Portion of studio property sold for retail complex

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The city-owned Southfield property will soon be home to a retail complex, city officials said Tuesday.

Council members approved a purchase agreement to sell a 2.75-acre lot on the 104-acre Southfield Road former movie studio property to Birmingham-based Elia Group LLC.

Elia Group is to pay $600,000 for the property, located at the corner of Southfield and Enterprise Drive, and plans to build a restaurant/retail center at the site.

No formal building applications have yet been filed, Building Official Dave Boomer said, as the contract allows for a 180-day due diligence window.

Boomer said there is no timeline for the project’s completion but Elia Group’s principal, Zaid D. Elia, expressed interest in finishing it “as soon as possible.”

“He doesn’t make any money on the property,” Boomer said. “He makes it once he has a building up and tenants in the building.”

Boomer also said the lot has always been vacant and construction will in no way interfere with parking to the former studio building, which has drawn controversy throughout the city since former tenants Unity Studios and The Lifton Institute for Media Skills left the complex last year.

“For 2.5 years we’ve been trying to get something on this property,” Boomer said. “This, in my opinion, is a wonderful first step as a catalyst for the rest of the property.”