Fairlane Town Center
Fairlane Town Center is a super-regional shopping mall in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. The mall is one of four super-regional Taubman malls built in the Detroit metro area in the 1970s, the other three being Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor (1973), Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights (1976), and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi (1977). Its anchor stores are Macy's, JCPenney, and Sears. The mall includes an AMC Theatres multiplex, as well as H&M, DSW Shoe Warehouse and Bally Total Fitness among other major stores. The mall features a large food court, full service restaurants, several eateries, and merchandise for the urbanized market. The University of Michigan”“Dearborn and the Ford Motor Company headquarters are nearby. The mall is about a 15 minute drive from downtown Detroit, Wayne State University, or Metro Airport.

Developed by A. Alfred Taubman, Fairlane Town Center opened on March 1, 1976 with JCPenney as north anchor and Sears as south anchor; Hudson's opened in the following July. Additional features included an ice skating rink (on the ground floor), a 5 screen movie theater (on the second floor above the ice skating rink), as well as an elevated monorail car that shuttled shoppers between the mall and the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel. Lord & Taylor was added in 1978. Saks Fifth Avenue opened at the mall in 1980. In the early 80s, the ice skating rink was removed and the space was converted to a 5 screen movie theater, operated by United Artists. (5 screens were on the ground floor, and an additional 5 screens were on the second floor.) It was closed in the late 1990s. The space was demolished to make way for a 20 screen Star Theatre multiplex which was added in 1999. Also in 1999 a Lifestyle Cafe (food court) was added. In 2006 AMC merged with Star and it became AMC Star. Saks Fifth Avenue changed its store to an Off 5th Outlet in the late 1990s. Hudson's adopted the Marshall Field's name in 2001 shortly before the chain was acquired by May Company and again in 2005 by Federated Department Stores; in 2006, the store was converted to Macy's along with all other Marshall Field's stores in Michigan. In 2004, Fairlane adopted an adult supervision policy to discourage underage loitering. Lord & Taylor closed in 2006. The mall secured H&M as a tenant in 2007. The same year, Off Fifth closed its outlet store at the mall and was demolished in 2008 for a new wing featuring restaurants such as BRAVO! Cucina Italiana and P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

The interior of the Fairlane Town Center is unique and innovative following the themes of other Taubman shopping centers. The internal pedestrian network consists of two floors through most of the mall, and a third level designed into the middle of the center courts. The middle level design is perhaps one of the most unusual designs of the mall, sharing the concept with Schaumburg, Illinois' Woodfield Mall and the original Eastridge Center, in San Jose, California. One side of the center of the mall is lower, and a middle level is formed between the upper and lower levels, thus creating a three level design in the center courts while maintaining a two level design throughout the rest of the mall. Due to the original Ford ACT monorail system, there are dual interior courts rather than a single grand court. The south central court was originally designed as an activity center, with a stage and seating areas, and the north central court was designed as the location of a large terraced fountain. Each anchor court features a large sculpture and seating areas. The interior features terrazzo-tiled flooring, wood trimmed glass railings, and white walls and ceilings articulated with geometric, hexegon shaped skylights featuring three halogen lights mounted on the apex of each dome. Access among the three retail levels is provided by a complex network stairs, ramps, escalators, and two lighted "octa-lift" elevators each located in the center of the mall. Except for minor changes such as carpet replacement, the removal of some hanging sculptures, etc, the overall interior has not been significantly renovated since it opened in 1976. The waterfall, wood railings, ceilings, lighting, floors, escalators, and sculptures have remained original to the 1976 mall.

Current Operations
With the closings of Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, Fairlane's remaining anchors are Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney, the same anchors that opened with the mall in 1976 (although Macy's was called Hudson's in 1976).

Building Activity

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