos and others. There was also this precursor to Palace Locker Room called Great Stuff! that was located near Picnic– you could still see the outline of the half-court at the entrance for many years. I bought all my Bad Boys gear there!

    I do remember the very beginning of the “new” mall when they left the old corridor past Hudsons full of stores. I vaguely remember Jean Nicole and a shoe store probably from day one of the mall, there. The traffic flow made people think it was empty, I think, so they moved whoever was left. The holiday shows sponsored by Hudsons were amazing– they were like $10 admission so going was a BIG deal.

    It seems like I remember the Hudsons there being a prototype store, it was very very nice when they redid it in the early ’90s. It still looks good despite being a macy’s now. Sadly lately it is known for thefts– a brazen one happening a couple of years ago when some people ran in, grabbed an armful of coats, and split. I went to Hudsons with my mom when I was a teenager and had good memories, so it’s sad to see that it’s not really being filled with new merchandise, though they still keep some nice stuff in stock. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it close sooner than later, though.

    the Hudsons did have a restaurant– I ate there when I was a kid when a friend’s mom took us. Very nice! I do like the midcentury style of the old building side, it was a classic cluster layout and those are just so rare. Now, the exterior of the building looks like crap. It’s sad.

    The Sears wing never had a whole lot of anything in it. That pet store and a couple random places, but for the most part never built out. The layout of the mall is weird, and it sucked to have parked by Hudsons but finding yourself near Sears at closing time.

    I try to keep my money in town and use the anchors and Target when I can, but the actual mall is creepy now. A few years ago when the EB was still open I ran in, and saw some rather shady characters hanging out, waiting for something… just not a good place to hang out. I see JCP is building a new location in White Lake and Target is going in at Telegraph and Square Lake, that’s boding bad. I’ll miss my friendly, neighborhood-vibe Target!

    Overall, it’s time for this sad place to go. The area around it can’t support a new shiny mall and Namco doesn’t appear to have the money to do even basic upkeep. (the Festivals would have failed, there is a water park-type place run by the county down the street as well!) It’s a real drag having this huge empty, crappy area (including not just Summit but Summit North, West, and Oakland Pointe– all just degrading and full of crap like $9.99 shoe stores– except for the awesome Comic City!) Waterford could use a smaller retail development with this stadium, if the developer was smart about it and the outlying areas were cleared out. (they have moved all the cars out of the part of the Summit parking lot set to become the stadium– you know you’re in dire trouble when your dead mall’s parking lot is full of locally-produced cars that don’t sell). Great Lakes Crossing, the mall that killed this one, is looking a little downgraded itself lately. I wonder sometimes if we’ll be blogging about it in 2018.

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  74. My name is Lee Keiser II, and I’m currently a tenant within the Summit Mall (Graphics Depot, Inc. (248-681-7508) – in the back of the food court) and I have come up with a plan:

    1) Abandon the “Major Mall” concept. The economic times, GLC and the Internet along with the poor floorplan (always have to back-track to get to your car) have ruined this as a “standard” Mall.

    2) Re-Brand the Mall as a 1/3 Education, 1/3 Business/Technology/Office park and 1/3 Mall. The portion that is still a “Mall” can be used to support the other thrids.

    3) The first thing needed to start this plan is to maintain the current change the policy on Mall hours. Hours more like a business park 9-5 M/F or as posted by each tenant.

    4) The second thing needed is to maintain the already WAY-BELOW-MARKET rates on space and promote the fact that the rates are great!

    5) The third, and last, thing would be to approach the right groups, organizations and companies to join in the re-birth of the property.

    That’s pretty much all there is. Since the plan uses the existing space the way it is, no major remodeling is necessary which means NO MAJOR FUNDING is necessary.

    I’m trying to get my full plan/proposal to the proper people at the Mall and have been having a bit of a hard time. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince someone to consider this plan. I’ve got a bunch of more details and particulars to share with the right decision makers. If anyone has any contacts that they can point my way, have them give me a call… Lee…

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  75. Maybe just rumor or maybe not, the Best Buy near Summit Place is going to close as well. I think Steve and Berry’s made a bad decession to leave Great Lakes Crossing. There will be practically nothing left. Even the Gander Mountain sporting goods store directly next to Best Buy has closed. Maybe once the economy turns around something positive will develop at Summit Place. Lets hope so,

    The new location for Target down Telegraph Rd is going to be pretty interesting with the parking under the buillding and access to the store level via escalators and elevators. Not your run of the mill Target store. The new Target probably will open in the Fall.

    Go Oakland County Cruisers! Something to cheer for in Waterford.

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  76. The mall won’t last. It couldn’t build out when the economy was still in decent shape; these days things are really downhill. It won’t revive. It can’t, it simply won’t happen. Crime from Pontiac has always been something of an issue. It’s impossible to compete with Great Lakes Crossing – and there are plenty of stores closing up in there too, just part of the economic slowdown I guess. There’s a new Target going up on Telegraph and a new JC Penney in White Lake. There’s already a new Kohl’s out in White Lake as well so I’m not sure how much longer the one at Summit will remain open.

    The mall is history. And it’s not even pleasant to shop in anymore. The building is clearly not being maintained. The mall appears to run with half of the lights on these days; I guess they can’t afford to keep all of them on all the time. Combine that with the shuttered stores and it’s a very creepy vibe. No one walks through the mall anymore to get between the anchor stores. If you want to go to Penney’s from Kohl’s, you get in your car and drive. There’s nothing nice to see or do between the two stores.

