Why Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, MI, Continues to Captivate

The Genesis of Twelve Oaks Mall: From Landfill to Retail Landmark

The story of Twelve Oaks Mall starts in 1967. The J.L. Hudson Corporation, a major retail player, bought land at the crossroads of 12 Mile and Novi Roads.

Initially, this land had a very different destiny — a landfill. However, the residents and the then-Village of Novi had other plans. Their strong opposition redirected the site’s future towards something entirely different: retail.

By the early 1970s, the retail landscape was changing. A. Alfred Taubman, Homart Development, and the Dayton-Hudson Corporation saw an opportunity. They envisioned a shopping center that could serve the growing suburban population around Detroit. The location in Novi, once considered for waste, was now seen as a potential commercial goldmine.

The planning phase was challenging. The same developers were planning another mall in nearby Farmington Township. However, local resistance pushed the project to Novi.

This shift was a pivotal moment for the area. The developers signed Sears as an anchor tenant, hinting at the scale of their ambitions. Rumors swirled about Hudson’s joining as well, adding to the buzz.

Events near Novi, MI

Construction kicked off in the fall of 1975, a significant undertaking shaping the area’s retail future. By August 2, 1977, Twelve Oaks Mall opened its doors, anchored by Hudson’s. Sears followed suit, opening on October 1, 1977.

The mall’s initial phase concluded with the addition of Lord & Taylor and JCPenney the following year. This quartet of anchor stores marked the mall as a major player in Michigan’s retail scene.

The mall’s design was a departure from the norm. Victor Gruen, the architect, introduced an innovative and shopper-friendly layout.

The mall’s design encouraged leisurely strolls through wide corridors and open spaces, a stark contrast to the dense, urban department stores of the past.

As the 1970s drew close, Twelve Oaks Mall had firmly established itself as a retail destination. It was more than just a place to shop; it was a community hub where people from all over the region could gather, shop, and socialize.

The mall’s success was a testament to the vision of its developers and the community’s embrace of this new retail experience.

In the years that followed, Twelve Oaks would continue to evolve, reflecting the changing tastes and trends of the shopping public. But the foundation laid in those early years remained solid, a cornerstone of the community and a symbol of retail innovation.

Expansion and Evolution in the 21st Century

The 21st century marked a new era for Twelve Oaks Mall. The year 2001 saw Hudson’s transition to Marshall Field’s, reflecting changes in the retail industry.

This change was part of a broader trend as traditional department stores rebranded and updated their offerings to stay competitive.

In 2002, Taubman Centers, the mall’s management, decided to demolish the defunct United Artists Theatres. This made way for the new “Lifestyle Cafe” food court, a significant shift from the mall’s original design philosophy.

The introduction of kiosks marked another change as the mall adapted to new retail trends and consumer preferences.

The most significant development came in 2005 when Taubman announced a $63 million expansion project.

This expansion included a 97,000 sq ft common area and a new 165,000 sq ft Nordstrom store, which opened in September 2007. This expansion added space and enhanced the shopping experience, making the mall more attractive to retailers and shoppers.

The addition of Nordstrom, known for its high-quality goods and exceptional customer service, elevated the mall’s status and broadened its appeal.

In 2006, the Marshall Field’s store underwent a transformation into Macy’s and expanded its space to 300,000 sq ft.

These changes reflected the mall’s ability to adapt and grow, ensuring its place as a premier shopping destination in Michigan.

Twelve Oaks Mall’s expansion and evolution over the early 21st century demonstrated a commitment to meeting its customers’ changing needs and preferences.

Renovations and Modernization

In 2007, Twelve Oaks Mall embraced a new phase of modernization. The mall underwent significant renovations, focusing on enhancing the interior ambiance.

Internal lighting, especially around the existing skylights, brightened the shopping environment, making it more welcoming and vibrant.

The renovations extended beyond lighting. The mall’s infrastructure and facilities received updates to ensure comfort and convenience for all visitors.

These improvements were part of a larger strategy to keep the mall at the forefront of retail trends, ensuring it remained competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing market.

