Southfield sees opportunity for developmental growth by focusing on expanding industries

Southfield is redefining itself in attempt to bring employers and jobs back to the city.
With the help of an aggressive campaign by the Southfield Downtown Development Authority (SDDA), the city of Southfield and other city leaders and elected officials, Southfield is becoming a central hub for healthcare, technological and other innovative employers who are coming back to the region.
That campaign includes the creation of a retail development strategy which proactively introduces Southfield to various developers and end users, through national and regional conferences and other forms of communication. The plan is showing results.
Southfield remains in one of the country’s top 101 zip codes for corporate employment despite the economic struggles of the region. More than 100 Fortune 500 companies have a presence within the city. And the Southfield DDA is working proactively contacting businesses with expiring leases in an attempt to bring jobs to the city.
Within the last few years, Southfield took on an active campaign to attract employers in two specific industries: healthcare and high-tech. The strategy makes sense considering 14 percent of its female residents are employed in the healthcare industry. In addition employment in the healthcare sector comprises 15.6 percent of the city’s total employment, according to a 2011 report released by Anderson Consulting Group.
St. John Providence Medical Center is currently in the process of completing a $5 million Emergency Department expansion and renovation, and a $14 million capital improvement plan for the hospital’s campus. It has more than 3,400 staff members and 1,500 physicians.
Oakland Regional Hospital and Nursing Center in Southfield includes 30 medical/surgical beds, 15 acute rehabilitation beds and a full range of other services, including diagnostic radiology, mobile MRI, X-ray, ultrasound and its own Imaging Center.
Health Alliance Plan employs approximately 450 professionals in Southfield and Northland Park Dialysis Center and CSL Plasma Services are just two of the outpatient healthcare facilities that have opened in Southfield in the past few years. The city is also home to numerous physician and dental offices.
Oakland Community College invested $25 million to add a 70,000 square-foot healthcare education expansion and renovation plan at its Southfield campus. Student enrollment at that campus has raised by 114 percent in healthcare programs over the last decade, highlighted by its Allied Health program, a state-of-the-art surgical technology program lab that replicates an operating room.
The city’s high-tech footprint isn’t limited just to healthcare. Employers such as Microsoft and Secure-24 also reside in Southfield, and existing employers offer the technological infrastructure that allows those needs of companies to be readily met.
On the retail side Southfield is in talks with numerous big box retailers on future site locations as well. Already large restaurant, telecommunications, financial institution and supermarket chains from Fifth Third Bank to Kroger have either moved into the city within the last year or have committed to significant renovations and expansions. Other retailers like Just Baked and Verizon Wireless have also moved into the city.
As more high-tech and leading-edge employers come to Southfield in the coming months and years, expect further retail and housing developments and renovations to continue, cementing the city’s reputation as a gateway from Detroit to its suburbs.