    If Summit wants to survive as a retail center, it needs to quit competing with GLC. Trouble is, that will require a major reconfiguration of the existing layout (which was never great to begin with). At that point it’s cheaper to simply raze the mall and sell the place. It’s still a great location, but it’ll never be a major regional mall again, not while Great Lakes Crossing is still around.

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  77. I was at this mall in the late 90′s on a day that I was going to see the Pistons play the Magic on Bad Boys reuinion night. Sorry to see another of my mall memories going by the wayside.

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  78. I’m kind of confused on this one shot:

    http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/11/pontiac-mall-now-summit-place.html

    Where is this in Summit Place Mall? Is it in the area near Service Merchandise? What’s the Serv Merch hallway like, anyways?

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  79. I was at the mall over the weekend, and they don’t even run the a/c anymore in the common areas. It was so hot walkng between the anchor stores, I probably should have drove since Macy’s and Sears are on complete opposite ends. It’s a shame to see it coming to an end. I had moved to the Waterford area in 1995 and remember the mall still being almost full and even into the late 90′s it was going strong. Have since moved from the area, but still come back from time to time.

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  80. OK, SPM is done for. It’s such an grand old mall though…I’m sorry it didn’t work out, SPM. Turn the HVAC back on, throw a party for it, and raze it for the next big thing.

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  81. Actually, no. What needs to happen is that the area between Kohl’s and Sears needs to be a strip mall, maybe adding 24 Hour Fitness. Service Merchandise needs to get razed, and the mall from JCPenney on becomes an office park, like the other guy said. Montgomery Ward? Don’t know.

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  82. I’m working on the Summit Place Mall article on Wikipedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summit_Place_Mall

    I’m having trouble finding information on the then Pontiac Mall between 1963 and 1988. I need references. Check it out, guys!

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  83. I think the Chuck E. Cheese’s needs to move from Oakland point. maybe if the mall was redeveloped that would be a good place. That CEC has seen a slump in sales ever since 2002…

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  84. A tantalizing little bit on Summit Place Mall:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20011218010046/www.generalgrowth.com/malls/mall_directory/MallTemplate.asp?smuid=599

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  85. I’m planning to go down here this weekend to see what’s left.

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  86. Plans have been approved to build a baseball field for the Oakland County Cruisers on the mall property beginning next spring (2009). This should bring the mall back to life. Btw, the Chuck E. Cheese across the street just closed.

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  87. Yes i remember the good old days of summit place mall. The tons of people. Shopping there with my parents the day after thnaksgiving, going through the hudson’s christmas display. Playing video games in the arcade and trying to decide what to eat in the picnic area. My friends that worked at deb and the finish line. Skipping school to eat at kirbys coney island. Getting loads of candy at the candy time store. Buying my first girlfirend body wash from bath and body works. Spending hours of amaziment in the science store and spencers. Buying michael jordan cologne and new shoes at footlocker. Sitting and throwing coins into the fountain. Seeing santa and the easter bunny. Eating hotdogs and popcorn at sears while my dad got his car fixed. Those were the days. Now its soo depressing to walk through the mall, like 1 in every 10 stores are open, it makes me quite sad. I dont care too much for the ball park idea or any other that has been perposed. I think they should just sell to someone thats willing to put money into it. Tear it down and build a new mall or highly renovate it. Its never going to get back to the way it was in the current state its in, no matter what stores they would shove in there. Thanks for the memories RIP summit place mall…aka scummit place mall :(

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  88. Jonah… The picture that you were inquiring about is in the middle of the hallway of the south mall. If you walk straight into the mall from entry “D” and stop where the now empty playland is, look north towards the old Montgomery Wards and you will be roughly in the same spot as that pic. I worked for the mall for over 5 years and my family worked there longer. I had keys and full access to every nook and cranny of the mall including all vacant stores (small and anchors). If anyone has any questions about the building or anything else please feel free to e-mail me derick.chaffin@gmail.com and I will respond as soon as possible.

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  89. I’m so glad I stumbled on this forum. I’ve been hurt and saddened in the last week and I had no place or no one to express it to because it’s kinda silly but it’s the way I feel and I can’t help it.
    I hadn’t been inside the Summit Mall (or any other mall for that matter) in several years. I just don’t shop at malls except, occasionally, during Christmas. Anyway, I had to buy a gift that one needs to get at a more upscale store and I went to Macy’s in Summit Place just the other day. After I finally got someone to wait on me and my purchase was complete, instead of going directly back to my car, I went to the concourse just to see what was going on. I knew the mall was going downhill but I had no idea it was so bad.
    There was one store (Deb) left in the hallway between Macy’s and the next main concourse…that was it! I didn’t even go down to the next hallway. I don’t think I wanted to know. I was so shocked and so sad. I just wandered down the empty, unlit hallway back towards Macy’s.
    I wanted to cry….and this IS Christmas time, the busiest shopping season of the year? I knew right at that moment that Summit Mall is all but dead.
    In my mind, I could close my eyes and go back to when my kids were little and I took them there to see Santa. The line was so long, we had to wait about 20 minutes to see him. THAT was an eternity not only for my kids but for their very young mother with very little money but the best of intentions.
    I didn’t grow up in this area but have lived here pretty much all my adult life. I remember when that mall was so busy, it was hard to walk a straight line down the hallways to get from one shop to another.
    I remember going into some Native American themed store just to escape the crowds and it was such a relief. They were playing Native American flute music and it was like an oasis from the chaos. I bought the CD of the music and I still enjoy listening to it today when i want to kick back and relax. I guess that was around 1997, maybe?
    I guess what we feel and what we are all talking about in this forum is probably a lot like the generations of people who remember going to the big Hudson’s store downtown. It’ s the pages of time turning and there’s not much one can do to stop progress.
    I find it disconcerting and upsetting that one has to drive so far to go to a mall, now, if you live in the Waterford area. I think a revival of the area is possible; look what they’ve done to the area around Square Lk & Telegraph. They knocked down all the outdated buildings, put in a Costco and a couple of big box Hardware stores and boom, the area is flourishing again.
    I believe a combination of maybe, moving the farmer’s market over there, adding a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and a Border’s and Starbuck’s to bring in the upper scale crowd and, then filling in the smaller stores with specialty shops and maybe even some thrift or second-hand type shops might be an idea.
    Either way, the thing I miss the most is the convenience of not having to go very far to shop because i live in waterford township. I’m starting to fear that this area is going to go further down hill, like Pontiac and that the mall just makes it happen faster.

