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The owner of Summit Place Mall in Oakland County has until July 15 to get a demolition permit or submit redevelopment plans.
JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press

A mystery developer is proposing to build a youth sports and entertainment megaplex in Oakland County with multiple playing fields, a hotel, water park and 12,000-seat arena on the site of the dead Summit Place Mall.

The developer — whose identity is shrouded by nondisclosure agreements — recently obtained a 150-day extension to the potential purchase deal for the 80-acre property along Telegraph in Waterford Township that was to expire in late March. Newly released design plans call for demolishing the bulk of the 1.4-million-square-foot shopping mall  and building a giant “sports and entertainment facility” with the following amenities:

A representative of the mall property’s owner said the developer’s proposal is aimed at attracting young athletes and their families from distances of 100 miles or more.

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“It is a state-of-the art sports and entertainment facility that concentrates — although not exclusively — on youth sports,” said Eric Banks, executive principal at Core Partners, who represents the mall property’s owner, Los Angeles-based SD Capital. “Anyone who has kids in youth sports knows this is how a lot of families spend their entire weekends, traveling around and going to sporting events.”

Banks said it is his understanding that the developer seeks to raze a large portion of the empty mall but keep a portion of it. The mall opened in 1962 and closed in September 2009, followed by subsequent closures of its anchor stores J.C. Penney and Macy’s. The final anchor store, Sears, shut its doors in December 2014.

“I think they are leaning towards major demolition and may preserve some areas for the food court and family fun center and daycare,” Banks said. “If this thing happens, it’s going to be a significant development. There’s talk of bringing 500, 600, 700 jobs.”

Demolition and remediation of the mall structure could begin as early as November if the deal proceeds.

Crain’s Detroit has reported that former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore could be among the investors in the proposed development, along with Antoine Joubert, men’s basketball coach at Oakland Community College and a former University of Michigan basketball standout.

Gary Dovre, an attorney for Waterford Township, told the Free Press Monday that he knows the identity of the developer but is bound by the terms of a non-disclosure agreement.

“I do, and I can’t tell anybody,” he said.

Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or jcreindl@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JCReindl.