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, super-regional shopping mall, located in Metro Detroit, in Troy, Michigan with more than 180 specialty stores. 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 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 16 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.[2] Thirty five additional stores opened, including I. Miller, Abercrombie & Fitch, Mark Cross, and FAO Schwarz.[3]

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]

Shops and restaurants

The Somerset Collection contains 1,450,000 sq ft (134,700 m2) of gross leasable area with over 180 stores.[3] The four department store anchors are: Nordstrom (240,000 sq ft) and Macy's (300,000 sq ft) in Somerset North, and Neiman Marcus (141,000 sq ft) and Saks Fifth Avenue (160,000 sq ft) in Somerset South.[3]

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 & 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

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]

Technical details

Building Image Levels Area[4]
sq ft / m²
Somerset North File:Somersetcollection-3.JPG 3 940,000 / 87,300 Both Somerset Collection North and Somerset Collection South feature distinctive design elements and architectural features. An exterior of Cranbrook brick and Mankato stone is combined with interior finishes of marble, woods, a continuous skylight, fountains, stages for the performing arts and a number of original sculptures. Somerset Collection features over 180 shops and restaurants. Of the mall's 180 stores, 78 are unique to this center as the only Michigan location. Stores include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Vera Bradley, and Crate & Barrel.

The third level of the Somerset Collection North features a grouping of ten eateries which are called The Peacock Cafes, with combined seating for 650 patrons. Somerset Collection North includes restaurants such as The Capital Grille, J. Alexander’s, and California Pizza Kitchen. The Bistro at Macy's and Nordstrom Cafe are also available. Somerset Collection South includes P. F. Chang's China Bistro, Brio Tuscan Grille, McCormick & Schmick's, and the Neiman Marcus Cafe.

Somerset South 2 500,000 / 46,500
Macy's File:Somersetnorthmacysflr1.jpg 3 300,000 / 27,900 Somerset North
Nordstrom 3 240,000 / 22,300 Somerset North
Neiman Marcus 200px 2 141,000 / 13,100 Somerset South
Saks Fifth Avenue 2 160,000 / 14,900 Somerset South
Moving skywalk File:Somerset Collection skywalk Troy, Michigan shopping center.jpg 2 700 sq ft (65 m2)
Access level 2.
Spanning Big Beaver Road and integrating the twin centers is a 700-foot (210 m), enclosed, climate-controlled Skywalk. One of the first skywalks of its kind in the country[citation needed], the bridge features a moving sidewalk to move shoppers between Somerset Collection South and Somerset Collection North.
Somerset Collection

(Gross leasable area)

200px 2-3 1,450,000 / 134,700 The mall offers over 180 stores and restaurants, valet parking deliverable to either north or south malls, and a full service concierge staff. The concierge service at includes a variety of services such as gift wrapping, stroller and wheelchair rental, Wi-Fi internet access at the Somerset North Grand Court, Peacock Cafe's, and Somerset South Rotundra.


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Groover, Joel (June 1, 2004).Privacy Please. Retail Traffic Penton Media. Retrieved on September 3, 2007.
  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. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Somerset Collection - About Us - Somerset Collection". Somerset Collection. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 About Somerset: History and Information.The Somerset Collection. Retrieved on October 8, 2008.
  5. "Saks Fifth Avenue to leave Denver's Cherry Creek mall after 20 years". 
  6. "IESNYC - Home Page". 
  7. "Crain's Detroit Business : Subscription Center". 
  8. "Saks Incorporated Announces Results for the Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended February 2, 2013 - Business Wire". 26 February 2013. 
  9. "Somerset Collection to introduce new retailers". 
  10. "Crain's Detroit Business : Subscription Center". 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Somerset Collection - Directory for Somerset Collection". Somerset Collection. 
  12. "Somerset Collection’s CityLoft Returns to Downtown Detroit with 40 Brands". 

References and further reading

  • 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

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