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  90. Scummit mall AKA Summit Mall Has went down in buissness because of the Great Lakes Mall in Auburn hill since they built it summits buissness has went down ALOT and it keeps goin i agree they need to shut it down it’s an eye sore but i don’t think it helps that the mall is right next to the 1200 building and the Oakland County Jail i wish they would just tear that mall down and build something for the younger crowd because thats all thats in our area i’m 20 yrs old everyone around here is either under 30 or over 65 …..

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  91. Summit Place’s Kohl’s anchor is closing in march. I am REALLY shocked that the macy’s was not on their closing list.

    http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/01/08/business/doc4965d91aee705557368851.txt

    I dunno, time to really expect a final deathwatch? I had to go there the other day, not only was it a waste of time due to lack of stock at the macy’s, but also it was incredibly depressing. As much as I miss the mall’s heyday, it’s time to bulldoze much of that immediate area. Wouldn’t it be a boost to the local morale to see a nice green area instead of a bunch of crumbling, graffiti-ed concrete. Then anyone who buys the land can just rebuild to suit, instead of being saddled with this gigantic patchwork crappy building. Of course this requires money that no one has right now.

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  92. I’m kinda suprised that the SPM Kohl’s is going. I’ve been there once or twice with family and it always seemed to do okay business. But I do see why it’s closing, there’s the newer one in White Lake and another one I think near Great Lakes Crossing in a plaza. 3 Kohl’s stores can’t operate that close, especially in this state’s economy.

    I agree with L Smith that the whole mall might as well be bulldozed. Leave it as greenspace, plant some trees or whatever and spare the Target and Sam’s Club behind it.

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  93. This was a great trip down memory lane, aaah….the Pontiac Mall. I was looking for history or a historian who remembers the 1972 circus at the mall where Little Jennie the elephant died. She was buried in the mall parking lot. The Pontiac Press (now Oakland Press) covered the story….but I can’t locate too much on it. Anyone??

    [Reply]

  94. I blame George W. Bush.

    When I went to the mall, I was shocked that the Service Merchindise hallway was closed. They put up a white wall.
    This is what they could have done to the mall to bring life back.
    Service Merchindise could become a Von Maur.
    Montgomery Ward would demolish part of their store and become a Lord and Taylor.
    The food court could fully renovate and add restraunts like: A&W, Zoup!, Taco Bell, and Quizno’s.

    [Reply]

    Sharon Reply:

    It’s always easy to blame someone else. It takes people to shop in the stores, not just George

    [Reply]

  95. I don’t see Von Maur coming anytime soon. They’re a smaller chain, so they don’t really have the funds to expand as agressively as, say, Nordstrom. Lord & Taylor has shed a ton of stores without opening in about the past decade or so. Also, the food court DID have a Taco Bell until maybe 2 or 3 years ago.

    This mall takes up a TON of space, so I can’t really see the whole thing being redeveloped as a big box center. With all the empty boxes already around it (Mervyns, Farmer Jack, Circuit City/Media Play, etc.) they’d never get it filled. What might be most sensible is to move Sears to the former Wards, and then demolish everything north of JCPenney (leaving only the original mall and the JCPenney extension) for something non-retail, like apartments, a health park or something.

    [Reply]

  96. Kurt: I think that your “blame” is misdirected. First of all, Service Merchandise and Wards closed before Bush even took office. They closed because their ways were outdated. Wards was no longer a true department store, and some mis-direction at corporate along with some competition left Wards weakened. Service was also in a bad spot, with the 1980s catalog showroom not being a viable way to run a business. Do you really want to place bar codes of items you want on a piece of paper then take it up to the front where they’ll take it out of storage as opposed to just buying it? Neither did consumers.

    And of course, the other large thing blocking Summit Place Mall from EVER becoming viable again was Great Lakes Crossing.

    Look at this Google Maps picture and notice both SPM and GLC. They’re relatively close, and GLC clearly has the better location. Had Waterford and Auburn Hills been more “financially diverse”, Summit Place Mall could’ve gone a bit more upper-crust. But there was only middle-class, and despite being designed as an “outlet mall”, Great Lakes Crossing ate SPM’s lunch. It’s not uncommon for this. Look at Northwest Plaza, which only really went down the tubes after St. Louis Mills opened. Or Lakehurst Mall, which suffered due to Gurnee Mills.

    Summit Place Mall was a victim of poor location, competition, and retail oversaturation. Quit blaming political figures and think logically.

