Fairlane Town Center
|Developer||A. Alfred Taubman|
|No. of stores and services||150|
|No. of anchor tenants||4|
|Total retail floor area||1,465,000 sq ft (136,100 m2)|
|No. of floors||2 – 3|
Fairlane Town Center is a super-regional shopping mall in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. Its anchor stores are Macy's, JCPenney, and Sears. The mall includes an AMC Theatres multiplex, as well as H&M, DSW Shoe Warehouse and Bally Total Fitness among other major stores. The mall is adjacent to the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. The University of Michigan–Dearborn, Henry Ford Community College, The Henry Ford, and the Ford Motor Company headquarters are also nearby.
Following a major renovation in 2007, the mall features a large food court, full service restaurants, several eateries, and merchandise for the urbanized market. The mall is about a 15 minute drive from downtown Detroit, Wayne State University, or Metro Airport.
Developed by A. Alfred Taubman, Fairlane Town Center opened on March 1, 1976. The mall is one of four super-regional Taubman malls built in the Detroit metro area in the 1970s, the other three being Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor (1973), Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights (1976) and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi (1977).
In 1976, the mall opened with JCPenney as the north anchor and Sears as south anchor; Hudson's opened in the following July. Additional features included an ice skating rink (on the ground floor), a 5 screen movie theater (on the second floor above the ice skating rink), as well as a unique Ford ACT elevated monorail car that shuttled shoppers between the mall and the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel. Lord & Taylor was added in 1978. Saks Fifth Avenue opened at the mall in 1980. In the early 80s, the ice skating rink was removed and the space was converted to a 5 screen movie theater, operated by United Artists. (5 screens were on the ground floor, and an additional 5 screens were on the second floor.) It was closed in the late 1990s. The space was demolished to make way for a 20 screen Star Theatre multiplex which was added in 1999. Also in 1999 a Lifestyle Cafe (food court) was added. In 2006 AMC merged with Star and it became AMC Star. Saks Fifth Avenue changed its store to an Off 5th Outlet in the late 1990s.
Hudson's adopted the Marshall Field's name in 2001 shortly before the chain was acquired by May Company and again in 2005 by Federated Department Stores; in 2006, the store was converted to Macy's along with all other Marshall Field's stores in Michigan. In 2004, Fairlane adopted an adult supervision policy to discourage underage loitering. Lord & Taylor closed in 2006.
In 2007, the mall completed a major three year renovation project. The mall secured H&M as an anchor tenant in 2007. The same year, Off Fifth closed its outlet store at the mall and was demolished in 2008 for a new wing featuring restaurants such as BRAVO! Cucina Italiana and P.F. Chang's China Bistro.
The interior of the Fairlane Town Center is unique and innovative following the themes of other Taubman shopping centers.
The internal pedestrian network consists of two floors through most of the mall, and a third level designed into the middle of the center courts. The middle level design is perhaps one of the most unusual designs of the mall, sharing the concept with Schaumburg, Illinois' Woodfield Mall and the original Eastridge Center, in San Jose, California. One side of the center of the mall is lower, and a middle level is formed between the upper and lower levels, thus creating a three level design in the center courts while maintaining a two level design throughout the rest of the mall.
Due to the original monorail system, there are dual interior courts rather than a single grand court. The south central court was originally designed as an activity center, with a stage and seating areas, and the north central court was designed as the location of a large terraced fountain.
Each anchor court features a large sculpture and seating areas. The interior features terrazzo-tiled flooring, wood trimmed glass railings, and white walls and ceilings articulated with geometric, hexagon shaped skylights featuring three halogen lights mounted on the apex of each dome. Access among the three retail levels is provided by a complex network of stairs, ramps, escalators, and two lighted "octa-lift" elevators each located in the center of the mall.
References and further reading
- Cantor, George (2005). Detroit: An Insiders Guide to Michigan. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03092-2.
- Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4.
- McKeever, J. Ross, Nathaniel M Griffin, Commercial and Office Development Council, Urban Land Institute, Executive Group (1977). Shopping Center Development Handbook. ULI.