The modernization efforts paid off, attracting new stores and brands to Twelve Oaks Mall. This influx of new retailers added to the mall’s diversity, offering shoppers a wider range of products and services.

The renovations also signaled to the community and potential investors that Twelve Oaks was committed to maintaining its status as a top shopping destination in Michigan.

New Additions and Departures

The landscape of Twelve Oaks Mall continued to evolve with the departure of long-standing anchors and the arrival of new tenants.

In March 2019, Sears announced it would close its doors as part of a broader strategy to move away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

This departure marked the end of an era for Twelve Oaks, as Sears had been one of the mall’s original anchor stores since its opening in 1977.

The mall faced another significant change in August 2020 when Lord & Taylor decided to close all its stores, including the Twelve Oaks location, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This closure was part of a nationwide trend as the pandemic accelerated shifts in consumer shopping habits and the retail landscape.

Despite these departures, Twelve Oaks Mall continued to attract new businesses. H&M, a popular fashion retailer, H&M expanded its presence in the mall in 2018, moving to a larger two-story space in the Sears wing.

In 2020, Crate & Barrel opened a new location at Twelve Oaks, moving from its previous spot at the Somerset Collection. This new store in the Macy’s wing added a modern, upscale home goods option for shoppers.

These changes reflected the dynamic nature of retail and the mall’s ability to adapt and thrive amid challenges. The new additions and departures reshaped the shopping experience at Twelve Oaks, keeping it fresh and relevant to consumers’ evolving preferences.

Current Anchors of Twelve Oaks Mall: Their Stories and Impact


JCPenney has been a staple of Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, MI, since its early days, offering a wide range of merchandise that caters to families and budget-conscious shoppers.

As one of the original anchors, JCPenney has witnessed the mall’s evolution, adapting to changing consumer trends and preferences.

Over the years, the store has revamped its interior and expanded its product lines to include more contemporary fashion, home decor, and beauty products.

JCPenney’s commitment to affordability and quality has made it a favorite among local shoppers, contributing significantly to the mall’s foot traffic and overall appeal.


Macy’s, another key anchor at Twelve Oaks Mall, brings a touch of luxury and an extensive selection of brands to Novi, MI.

Replacing the former Hudson’s and later Marshall Field’s, Macy’s has become synonymous with style and elegance, attracting fashion-forward shoppers.

The store is known for its impressive sales, holiday events, and collaborations with high-profile designers, making it a central attraction in the mall.

Macy’s also plays a vital role in the community, participating in charitable events and local initiatives, further cementing its place in the hearts of Novi residents.


Nordstrom, the newest addition to the Twelve Oaks Mall anchor lineup, has elevated the shopping experience in Novi, MI, with its high-end products and exceptional customer service.

Since its opening, Nordstrom has introduced shoppers to various luxury brands and exclusive items not found elsewhere in the mall.

The store’s modern design and inviting atmosphere make it a popular destination for those seeking a premium shopping experience.

Nordstrom’s commitment to customer satisfaction, from free alterations to personal shopping assistants, has set a new standard for retail excellence in the mall.

Recent Events and Developments at Twelve Oaks Mall

In 2023, Twelve Oaks Mall has seen a mix of exciting events and serious incidents. The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck stopped at the mall, delighting fans with its limited edition gear and exclusive treats.

This event in Oakland County attracted large crowds, showcasing the mall’s continued role as a hub for unique and engaging experiences.

However, not all recent events have been positive. The Nordstrom store at Twelve Oaks Mall faced a security scare when it was evacuated and closed due to a bomb threat.

This incident, managed efficiently by the Novi Police Department, highlighted the ongoing challenges malls face in ensuring the safety and security of their visitors.

Additionally, the mall experienced a theft at one of its pet shops, where a Chihuahua puppy was stolen. The Novi Police Department has been actively searching for the suspect, demonstrating the mall’s commitment to resolving such unfortunate incidents swiftly.

As Twelve Oaks Mall navigates through these events, it remains a significant player in Novi, Michigan’s retail and entertainment landscape.

The mall’s ability to host popular events, manage security incidents, and expand its culinary offerings reflects its ongoing evolution and resilience.

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