Southfield named as a top performing community fostering economic growth

Southfield was named as one of the 38 top performing communities at fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in an annual study by researchers at the iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research.

Southfield was one of just 21 communities to be named a 5-star community, according to the study. The factors that made Southfield a 5-star community included “clustering,” the ability to invite and new infrastructure and have large concentrations of commercial and industrial activity; offer existing and prospective businesses various financial “incentives;” ongoing “growth” that includes increases in property values; strong “policies” that connect businesses with community resources; the fostering of a “community” environment including higher median incomes, low crime rates and more; and serving as a home to concentrations of a workforce that is strong in “education.”

“We feel that businesses are the engines of growth and development in today’s economy and are focused in helping the City of Southfield to compete for top employers in the region,” said Rochelle Freeman, business development manager for the City of Southfield.

The eCities research surveyed more than 100 communities in the State of Michigan who are home to 36% of Michigan residents and 44% of its college graduates. These communities also had more than $1 billion in commercial construction last year and more than half of them share services with other communities.

“This is a tremendous recognition of the city’s efforts to bring new developments into the area,” said Southfield Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Al Aceves. “We recognize the importance of balancing the needs of our residents, employers, developers and other stakeholders.”

The communities were honored at a ceremony at UM-Dearborn on November 16.

The annual eCities research project, which began in 2007, uses data supplied by the participants as well as other public records to assemble a six-factor, 32-item index of entrepreneurial activity, looking at such factors as clustering, incentives, growth, policies, community and education. The study focuses on entrepreneurship because of its importance to expansion and diversification of Michigan’s regional economies and the impact small businesses have on job creation. To date, 138 communities across Michigan have participated in the study.

Southfield Centre Named Office Building of the Year

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 21, 2013 — The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Metropolitan Detroit has awarded Farbman Group/NAI Farbman’s Southfield Centre the title of 2012–2013 “The Office Building of the Year” (TOBY) in the categories of 100,000-249,999 Square Feet property and Suburban Office Park Low-Rise respectively.

The TOBY Awards is the most prestigious and comprehensive program of its kind in the commercial real estate industry, recognizing quality in office buildings and awarding excellence in office building management. Buildings were recognized in various categories, including Industrial Office Buildings, Historical Building, Over 1 Million Square Feet, Medical Office Building and property Under 100,000 Square Feet.

“Farbman Group strives for excellence in all facets of real estate services and our team strives to transform forward thinking ideas into cutting edge applications, to achieve maximum results for our clients, company and communities,” said Andy Farbman, CEO, Farbman Group/NAI Farbman. “We are very proud to receive this recognition from BOMA for these two outstanding properties. It validates the success of our teams.”

Southfield Centre, also known as the “IBM Building,” is located on 9 Mile Road in Southfield. This 14-story building includes commercial office space and a restaurant. The building’s award winning design has been recognized for its energy efficiency, featuring north and east facades that absorb heat and south and west walls that reflect heat. The building features a full service cafeteria and 24 hour security.

To be considered for a TOBY, all facets of a building’s operations are thoroughly evaluated during a rigorous judging process, including tenant relations programs, community involvement, emergency preparedness, and security standards and continuing education for building personnel. Floor plans, site plans, and photographs round out the portfolio, providing an extensive examination of the building by the judges.

Winners of the BOMA Detroit TOBY awards will move on to a regional competition, then to a BOMA International competition at the BOMA International Annual Convention.

Ramada Inn Demolition Covered by WJBK-TV Fox 2

The former Ramada Inn’s demolition was covered in early September by Fox 2. Various people who lived and/or worked in Southfield shared their stories and memories of the former hotel.

The video by Fox 2 also includes a great look at the demo itself. Hear more about Executive Director Al Aceves’ comments on the property as well.

In late September, Oakland Community College agreed to purchase the 5.4 acres on which the Ramada Inn was located from the City of Southfield. As part of the purchase OCC agreed to cover the costs incurred in acquiring the property from the county for back taxes and costs in getting the dilapidated structure demolished. OCC paid the $2.2 million needed to for the project, which freed the City of Southfield and the Southfield DDA from those costs.


More information about this purchase was covered in an article that ran in the South Oakland Eccentric on September 29.


As you know, the Southfield DDA and its board is continuing to research the best options for how to develop existing properties within the District. We thank OCC for its continued commitment to the Southfield DDA and the community in general.

Former Employees, Fox 2 Remember Ramada Inn During Demolition

By Staff

By Robin Murdoch, Fox 2 News Reporter

Fox 2 News Headlines

The Ramada Inn on 9 Mile near Greenfield has changed names and owners several times over the years. Now the building is being knocked down.

Fox 2’s Robin Murdoch talks to a former employee, Glinda Fragale, who worked at the hotel back when it was the Shiawasee Hotel. Fragale was also proposed to in the building.

