The City of Taylor, like many other communities across Michigan and the rest of the country, suffered from the economic problems of the first decade of the new millennium. Business and residential growth declined and with it, the City’s tax base. Facilities were closed and City staffing was cut, and the municipality eventually fell under the focus of a state-mandated Deficit Elimination Plan. Beginning in 2013 to 2014, Taylor began to see a slow economic turnaround across the board.
Likewise, business and development began to rekindle. Taylor’s Southland Center, one of four famous J.L. Hudson’s shopping malls built around Detroit during the 1950s and ’60s, thrived in the new economic upturn. Rouse Properties invested over $20M in the 937,000-square-foot mall, attracting new tenants like H&M, Pink, ULTA, Shoe Carnival, Zumiez, and others. An ultra-modern Cinemark NextGen Theatre plans to open at the mall in April 2016.
The City government, now led by current Mayor Rick Sollars, led a general fund budget rebound from $5M in the red to $4.2M in the black as staffing and programs were slowing reinstated and facilities like the Northwest Park Outdoor Pool, Recreation Center, Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion, Lamarand Splash Pad, and others witnessed rebirth or creation.
At the same time along Eureka Road, the City’s retail corridor, the Gibraltar Trade Center and Ramada Inn were torn down. The trade center will be replaced with a Menards’ development that will include 80-plus acres of large, midsize and small retailers. Nearby, old standbys like Famous Dave’s BBQ were joined by Panera Bread, PizzaPapalis, Golden Corral and others. As of spring 2016, new business and development were popping up across the City.