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Personal Recollection: I have been to Twelve Oaks more than any other mall and have seen the changes over the years. I actually liked it better in the past before it tried to go "upscale". There were plenty of affordable stores in the earlier days. I also worked at 2 stores here over the years. I preferred the movie theaters to the food court that was eventually built. That said, the mall remains a pretty safe shopping experience. My plan is to take a trip there soon and get a full set of photos and video because you never know when a mall will go under.
Note: per the article I posted below, the mall was originally slated to be located at Maple Rd and Haggerty, which in retrospect would have been a traffic disaster. The residents of West Bloomfield Twp opposed the mall on the grounds it would turn that area into Southfield (my home town), which was a valid concern LOL. I remember the location where the mall was built was an empty field with a small swamp in the middle. That entire area was empty pretty much as the aerial photo below shows. Ultimately, the current location was better as it has easy access to I-96 and I-275 just down the road.
Twelve Oaks Mall is a shopping mall with over 180 stores which is located in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. As of 2022, the mall features the traditional tenants Nordstrom, Macy's, and JCPenney. The mall currently features premier brands maximilian, Fabletics, Kate Spade, and Club Monaco.
The mall is located on the Northeast corner of Interstate 96 and Novi Road. Taubman Centers is the owner and manager of the mall. It is among the largest malls owned by Taubman, and one of the largest in Michigan in terms of gross leasable area and total stores. The mall completed a major remodel and expansion in 2007.
Planning for the mall began in 1967 when the J.L. Hudson Corporation purchased land at the intersection of 12 Mile and Novi roads. Prior to its development as a mall, the site was proposed to be used as a landfill. Opposition by residents and the then-Village of Novi prevented the establishment of the landfill.
Another mall proposal in Farmington Township (now Farmington Hills) was proposed by The Taubman Company and Homart Development. Sears was signed on to anchor the proposed shopping center, and Hudson's was rumored to anchor the mall as well. The mall was to be located at Thirteen Mile Road, between Haggerty and Halsted, and set to open in 1974. Opposition to the proposed mall in Farmington Township pushed the developers west to the current location in Novi.
Twelve Oaks Mall was then developed as a joint venture between A. Alfred Taubman, Homart Development, and the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, Excavation of the site began in the spring of 1975, and construction began later that fall. The mall opened on August 2, 1977, anchored by Hudson's, with Sears opening on October 1, 1977, Lord & Taylor on March 6, 1978, and finally JCPenney on May 3, 1978.
The mall was designed by Gruen Associates, founded by the pioneer of the American shopping mall Victor Gruen, and Richard Prince. The head builder was Richard Marrone. The mall is one of three super-regional Taubman malls built in Metro Detroit during the late 1970s, the other two being Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights and Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn.
In 2001, Hudson's converted to Marshall Field's. In 2002, The Taubman Corporation demolished the defunct United Artists Theatres and made way for a new "Lifestyle Cafe" food court, and allowed kiosks in the mall for the first time. This marked a change in Taubman policy, as it was originally believed that a food court would invite teenage loitering and that kiosks diminished the upscale atmosphere of the mall.
In 2005, The Taubman Corporation announced a $63 million expansion project, which includes a 97,000 sq ft (9,000 m2) of common space, and a new 165,000 sq ft (15,300 m2) Nordstrom store. The expansion made Twelve Oaks Mall one of Taubman's largest mall properties. Construction began in February 2006, with Clark Construction Company taking on the project. Also in 2006, Marshall Field's converted to Macy's, and expanded to 300,000 sq ft.
In September 2007, the new Nordstrom opened with over 40 small specialty shops. The new anchor store was built on the southeast side of the mall, adjacent to the existing Lord & Taylor store.
In January 2013, The Cheesecake Factory announced that it would open at the mall later that year, and it opened on August 13, 2013.
In 2018, H&M moved to a two floor space in the Sears wing from its original location in the JCPenney wing. It is the first two-level H&M store in Michigan.
The late 2010s saw multiple classic chain anchors retreat from brick and morter after being challenged by digital retailers in recent years.
In March 2019, Sears shuttered.
On August 2, 2020, it was announced that legendary division Lord & Taylor will be closing.
Twelve Oaks underwent renovations in 2007 that included additional internal lighting around the mall's existing skylights.
In 2020, Crate & Barrel relocated their location at Somerset Collection in Troy to Twelve Oaks. A temporary location in the original H&M space opened on February 6 while the permanent location in the upper level Macy's wing is being constructed.
In February 2020, Simon Property Group planned to acquire Twelve Oaks Mall, along with Taubman's other malls, but the deal was terminated in June. Simon Property Group later reversed its decision and modified certain terms of the original merger agreement, including a modified purchase price of $43.00 per share in cash in November 2020. The merger closed in December 2020.