Twelve Oaks Mall

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Twelve Oaks Mall
Entrance of Twelve Oaks Mall.jpg
Location Novi, Michigan, USA
Opening date August 2, 1977
Developer A. Alfred Taubman, Homart Development, and Dayton-Hudson Corporation
Management Taubman Centers
Owner Taubman Centers
Architect Victor Gruen, Richard Prince
No. of stores and services 180 +
No. of anchor tenants 5
Total retail floor area 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2)
No. of floors 2 (3 in Macy's)
Parking 7,051

Twelve Oaks Mall is a full line super-regional shopping mall with over 180 stores which is located in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The mall is located on the Northeast corner of Interstate 96 and Novi Road. Taubman Centers is the owner and manager of the mall, and it is anchored by Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, JCPenney and Sears. It is among the largest malls owned by the Taubman Corporation and one of the largest in Michigan for gross leasable area and total stores.[1] 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.[2] 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,[3] 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,[4] 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.

The center court in Twelve Oaks Mall.

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, 30 new stores, a renovation and expansion of Macy's to 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2), and a new 165,000 sq ft (15,300 m2) Nordstrom store.[1] The expansion will make Twelve Oaks Mall one of Taubman's largest mall properties.[1] Construction began in February 2006, with Clark Construction Company taking on the project.

In September 2007, the new Nordstrom opened with over 40 small specialty shops including Martin + Osa (now closed), the first in Michigan. 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 will open at the mall later that year, and it opened on August 13, 2013.


The interior design is heavily influenced by the Brutalist architectural movement that was popular during the 1970s. It consists of large, contemporary, geometric ceiling designs with recessed skylights in the center and anchor courts with lower ceilings between them.

Twelve Oaks underwent renovations in 2007 that included additional internal lighting around the mall's existing skylights.

Originally, the interior decor included wood railings with steel bars, terazzo flooring, sculptures throughout the center (on ceilings and floors), and a staircase in the center court. Each court also contained a large modern art sculpture, and the original three anchors each had four trees.

Prior to the first renovation in 1996, the center court of the mall originally had a large sunken "pit" area lined with steps and green carpet. This area was used like today for holiday events and displays (without seating or kiosks), but during times of idle use it was often used by kids to run off energy. The pit was approximately 30" below the surrounding floor surface and brick kneewalls lined portions of the pit. There were also sunken lounge areas with similar adornments in the Sears, JCPenney, and Hudson's courts. The information booth in its former location had a large 20' orange beacon with the Twelve Oaks "tree" logo and the word "information" in a vertical configuration with Bauhaus-type font. These features were removed entirely during a mid-1990s renovation.

Unlike sister malls Lakeside Mall and Fairlane Town Center, the interior of Twelve Oaks Mall received a series of major renovations, which took place during the 1990s. These renovations included new entrances, seating areas, flooring, an additional elevator in center court, new signage, railings and railing accents, fixtures, and furnishings. At the same time, the sculptures, the center court staircase, and some of the trees were removed. Interior ashtrays were also removed, as Twelve Oaks became a smoke-free mall near the end of the renovation in September 1998. The interior decor now consists of silver, mirrored accents on some of the pillars, modern tiled flooring, and silver railings with glass inserts.

In 2007, the entrances were renovated to include a more modern appearance, a fresh coat of paint was added throughout the mall, and additional accent lighting near the skylights was installed. The basic architecture remains the same with the same skylights and overall ceiling design original to the 1977 structure. Again that year, the mall added a TV area during the opening of Nordstrom.

Additionally, the seating areas in the JCPenney Court and Macy's Court were simplified to create more open space and make navigation easier. A play area for children was also built in the Lord and Taylor Court, and later moved to the Sears court, and valet parking became a permanent offering instead of a seasonal service.

The Twelve Oaks water tower visible from I-96.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Marshall, Caroll (August 23, 2007.Twelve Oaks expansion makes mall among Tauban's biggest. Oakland Business Review, Retrieved on January 17, 2008.
  2. ^ Gerdes, Wylie (November 16, 1969). "Sears Picks Township For Center" (PDF) (Vol. 82, No. 16). Farmington Enterprise & Observer. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Novi". Chain Store Age, Executives Edition Combined with Shopping Center Age. Lebhar-Friedman. 49: E-8, E-82. 1973.
  4. ^ "Gruen Associates". Retrieved 16 January 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°29′31″N 83°28′13″W / 42.49194°N 83.47028°W / 42.49194; -83.47028