To encourage a greater business boom in Southfield, the city of Southfield and Lawrence Technological University have partnered together to launch a new Michigan SmartZone called Southfield Centrepolis
. As the 15th largest city in the state of Michigan, and considered Michigan's business center with more than 100 Fortune 500 companies and 10,000 businesses, Southfield’s economic growth over the years has been substantial. The City believes this new SmartZone is the region’s next step towards success and that the entire SmartZone program will inspire and assist with the growth of neighboring businesses around the state.
This Southfield SmartZone was in the works starting back in 2003, when a Joint LDFA with the city of Troy created the Automation Alley SmartZone, with a Troy and Southfield campus. In 2015, the Joint LDFA Automation Alley SmartZone pursued a 15-year extension to the amendment and expansion of the Southfield LDFA. As a subset of Automation Alley, Centrepolis became recognized as the latest SmartZone in the Michigan SmartZone network
, which connects universities, industries, research organizations, government branches, and other community institutions to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs. The $3.6 million Southfield Centrepolis SmartZone space is located adjacent to LTU’s Southfield campus—along I-696, Inkster, and 11 mile—and spans across five acres. Centrepolis not only creates an educational arena where start-up businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn how to take their ideas to the next level, it creates more retail, business, and residential opportunities in the heart of Southfield.
The new SmartZone is home to more than 400 businesses and over 4,000 employees with a focus on the areas of professional, scientific, and technological services; finance and insurance; administrative and support; and healthcare.
“We’re very confident it’s going to be a big benefit to our business community,” said Rochelle Freeman, Southfield’s business and economic development director.
With plans to not only create an entrepreneurial center, but also a cultural environment, Centrepolis will incorporate community-friendly amenities like new dining establishments and stores, 10-ft wide pathways, roadway improvements, wayfinding signage, storm water management, and further development of Pebble Creek Park. The Southfield SmartZone will incorporate the Mark Plaza building at 21411-21415 Civic Center Drive and continue to develop over the next 15 years through funding and support from the state of Michigan, Oakland County, Lawrence Technological University, Automation Alley, and the city of Southfield.
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