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  97. Re; Kohls
    I askd a couple of sales associates about the closing and was told the store med or exceeded all quotas. I was then told the reason they were closing was because the mall kept increasing the “mall costa” as other stores vacated. The common place expenses we increased for the remaining stores.

    Also when shopping in Macys yesterday, A macys employee told me sears and penney were planning on closing. I was suprised about Sears as they own their store and land.

    Pleases keep in mind this what i heard I have no fact to back it up

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  98. I think that Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney should convert to outlet stores and make it like a “festival marketplace mall”. Keep the stores and add in new spaces for flea market-oriented tenants. Keep class but make it have plenty of variety. Gut Wards for more stores and turn the old Service into a farmer’s market.

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  99. So has any portion been closed off yet? I know Pac Sun and Foot Action are still open, but is anything else?

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  100. I haven’t been out there in awhile but the last time I was, it was a ghost-town! I think they should do like Tel-12 Mall ; keep the anchors and build a strip mall in between or Universal Mall; turning into a lifestyle “outdoor” mall. I think the Hampton? mall in Rochester did the strip mall thing too.

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  101. Jonah, you don’t live in this area, do you? When you speak about the local area something seems off.

    In any case, Summit Place has been sold. Here’s hoping it holds.

    http://theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/03/12/news/doc49b8e347b5d9d642267898.txt

    Quite a menagerie of comments on that link but it was the best I could do ;)

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  102. I think you’re thinking of Winchester Mall (Kmart, Foland’s, Marshalls) or maybe the one that’s now the lifestyle center (Meadowbrook Village, now Village of Rochester Hills).

    By the way, was just here today. This is what’s left:
    *Macy’s
    *JCPenney
    *Sears
    *Moshitta Fashions (local one-off)
    *Deb Shop
    *Heavenly Scents (perfume shop)
    *Foot Action USA
    *Nail Trix
    *Executive Lounge (hair salon)
    *Lakeland Players (community theater)
    *Art Experience (art gallery)
    *Starlight Theater (another community theater)
    *Techtopia (computer shop)
    *Kids Foot Locker (regular FL is closed)
    *Baseball Heroes of Oakland County (sports museum)
    *Jackson Hewitt office
    *Allstate office
    *Men’s Royal Tuxedo
    *Boater’s World
    *Canine Resolution (dog training center)
    *Waterford Community Resource Center

    That’s it. Out of nearly 200 at its peak.

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  103. Gosh, that’s almost as much as what Rolling Acres had a few months before it closed…and unlike RAM, it has no food places. It’s that point where the owners give the mall two week’s notice. But what are they going to do with the structure? Demolish it for an open-air center in icy cold Michigan? Or put more condos in it, in a city rapidly bleeding jobs?

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  104. Bobby:

    Cross “Boater’s World” off the list. I was at Summit last week and they were having a Going-Out-of-Business Sale. “Hot Stix”, the last holdout in “The Picnic” (aka food court), is gone, leaving it 100% vacant. The Allstate office offers waters, sodas, and snacks for purchase, leaving it as the only human-attended place in the mall for refreshments. The only alternative are the vending machines.

    On the upper level of macy*s, only encountered one customer and one employee, the lower level two employees and no customers, and the main level a handful of people buying at the Frango candy counter. Ironically, the only place in the store generating any business is the lone vestige of the now-defunct and “macy-fied” Marshall Field’s!.

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  105. I walk in that mall everyday. I was transplanted to Pontiac for my job. I never saw the mall in it’s hayday. I think it must have been great. I think the mall authority needs to renew itself, and the reason people will come there. I, personally, hate Great Lakes Crossing. But people go there now for their staple items. But is it special? No. It’s just bigger and newer. What would put Great Lakes out of business? Another bigger and newer mall. You can’t revive Summit Place by doing the same things over and over again. I, along with many others, walk there. Bring in, or start businesses that will cater to the walker. Another untapped market sector is the LGBT community. Begin marketing stores and restaurants that not only cater to, but welcome them with open arms (has anyone ever been to Ferndale?) These wonderful people have as much disposable cash as anyone else and just want a safe and welcoming environment to spend it in. How about hotels within the mall that are themed. Give people a place to go, stay, shop, & go clubbing all under one roof and have each wing follow a theme with the corresponding restaurants, shops, and clubs in-between. Come on people. This is the beginning of a new era and what could be the beginning of a new trend for this area. But who am I. I’m just a guy who’s trying to envision some possibilities.

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  106. I grew up near and still work near The Mall / Pontiac Mall / Summit Place and I remember a lot of what other posters have mentioned. I spent a LOT of time there in HS in the early-mid eighties. The above poster mentioned bookstores…The one across from BK was B.Daltons (I worked at this bookstore in 85-86). The one in the hall was ‘Mostly Books’.

    I remember walking past Alladin’s Castle arcade with my mom back in the 70′s and it had a funky trim around the door that looked like black metal bars with railroad signals attached. It was also full of pinball machines as upright arcade games hadn’t hit quite yet. It was full of smoke as you could still do that inside back then! That arcade didn’t survive the late 80′s remodel, sadly. I got my baby / grade school era pictures taken at the photo studio in Kresges, too (lol). I also remember the beach ball seal at Wards, in the Hoover display by the escalator. Too cool! They used to have this travelling flea market set up shop in the Mall’s halls periodically, and it was always jammed then. Other things I will miss are the couple that always cooked and sold Almonds at Christmas and the guy who made big candles and carved them into wierd shapes so the different colors showed (very 70′s). It’s virtually only tumbleweeds and ghosts, now…GLC may be busy, but they’ve got street gangs, too…ha-ha!