Read more:

Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Underway

Plan will improve walking, biking routes; connections within city

transportation_lgInvestigation, analysis and planning for the DDA Non-motorized and Transit Sub-Area Plan is currently underway. The team of Giffels-Webster and LSL Planning are fronting the project. Earlier in 2012, the city of Southfield constructed a transit master plan for the entire city. Now the Southfield DDA and Southfield City Centre districts are working on plans to propel ahead on the non-motor aspects.

Giffels-Webster Senior Project Manager Mike Darga is heading the DDA area, determining existing deficiencies in pedestrian, bicycle and transit options. Darga will recommend and prioritize staged improvements. “It could be completing sidewalk gaps, providing bike lanes in areas, making bus stops more accessible, moving a transit center – anything to help make the area more efficient,” he said.

With field inventory on the existing conditions of sidewalks, roadways and transit completed, efforts are focused on involving the public through a web-based survey and presentation to the DDA board. Improvements for walking and biking are being developed, along with connections between the DDA and City Centre. “It’s great on the city’s and DDA’s part to be proactive in coming up with a prioritized plan that they can raise money for, get grant funding for, and go for the complete streets aspect for the districts,” said Darga. “They are trying to address transportation and movement mobility for someone on foot, on bike, or bus. They are trying to move ahead and clean up the entire district for all people.”

Oakland Regional Hospital Introduces Our Patient Information Network

November 2012

SOUTHFIELD – November 2012 – As the government mandates “Meaningful Use” measures, a shift to electronic health records (EHR) for all healthcare providers, Oakland Regional Hospital spent 18 months preparing to introduce Our Patient Information Network – OPIN – a CPSI system.

“OPIN is the result of a lot of hard work and research conducted by a multi-disciplinary EHR Steering Committee that began meeting 18 months ago,” said Daniel Babb, CEO Oakland Regional Hospital. “This dedicated group of employees carefully selected to work with a system that embraced ease of use, functionalities and opportunities for improved patient experience and outcomes. We are very pleased with the results we have experienced to date.”

Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. (CPSI) was chosen as the right partner for the hospital to work with. CPSI is routinely ranked as a leader in the industry of EHR vendors who specialize in smaller hospitals with 100 beds or less. They are also the number one vendor in helping their clients achieve Meaningful Use measures. CPSI’s staff of more than 1,300 clinical, financial and IT experts provides everything from implementation to continuing support to consulting as part of a complete program, enabling hospitals to thrive in a challenging healthcare IT environment.

This fall, all staff members at Oakland Regional Hospital and its off-site locations received extensive hands-on training through a program specifically designed for the hospital employees – from those in patient registration to patient care to financial management. Help and training will be an ongoing aspect of the program. The program went “live” in October.

An investment of over $2 million was made to implement this system. In addition to the CPSI software, capital was also provided for:

  • Extensive training
  • Nurses’ Workstations on Wheels (WOW’s)
  • New, updated PC’s
  • Electronic signature pads for the patients
  • Laptops and tablets for caregiver data input
  • Great lengths went to ensure the best possible integration process and to produce the highest quality information data.

    The system’s most important aspect is the ability for users to track patient progress and care in real time – connecting caregivers with results and issues that can be act upon immediately. This results in improvement in patient outcomes and safety.

    OPIN has been integrated into all of Oakland Regional’s Centers: Southfield, Warren and Dearborn.

    Oakland Regional Hospital is a physician-owned hospital and a destination facility for Orthopaedic Care. The hospital is located in Southfield and offers the community several health and wellness services including Surgery, Orthopaedic, Imaging, Nursing, Pain and Foot & Ankle Centers. The hospital is a subsidiary of Michigan Surgery Specialists, PC., 22401 Foster Winter Drive, Southfield, MI 48075, 248-423-5100

CSL Plasma Flagship Facility Celebrates Grand Opening

The Southfield DDA joined in the grand opening celebration this summer for CSL Plasma’s flagship 21,000 square-foot plasma collection center located at 21921 Greenfield. CSL Plasma is a subsidiary of CSL Behring, a global leader in plasma protein biotherapeutics, which helps treat a variety of diseases and medical conditions. Both companies are owned by CSL Limited, a specialty biopharmaceutical firm based in Melbourne, Australia.

csl-plasmaSeveral local civic leaders attended the CSL Plasma grand opening, including Southfield City Council members Myron A. Frasier and Linnie Taylor, Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence’s Executive Assistant Marty Williams, Southfield Chamber of Commerce member Phil Levitt, and Southfield Downtown Development Authority Board Chairman James K. Ralph, Jr and Executive Director Al Aceves.

“Building a flagship facility like this is exciting,” Craig Shelansky, CSL Plasma Vice President of Operations, told the audience. The center operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The company has opened 10 plasma collection centers in the past year-and-a-half.

