SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — The city of Southfield now has one less building. A planned implosion of the North Park Plaza brought the 17-story high-rise crumbling to the ground on Sunday morning.
Land owner Oakland Community College raised $10,000, through two anonymous donors, for a person of their choosing to press the detonator. That task went to Andrea Wilson of Waterford, a recent OCC graduate.
“I have to say that this is probably the best graduation present that I could ever ask for,” Wilson said.
Bidding took place on eBay for the right to press the detonator, with the winning bid coming in a $8,000 and the bidder remaining anonymous.
It only took eight seconds for the building to come crumbling down, but Mayor Brenda Lawrence said that the implosion was more than just an exciting event.
“Everybody likes to watch a building blow up,” Lawrence said. “But it’s a symbol of redevelopment, it’s a sign of us moving forward and we’re doing it with a big bang. For them (OCC) to invest, we want to make sure that we make this a campus so that we have the retail and the support for that campus and also opportunity for other development.”
Jacob Hofe witnessed the event in person with his father, Chris.
“It was pretty awesome, it just came down. You could see the windows kind of lighting up,” Jacob Hofe said.
“We’ve seen a selective demolition, but never an implosion. It was pretty sweet, very scientific,” Chris Hofe said.
The building sat on property owned by Oakland Community College, which said that the land’s value is higher without the building on it. The North Park Plaza along 9 Mile Rd. was 50-years old and had been vacant for four years.