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  107. Oh…In regards to the Jennie the elephant that died and was buried at the mall: I remember her supposedly being buried over in the area between the end of the old HQ building and the back of the closed Don Pablos at the north end of the property. That area was just weeds way back when and that’s where the circus set up. I remember going to the circus then, but I don’t know if it was the same one or not.

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  108. Wow…this has both taken me back fondly and broken my heart.

    I’m 30 and grew up in the Detroit area, and the Pontiac Mall (as it was called back in the day) was one of the most formative things in my childhood!

    Aladdin’s Castle! Oh my God, so many Saturdays were spent there when I was a little kid in the 80s, tagging along with my teenage brother. I was so sad when it closed. My brother taught me how to play Galaga there dammit! A part of every visit, my mother would promise to take me to the original, pre-food-court Burger King, which–does anyone remember this?–had this weird layout where you entered and then there was this looooong narrow seating area you had to go through to get to the registers, so you couldn’t see the registers from out in the mall? And as a little kid, I thought it was so awesome, like a “secret” Burger King. Dumb, I know, but I effing LOVED pretending it was “top secret” and for like spies or something!

    God, I remember being pushed in my stroller through this damn place as toddler, as well as trawling it every Saturday in high school. I cannot BELIEVE the food court is empty. This is like a chapter of my life closed!

    Wow. The last time I was in this place was probably…2001? It was looking pretty bleak then, but now, these photos are shocking.

    One thing your post overlooks about Summit’s demise (though I don’t have any hard numbers to back this up, so this is strictly anecdotal)–before Great Lakes Crossing, there was the Somerset expansion in Troy, and that’s when I personally noticed Summit begin to decline. I grew up in the wealthier area south of Pontiac, Bloomfield Hills. The only mall closer to BH than Summit Place was the original Somerset, which was nothing but Neiman Marcus, Saks, and boutiques like Gucci between them. If you wanted a Gap or a dept. store, Summit was it–for the northern half of BH, it was closer to home than, say, Oakland Mall.

    So once the Somerset expansion opened? There was no reason to go to Summit anymore. Somerset was prettier, bigger, closer, and had all the stores Summit had (minus, say, a Sears and JCPenney, but snobs don’t shop there anyway) and, most importantly, “snob appeal” (in fact, it was considered declasse to go to Summit once the Somerset expansion opened–you were literally looked down upon. So ridiculous.) My mother continued shopping at Summit because she knew the layout, shopped at JCPenney a lot, and hated Somerset’s three levels and “Skywalk”, finding them confusing and overwhelming etc., so I would still go with her sometimes. I remember noticing IMMEDIATELY after the Somerset expansion opened in ’96 that the crowds thinned considerably and stores started closing, and, little by little, at least a PERCEPTION that crime started to creep up. I remember very shortly after this, a big news story in Detroit was a pregnant woman who got raped behind a dumpster on her way out of her shift at Hudson’s (whether this was a legitimate indicator of crime or just sensationalism I don’t know) and it worked handily at keeping people from my “side of the tracks” away from the mall. I mean it was like overnight it started changing. And then when Great Lakes opened–what? two years later I think?–and drew away all of the REST of Summit’s clientele? Then it seemed like an out of control snowball of decline set in.

    But wow, I had no idea it had gotten so bad there.

    So sad…I have so many memories of this place from my formative years. Hopefully it will make a comeback.

    [Reply]

  109. Does anyone know if the American Eagle Outfitters store is still around there?

    [Reply]

    Bobby Reply:

    @Cabernet, No, it was gone ages ago. I know it was closed when I first went to the mall in 2005. Deb Shop is the only clothing shop left.

    [Reply]

  110. Well it is sad. The planning commision voted to put a minor league baseball stadium where summit place mall is. It seems like a foolish idea given Michigan weather. I went to the planning board and suggested a Joe Dumars type of recreation center, but they did not listen. So whats being done? So far nothing, welcome to Waterford.

    [Reply]

  111. UPDATE on the Summit Place Mall:

    By CAROL HOPKINS
    Of The Oakland Press

    WATERFORD TWP. – Stores with interior entrances at Waterford’s Summit Place mall are being asked to either relocate to the ends of the mall or move out after Aug. 31 to make way for a major retailer.

    The 1.3 million-square-foot mall, at the intersection of Telegraph and Elizabeth Lake roads, has 13 stores situated between Macy’s at the southern end and its northernmost store, Sears, officials said.

    “It doesn’t make sense (to have stores so spread out) and we can’t continue this way,” said Shirley Griffin, the mall’s general manager.

    “We can’t survive.”

    Anchors Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney are not affected by the change, said Griffin.

    Three nonprofit groups — two theater groups and an art studio — that have space at the mall have been told they must move out completely.

    Condensing stores will make room for a “major tenant retailer that would take a good portion of the mall,” said Griffin, but she would not give details.

    “We will announce it as soon as it is finalized,” she said.

    Stores with interior entrances will be helped to find space at the mall with an exterior entrance, Griffin said.

    “We’re trying to relocate DEB and Kids Foot Locker to stores that have existing outside entrances,” she said. “We’ll try to find space but we don’t have enough room for everyone.”

    Griffin said interior stores are being provided with assistance from a leasing agent.

    Officials around the township have worked together for several years to stimulate activity at the largely vacant mall.

    “Any progress, any change has to be positive,” said Marie Hauswith, Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce executive director.

    “Let’s hope this change will attract new business and new industry.”

