Student proposals selected for ‘Third Place’ in Southfield
Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Five Lawrence Tech students shared $2,000 in prize money for submitting the winning entries in four categories in the contest to design a “Third Place” hangout for college students in the planned City Centre district of Southfield.
Southfield city officials have unveiled ambitious plans to create a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment for the section of Southfield bounded by Evergreen road, Northwestern Highway, and I-696. The Southfield Municipal Complex and the Lawrence Tech campus are considered part of the City Centre.
One goal is to encourage college students to spend more time in Southfield. Members of the City Centre Advisory Board decided that one attraction could be a restaurant or bar where students would be comfortable spending leisure time. Lawrence Tech’s Student Government sponsored the competition to create such a “third place” away from home and school.
The winners of the competition are:
Twelve teams of LTU students entered the competition. Their submissions were judged in four categories: overall interior design, atmosphere, name/logo/branding, and menu. The winning team in each category received a $500 cash prize, along with an iPad for recipients of the Best Atmosphere award. The winners received their prizes at the Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 17 at the Skyline Club in Southfield.
“It has been a common conversation among students on the LTU campus that they need a ‘third place’ to hang out and meet off the university grounds,” Dean of Students Kevin Finn said. “The goal of the competition is to have the students design a ‘university-community’ type of establishment they can walk to in the Southfield City Centre district. It will be a prime gathering place for Lawrence Tech students, faculty, alumni and members of the community.”
According to the advisory board’s plan, the winning “third place” designs will be adapted and constructed in an existing, unused property in the City Centre Plaza on Evergreen Road at Ten Mile Road. The second phase of the competition takes place this fall when LTU students will be invited to develop and submit business plans for the “third place.”
While the City Centre project could take up to five years to implement, the City Centre Advisory Board would like to see the new “Third Place” bar or restaurant open much sooner, hopefully next year.
“This is an exciting competition for Lawrence Tech students and for stakeholders in the Southfield City Centre district,” Southfield Director of Planning Terry Croad said. “The contest fits perfectly into our overall vision to transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly, vibrant lifestyle center with a variety of restaurant and retail options. We certainly had some impressive and creative ideas from the LTU students for the type of place they would like to see in the City Centre.”
Croad was a judge for the competition, along with Hassan Jawad, president of Tower Real Estate Ventures, LLC, which owns the property that could be used for the “Third Place” business. The other judges were Finn, Student Government President Phil Lucas, and Entrepreneurship Coordinator Katie Jolly. The judges took into consideration hundreds of votes cast by LTU students, faculty, and staff.