Somerset Collection

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SomersetCollectionNorth's gazebo.jpg
The Grand Court at Somerset North
incorporates a full glass dome.
Location 2800 W. Big Beaver
Troy, Michigan
 United States
Opening date 1969 (Somerset Mall)
1992 (Somerset South)
1996 (Somerset North)
Developer Forbes/Cohen
Management The Forbes Company
Owner The Forbes Company
& Frankel Associates
Architect JPRA Architects
Peterhansrea Designs
No. of stores and services 180
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 1,450,000 sq ft (134,700 m2)
No. of floors 2 (Somerset South)
3 (Somerset North)
Parking 7,000 spaces
Surface parking, covered parking, and valet.
Website The Somerset Collection

Somerset Collection is an upscale, luxury shopping mall, located in Metro Detroit, in Troy, Michigan.

There are more than 180 specialty stores located at Somerset. Somerset Collection, developed, managed, and co-owned by The Forbes Company, is among the most profitable malls in the United States not owned by a real estate investment trust.[1] Mall developers consider Somerset Collection to be among the top privately held mall properties in the United States. Of the 100 most profitable malls, 76 are owned by real estate investment trusts.[1]


Somerset North[edit]

Nordstrom (240,000 sq ft)

Macy's (300,000 sq ft)

Somerset South[edit]

Neiman Marcus (141,000 sq ft)

Saks Fifth Avenue (160,000 sq ft)[2]


Somerset Collection includes many relaxing water displays throughout the mall.

In 1969, Saks Fifth Avenue opened a stand-alone store on Big Beaver Road in Troy, an affluent suburb 25 miles north of downtown Detroit. A one floor, upscale "Somerset Mall" designed by Louis G. Redstone Associates, was built onto the existing Saks, anchored by it and a new Bonwit Teller.[3] Thirty five additional stores opened, including I. Miller, Abercrombie & Fitch, Mark Cross, and FAO Schwarz.[2]

Bonwit significantly renovated its store in 1988, only to close in 1990 after the chain went bankrupt. In 1991-1992 the center was renamed Somerset Collection, a second level was added, and Neiman Marcus opened a store on the site of the razed Bonwit Teller. Completed in August 1992, Saks was renovated and expanded and more luxury stores, like Tiffany's, opened as well.[4]

Following the success of the revamped mall, co-owners Forbes/Cohen Properties and Frankel Associates opened a new three-story $200 million, 940,000 sq ft expansion across from Somerset Mall in 1996, designed by JPRA Architects. Michigan's first Nordstrom and a Hudson's (converted to Marshall Field's and then Macy's) anchored the three-story expansion, named Somerset North. When Marshall Fields was converted to Macy's in 2006 Somerset became one of only three malls in the country to boast all four department stores.[5]

Connecting the two malls is a 700 ft enclosed bridge with a moving "Skywalk" over Big Beaver Road. The enclosed, climate-controlled skywalk was one of the first of its kind in the country, featuring a moving sidewalk to move shoppers between Somerset Collection South and Somerset Collection North.

In 2004, Somerset South, the original part of the Collection, was renovated. The mall features award-winning lighting[6] by Paul Gregory (Focus Lighting), a continuous skylight, glass elevators, and fountains designed by WET. Somerset Collection includes several notable sculptures, including a Finnish Sorvikivi Floating Stone fountain. Mall at Millenia, in Orlando, Florida, also designed by JPRA Architects, was based on Somerset Collection and is similar in design. Neither mall has kiosks.

In December 2009, the Forbes Company acquired an adjacent site on which an open-air mixed use development known as the Pavilions of Troy has been proposed. Although plans were approved, the project has not moved forward and no further plans have been announced.[7]

In 2012, calling it "strategic capital investments," Saks renovated its store after it identified the Somerset location as having "high growth potential."[8]

At present The Somerset Collection contains 1,450,000 sq ft (134,700 m2) of gross leasable area.[2]

Shops and Restaurants[edit]

Several of the top luxury retailers have a presence at Somerset including Cartier, L.K.Bennett, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Giorgio Armani, Herve Leger, Anne Fontaine, Hugo Boss, MaxMara, Omega, St. John, and Coach.[9]

In 2013 The Somerset Collection announced new stores including David Yurman, Halston Heritage (its third boutique in the U.S.), and a Microsoft Store.[10]

A Disney Store and ivivva athletica opened in early 2014. A Versace store is scheduled to open near Saks Fifth Avenue on the lower level.

In addition to those previously mentioned, Cache, Anthropologie, Madewell, Kiehl's, Everything But Water, kate spade New York, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, Brooks Brothers, Allen Edmonds, Vera Bradley, Eileen Fisher, Lego, lululemon athletica, The Buckle, Juicy Couture, Intermix, Lacoste, Aritzia, Henri Bendel, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Janie and Jack, Cole Haan, Lilly Pulitzer, Arhaus Furniture, and Papyrus are all located at the Collection as well[11]

Dining options can be found in both North and South and range from fast food staples to casual, sit down restaurants like P.F. Chang's China Bistro, J. Alexander's, Brio Tuscan Grille, McCormick & Schmick's, and California Pizza Kitchen.[4] The fine dining establishment, The Capital Grille is also located at the Somerset Collection North.[11] The third level of the Somerset Collection North features a grouping of 10 eateries which are called The Peacock Cafes, with combined seating for 650 patrons.


Somerset provides valet parking and a full-service concierge staff. The concierge service includes a variety of services such as gift wrapping and stroller and wheelchair rental. Wi-Fi internet access is available at the Somerset North Grand Court, Peacock Cafe's, and Somerset South Rotunda.

One of the two Granite Sorvikivi Floating Stone spheres at Somerset Collection North.

Special events[edit]

Special events are hosted at Somerset Collection year round. The layout includes stages for the performing arts. These events include yoga classes, special savings, visiting Santa, fashion shows, and other events sponsored by the Collection and individual stores.

In 2011, the Forbes Company debuted a group of pop-up mini-shops called Somerset Collection CityLoft in Downtown Detroit, specifically at the Lower Woodward Avenue Historic District, which had been a major Detroit shopping district. Various stores from Somerset have opened pop up shops on Merchant's Row in the 1200 to 1400 block of Woodward Avenue, generally open the last Thursday to Saturday of the month from June through August, and occasionally September. Created to honor the history of Detroit and also promote local, existing stores and restaurants retailers such as The Buckle, Cache, Coach, Eddie Bauer, Gap, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Hallmark, Saks Fifth Avenue, Vera Bradley, and Williams-Sonoma have participated in the event.[12] In 2012 this concept was extended to the Christmas season, with CityLoft Holiday "Yappy" Hour.[13]


See also[edit]


References and further reading[edit]

  • Cantor, George (2005). Detroit: An Insiders Guide to Michigan. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03092-2. 
  • Garvin, Alexander (2002). The American City: What Works What Doesn't (2nd Ed.). McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-137367-8. 
  • 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. 
  • Urban Land Institute (1994). ULI Market Profiles. Urban Land Institute. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°33′41″N 83°11′2″W / 42.56139°N 83.18389°W / 42.56139; -83.18389