    Waterford Township Supervisor Carl Solden understood why the mall owners were making the changes, he said.

    “Like everyone else, they have to pay attention to their expenses,” he said. “They really have no choice.”

    The mall is owned by NAMCO Capital Group, a private Los Angeles-based company that bought the mall in 2002.

    In January, Kohl’s, a longtime anchor, announced it would close March 14.

    In mid-March, township officials announced at the annual “State of the Township” that the mall had been sold to New York developers, but that deal appears to have fizzled.

    Staff at the Art Experience, located near the old Kohl’s, received notification June 10 that the nonprofit art group would have to move out.

    Katie Serewicz, creative director with the art organization, has long speculated changes were coming.

    “We’ve been taking action (to find other quarters) since March,” she said.

    “The mall is not very good about keeping people posted.”

    The group, which provides art opportunities to children and adults, is looking now for a 3,400-square-foot space for a creative arts studio.

    “We would like to find a place in Waterford or Clarkston,” said Serewicz.

    Two theater groups — Starlight Theater and Lakeland Players — also received notification that they would have to find another home.

    “Everyone knew change would take place,” said Griffin.

    “But (sending out the notices) has been a very, very hard decision to make.”
    http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/06/23/business/doc4a40a0c0c9531507805435.txt

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason Reply:

    Bizarre that they aren’t (a) closing the whole mall and demalling it or (b) getting it to fill vacant Kohl’s or Wards

    [Reply]

    danroman Reply:

    @Jonah Norason,

    Maybe they’re putting this major retailer in between the mall space. I’m guessing that since the stores are being forced to move to the ends of the mall, then this “retailer” would be plopped in the middle which might require construction.

    As to what this store could be, I’m guessing either a Wal-Mart or maybe even a Super Target (to replace the smaller one in the the palaza behind the mall. We’ll see what happens.

    [Reply]

    Jonah Norason (Pseudo3D) Reply:

    Since the mall ends are not exactly even, I’m surprised that they let them locate near Sears.

    I was thinking that they could tear down half of the mall (that would be Kohl’s, the food court, and the Sears corridor) to place a new anchor and sever Sears, then redevelop Wards somehow. Hmm.

    [Reply]

  112. Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend just visited this mall yesterday.
    Wow… i thought it might be the economy current. I realyl love reading this forum to really find out why. Really interesting.

    Now only about 4 stores remain.

    Deb, JC Penny, Khols, and some very small shops surprisingly. Ie. Perfume shop and taxes.

    I didn’t realize the shape of this mall and was really surprised when I entered. Thanks for the great insight.

    [Reply]

  113. Maybe the new anchor will be a Meijer and stores will repopulate it again.

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  114. Putting a Meijer or anything close to one there wouldn’t do much good. There’s one about ten minutes away and the Target has no plans of closing any time soon. They’re actually hiring. The only places that I know of that anyone goes to in that mall are JC Penny’s and DEB. That’s around homecoming season, though, and that’s because they’re pretty much the only place in town to get a dress. Even the Claire’s in that mall closed, which upset a lot of the high school girls because now they have to go elsewhere to get their “accessories.” Also, the Steve and Barry’s went out of business a few months ago, and I haven’t seen anything about another store taking its place.

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  115. Who else besides me thinks the Cruiser’s ball park will never be built. Every time we drive by we see the sign, but nothing ever progresses.

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  116. Long time no comment. :)

    Anyway another grim update on Summit Place. The interior is finally closed. I say the mall is officially dead.

    http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/08/31/news/doc4a9b90569181a089817212.txt

    And those rumors about Wal-mart and such are just that, rumors. Hopefully something will surface soon because the mall is just a white elephant at this point.

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  117. It says it’s closing the 10th?

    On a local Waterford Yahoo group someone posted that the maintenance guy is giving away plants to those who ask.

    RIP Summit Place. I had lots of fun and wish the decline didn’t drag on so long.

    [Reply]

  118. Too bad for this mall, I live down near Crescent Lake and would welcome the rebuilding of a strong commercial development there, but the reality is that it will never happen in the next decade. There is no money, no investors and too much ghetto creep coming from Pontiac to make it worthwhile for any investor to even think about it as a viable location. People in Waterford/Clarkston are driving North and West to the new strip malls and stores being built in White Lake and up by Great Lakes Crossing. They are not going to come back that close to Pontiac to shop, no matter what you build there. They only thing I could see happening there is a Wal-Mart Supercenter, or perhaps a Dollar Tree super-mall lol.

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  119. Does anyone remember a Hot Sam Pretzel store there? They had the best pretzels in the world. When did they leave the mall and why? Is the old sport where it used to be still there? Or can you tell where it once was?

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  120. Hey Jeff in Lansing:

    The Hot Sam used to be behind ‘Hudsons’ by the Kirby’s Coney in the long dark hallway…Then in the late 80′s it was moved to the hall to the right of the inside Wards entrance on the way to Ruby Tuesdays. The same little old lady worked there for years and years….and she remembered me from the old store, years later. Man, they had good pretzels and the cheese dip….yes!

    HTH!

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  121. Another blow to the mall – Macy’s is officially closing :o(

    http://www.freep.com/article/20100105/BUSINESS07/100105042/1320/Macys-at-Summit-Place-Mall-prepares-to-close

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  122. That’s a sorry fate. Looks like a round of closings for 2010…too bad that’s an old Field’s (it had a candy counter!)