CSL Plasma’s life-saving mission took on a human face when a plasma donor and recipient were introduced at the grand opening celebration. Llewellyn Lowe, a war veteran, said he has been donating plasma for the past six years because he saw plasma at work in the field during his days in the service. Eight–year-old Nicholas Muccioli’s mother, Denice, explained how her son was diagnosed with Common Variable Immunodeficiency at 13 months old. The disease prevents the production of antibodies that fight infections. Nicholas receives plasma infusion therapy every three weeks.

“The treatment has improved Nick’s quality of life and the family’s quality of life,” said Denice Muccioli. She explained that it takes 150 plasma donors to make just 10 grams of medicine. That’s enough for one of Nicholas’ treatments.

Guests were treated to a tour of the state-of-the-art facility by the center’s manager Kim Griffin. They experienced firsthand the step-by-step process for donating plasma. The CSL Plasma collection process and centers are internationally, federally and locally regulated. In addition to employing nearly 60 workers at the Southfield site, CSL Plasma puts million of dollars back into the local community through employee salaries, taxes, donation fees, and charitable partnerships.

City of Southfield Healthcare Technology Center Expands the Impact of Southfield’s Downtown Development Authority

August 15, 2011

SOUTHFIELD – The City of Southfield is well-positioned to attract new healthcare businesses, as well as retain and upgrade existing healthcare investments, according to a recent study by Anderson Consulting Group.

The report analyzed the healthcare economy in Southfield and its primary and secondary market areas, defined as regions within a 30- and 60-minute drive from the Southfield Downtown Development Authority (SDDA) district. The SDDA comprises a one square mile area bounded by Eight Mile Road (south), Southfield Road (west), Mount Vernon (north) and Greenfield Road (east).

The Anderson Consulting Group report states that Southfield has a strong, growing healthcare demand base in close proximity to the SDDA; is central to a large and diverse healthcare constituent base; and has a highly skilled workforce. Among the findings:

  • About 3.2 million people live within a 30-minute drive from Southfield and an additional 1.7 million residents live within 60 minutes.
  • Southfield has a high concentration of residents ages 65 years or older (16.5 percent).
  • Shifts in the population age through 2015 are projected at up to 33 percent in the 65-69 and 70-74 age brackets.
  • The SDDA is located on the cusp of disparate population income groups, accommodating ease of access to healthcare services for a wide demographic.
  • Southfield is within a short driving distance from some of the state’s leading medical schools and research centers, including the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit Medical Center, St. John Providence Health System, Beaumont Health System, Wayne State University Medical School, and University of Michigan Health System and Medical School.
  • Southfield’s healthcare and social assistance employment base exceeded 5,000 as of 2010 and experienced a 7.2 percent gain from 2000. Employment in the healthcare sector comprises 15.6 percent of the city’s total employment.
  • Education levels in the city are comparatively high, with nearly 42 percent of the adult population having attained a bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2010, compared to 27 percent in the primary market area and 29 percent in the secondary market area.

The Southfield Downtown Development District currently houses many healthcare-related businesses and entities, including such large employers as St. John Providence Health System, Oakland Regional Hospital, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), CSL Plasma, Northland Park Dialysis Center, numerous point-of-service doctor and physician practices, and the healthcare-related curriculum programs at Oakland Community College. The SDDA is also partnering with Lawrence Technological University on the Southfield Healthcare Technology Center.

More than 5,500 healthcare professionals are employed within the SDDA in nearly 315,000 square-feet of space — about one-quarter of the occupied space in the district, according to the report. This month, Oakland Regional Hospital expanded its services with the opening of a new Foot   Ankle Center.

“We’re gaining momentum with not only existing healthcare businesses expanding within the district and the City of Southfield, but there is also growing interest from businesses, clinical entities and researchers from outside of our immediate area,” said SDDA Executive Director Al Aceves.

New healthcare business investments are continuing to be added to the SDDA. Contact Executive Director Al Aceves at 248-796-5192, or visit for more information. Further statistics are available from the Anderson Group report upon request.

Infrastructure and Aesthetics Project Kicks-Off

southfield-sidewalks-headline-smThe Southfield Downtown Development Authority (SDDA) announces the construction of sidewalks on North Park Drive between Northwestern Service Drive and Providence Drive and along Northwestern Service Drive up to the existing sidewalk on Rutland Drive. The project will link sidewalks of this busy college, hospital community creating a more walkable place for its residents and workers. Additionally, trash receptacles are being installed throughout the SDDA District and will be maintained by the SDDA’s District Maintenance Contract. The project is fully paid by the SDDA with the capture of taxes from properties located within the SDDA district in accordance with its Development Plan. The project is expected to be completed by September 13, 2011.

For additional information, please call Jackie Schatz 248-796-5196.