MKiezi Investments in Troy today announced it has acquired the landmark Oakland Mall on 14 Mile Road at I-75 in Troy from CenterCal Properties. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“I spent a great deal of time during my early childhood years at Oakland Mall shadowing my family in their store, Antoine’s Ice Cream, where I observed and learned the basic elements of business. I roamed the mall and caught an eye for retail at the young age of 10,” says Mario Kiezi, founder and president of MKiezi Investments.
“The location is tremendous with an outstanding community of tenants that we plan to work with and add to with our focus on family friendly entertainment, restaurants, and an emphasis on maker’s culture.”
The Oakland Mall opened in 1968 as an enclosed super-regional property. The mall’s multi-tenant space includes department stores Macy’s and J.C. Penney, along with the former Sears store space, which MKiezi Investments acquired last year. In total, the shopping center offers approximately 1.5 million square feet of space.
In addition to the two department stores, Oakland Mall anchor retailers include Dick’s Sporting Goods and At Home. Hobby Lobby is scheduled to open later this year in a portion of the former Sears space and Longhorn Steakhouse will replace the former Logan’s Roadhouse at the southeast corner of the property.
“Oakland Mall currently is 90 percent occupied,” says Kiezi. “We plan to build on our draw of young families seeking value and retail concepts that meet their needs and price points without intimidation. We also plan to enhance our tenant merchandise mix and host events that appeal to families who seek a non-elite, unique, and exciting shopping experience.”
MKiezi Investments plans property improvements to the mall including, in the short-term, freshening areas most in need such as mall entrances, restrooms, and lighting. Redevelopment of the former Sears store is also underway.
Kiezi and his development team are working with GH+A design studios, based in Detroit and Montreal. Their plan includes creating a comprehensive vision plan to transform the feel of the mall over time, including future implementation of placemaking concepts and other ideas such as brick and click retail, family entertainment and dining, ghost kitchens, advanced retail distribution, and complementary land uses.
In addition to Kiezi, the MKiezi Investments development team includes partner and local real estate professional Jack Berke; architect and planner Ron Loch, with 30-plus years of retail planning and mall design experience; and John Eggert, with more than 20 years of experience as a real estate development and asset management executive in the shopping mall industry.
“We look forward to enhancing the Oakland Mall and making it a true community center, offering a family-oriented environment with places for the adults as well,” says Kiezi. “Our overall master vision is what we consider a cutting-edge model focusing on hipster art and community engagement including potential activation of outdoor space such as for periodic operation of a farmer’s market. We view this as a mall of the people.
“Using social media platforms such as TikTok to engage with the community, we encourage all to share ideas on what they’d like to see us do and we will conduct polls to help guide our decision making.”
MKeizi Investments has acquired, developed, and managed more than 2 million square feet of commercial real estate space in Ohio and Michigan in recent years, including big box and power centers with major national pharmacy, grocery, and mass merchant anchors.