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  123. Wow, so sad though inevitable- I have very fond memories of shopping here with my late mom, and of running to the box office before concert tix went on sale many times! It was a very nice Hudsons back then (90s) but has been a very unloved macy’s for some time- surprised it hasn’t closed sooner, to be honest. This just leaves Sears (mom was on the floor team that set up for its grand opening way back when) and JCP. Only a matter of time now. Still sucks having this vacant behemoth in the backyard so to speak…

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  124. http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/01/05/business/doc4b43c1938263b868484037.txt

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  125. JCP at Summit Place will be closing on or before 4/3 according to today’s Oakland Press. (Finally)

    Ha, I remember going to the closing sale at miracle mile’s JCP when they were moving to Summit!

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  126. its sad that this going away, but I heard many rumors, that there is going to be a super walmart there.

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  127. Wow I have so many memories of this place! My first job was at Mainstreet (Kohl’s) then I worked at Spencer Gifts, President Tuxedos, and then one of the booth store (Select Communications). As a teenager I spent many of my days at the Burger King that was located in “the mall” section between Hudson’s and Montgomery Wards. I also remember going to the Summit Cinema for my first real teenage “alone” outing. I am going to miss what was once known as The Mall”, Summit Place. But, shopping has changed and these type of malls are not what/how people like to shop anymore. I live in Waterford now and I would love to see something similar to Villages of Rochester occupy this space or even if they bring the Super Walmart to this location I would appreciate having the outlet stores similar to how the Walmart Superstore development is in Rochester Hills. My hopes is that I will be able to shop in the community in which I live for the majority of my needs and I would hate for this space to be left empy and an eyesore!

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    @Carol, I OPENED that old Mainstreet store…I taught myself to do the all the store displays & a Hudson’s picked me up to work for them. I was also the last manager to close the little theatre there, too (and they gave me the outside poster frames! They work for my walls!). Yes, it grew, grew, grew over the years, and then went down, down, down. I sure hope it gets bought up by another business that can pick it all back up to give the area some business, some jobs and even some fun. It’s on a lot of our wish lists…

    [Reply]

  128. For those who were reminiscing about Fruigurt, I recently (just after reading this thread for the first time… weird coincidence because before that I had never heard of them in my life) found there is still one in the Briarwood (Ann Arbor) Macy’s. There is also still a candy counter and you can tell the decorative floor tile border is probably left over from the Hudson’s “Marketplace” days. The counter also sells sandwiches, salads, coffee, etc. that are a bit pricey but actually quite good. Kind of far to drive for many of us, but considering that several people were sad about the Fruigurt’s demise, I thought this news might be better than nothing. :)

    [Reply]

  129. As a kid I loved going to the pontiac Mall back in the 70′s, and 80′s, I remember playing the arcade games in Aladin’s Castle, Games like Krull, Battlezone, Pac-Man, Mrs. Pac Man, Donkey Kong Jr., Those were some fun times, I also remember the Art Shows they would have in the main Corridor in the old part of the Mall in the 70′s, and 80′s, My dad had some of his paintings there too, and the booth at the end near Hudson’s where these guys would make things out of melted glass!, K B Toys to the right as you left Montgomery Wards, and record Town right next to KB, I also Remember the Burger King between Hudsons, and Kresges, The art Store called Fingers, and the Gap right next to Fingers, The old Wishing wells were you toss in pennys, the old drinking fountains by Kresges, Seeing Santa in the igloo by Kresges, The Lunch/ Dinner area in Kresges, Burger Chef out side the mall towards the back, Farmer Jacks store Between Sears, and Wards, and seeing dozens of movies at the Cinema 123 behind Sears, Anyone remember highland Appliance to the south of the mall, and The old Huron Theater! Those were some great times that I will surely miss! RIP Pontiac Mall

    [Reply]

    DG Reply:

    @Shawn D,

    We probably passed each other in the halls more than once back then…I used to virtually live in the Aladdin’s Castle up until about ’86 or so (lol). I worked at B.Dalton’s (next to The Gap) and later Hudson’s, too. I also remember Highland Appliance and Ollie Fretter’s that were on Elizabeth Lake Rd. I still have a pair of speakers I bought at Highland when they briefly moved to Oakland Pointe (lolX2). Remember when the blue tiled islands (like outside Kresges’) had water in them insead of white paited concrete?

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  130. Has anyone heard the rumor IKEA may be coming? I heard that if IKEA does buy the property that the majority of the old mall would require demolition… If this doesn’t occur, I wonder how long the Township will allow it to stand. The movie theatre has been closed for over 15 years, has extensive water damage and weeds the size of small trees growing on the roof! This can’t be safe…

    [Reply]

  131. Read in the Oakland Press that the ballpark is back on. They finally got funding. Hopefully that will turn things around.

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  132. I remember the stylist across from alladins where guys could get razor cuts,while their shoes were being polished/repaired next door. There was some nice auto displaysand many kiosksw/cool things. Most of all,it was where teen guys&girlswent to meet each other,and were always very respectful, Absolytely no drugs/or bad languageand our parents knew where we were,plus you could work pt.time at Teds rest.,the coneysetc.. It would be nice to have a reunion of sorts of all Pontiac Mall crawlers &kick around some ideas to save our mall.Anybody ?! Ben.

    [Reply]

  133. Remember the shoe repair/shine ,mens stylist w/razor cuts? Teds rest.was great & the Pontiac Mall was a place for teens to meet,no drugs/bad languageand respectful. A reunion of sorts of all mall crawlers would be nice&kick about some ideas to save our mall.Anyone?

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  134. Highland Appliance had a store inside the Pontiac Mall just as the mall corridor lead to J. L Hudon’s. Hughes, Hatcher& Sufferin was across the hallway also a small hallway away from J. L. Hudson’s. The Tie Rack had a small location in the front main corridor/hallway leading to S.S.Kresge and Hudson’s to the left and Montgomery Ward to the left.

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  135. Yea Mickey, all the good stores are long gone . Father&Son,Highland,and there used to be a hobby/science store [I believe in the main mall area]. They had the best products[made in America] and best prices&service. Too bad, the young people of today will never know how great things were then. But at least no one can ever erase the great memories we have of a great past time. Thanks Mickey,for replying & sharing yours, Ben

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  136. Any Summit Place Mallers still out there?! I guess the OLE PONTIAC MALL is definetly history. No interest at all,which I guess is the sign of the times. What with the Online Shopping and QVC&HSN, the era of the mall has passed. Kind of sad to see it happen,but I guess as our generation fades and welcomes the new generations to come it is for the best. I’m 61 now,have enjoyed the Pontiac Mall,Miracle Mile,and Drayton Plains Center.Been in the Navy,went to Viet-Nam and done a little traveling since.Now it’s time to pass the torch as the saying goes and love the memories. No regrets,just the fondness of a long gone era. Much like the Astronauts w/the Shuttle PRGM.coming to a close-We can look into the stars and say We were there and BY GOD what a beautiful&facinating time it was. I’m moving North for the rest of my life{peace&nature}.. I’M signing off for good now-but perhaps-as two ships passing in the night-WE Pontiac Mallers will meet again! GOD BLESS EVERYONE&SEE YOU IN THE NEXT LIFE!!!!! From my Heart to Yours!

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  137. I heard they closed Macys last year.I grew up in that mall for Petes sake!Lots of great memories!

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  138. Looks like, according to Google Maps, there’s some building attached to the south of Macy’s. Was this an Auto Center, or what? Bing.com maps looks like it wasn’t an Auto Center, however.

    http://binged.it/w3fG2E

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    ohio Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, it was a row of outparcel stores

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  139. Not too much to update on the Summit Place Mall. Sears is still there somehow, the Target near the mall is long gone, Sam’s Club is still nearby and so is the Red Lobster.

    Ironically enough; the former Sears building (the one built in 1929 and the same one that moved to the mall) in downtown Pontiac is currently being renovated and redeveloped into a mixed-use development. Much needed for Pontiac, but very ironic for the same mall that siphoned the downtown’s business.
    http://www.clickondetroit.com/money/Historic-Pontiac-Sears-building-to-be-transformed-into-Lafayette-Place-Lofts/-/1719116/8505766/-/d98xfmz/-/index.html

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  140. My name is Karibe and I was born and raised in Pontiac. I enjoyed reading what you wrote about the Summit Place Mall. I don’t know if you knew that there was a movie theater there also. My siblings and I used to go there all the time. Just thought I’d mention it to you.

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  141. Believe it or not, Sears is still open at Summit. I stopped by on “Black Friday” 2012 out of morbid curiosity, since the Sears website indicated the store was still operating.

    The entire mall (including the cinema outbuilding) is still standing vacant with weeds overtaking the broken up parking lot. Apparently nature is reclaiming its territory! A few of mall entrance windows were broken & boarded up–indicating that vandals may have attempted to (or succesfully did) enter the shopping center. The large SUMMIT PLACE sign still stands on Telegraph Rd identifying the moribund mall.

    Surprisingly, there were a few shoppers in Sears. Cetainly not enough of them to pay the employees or utility bills—and this was on the busiest shopping day of the year. Absolutely amazing that the doors are still open. I located the section of the store which formerly housed the mall entrance to the store. A metal pull-down gate and a flimsy panel of sheet rock served as a barrier. A draft of cold air from the unheated vacant mall wafted through that area of the store. Sad, surreal, eerie, and fascinating . .

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  142. I made my way out to Summit Place about a month ago with a friend. We took some footage of the outside of the mall, and made a short parody film that is like Ghost Hunters:

    It would have been awesome to actually go inside and get some footage of whatever is still in there. I had wanted to go there years ago and make a zombie-type flick, but I kept putting it off, and unfortunately the mall closed before I could do this. The Sears is still there though!

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  143. If anyone still posts here,I greatly need your help. Back around 2006, my hubby and I purchased a replacement wedding ring at the jewelry store near footlocker at the Summit Place mall. I could have sworn this was Kay jewelers. I am normally very careful with my receipts and paperwork, but I’ve moved plenty of times and cannot find it. I called Kay and they cannot find my name or his in their database. Please, can someone tell me if it was Kay near Footlocker or was it Zales? It was like a kiddy corner store, also in the general area of Montgomery Wards and the water fountain.

    Thank you very much!
    Angel

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  144. Another update for Summit Place; the old movie theater on the outer parcel is finally being torn down (I believe it’s almost completely down). There was an article about it on the Oakland Press:
    Most recently they posted an album of Summit Place during it’s heyday (including when SPM was just known as “The Pontiac Mall”) They also posted some pictures of the Target and Office Max during Black Fridays (long lines!) and also the strip mall in Pontaic (there’s a peek of the old mental hospital where the townhouses are at now). Pretty cool stuff.

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    GlennH Reply:

    @DRoman,

    Would you happen to have a link to the SPM/PM album? I searched the Oakland Press archives and couldn’t find it. I located the article regarding the theater demolition.

    Thanks

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