DEGC’s decade-long work to manage the transformation of the former Hudson’s retail site was realized this morning when demolition began to make way for a new $900 million mixed-use development by Bedrock.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called it a special and historic day, as he reflected on his own memories of a retail store he called “magical.”
“Today we are breaking ground at the historic Hudson’s site,” Duggan said at the event. “I remember coming here the last Christmas Eve that they were open, and I’m proud to see development here today.”
Joining the Mayor in celebrating the future of the yet-to-be-named development were Dan Gilbert, Bedrock’s founder and chairman, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Joe Hudson, the former chief executive officer of the J.L. Hudson Co. It was Hudson’s great uncle, J.L. Hudson, who started the iconic department store in Detroit in 1891.
According to Bedrock, plans for the Hudson’s site include 1 million square feet of retail, office, residential and public space. Detroit’s first observation deck will crown the 800-foot residential tower, while a market will anchor the ground floor retail space.
The site, called by Gilbert a “Retail Holy Ground,” will now feature the tallest building in Michigan.
Many Detroiters remember Hudson’s 32-floor flagship store, which was on Woodward Avenue until it closed in 1983. An implosion brought the building down in 1998.
Gilbert told the crowd that Detroit has become the intersection of muscle and brain, referring to the city’s work ethic and growing intellectual capital. He also said the Hudson’s site is now a sign of recovery, instead of decline.
The DEGC, DBRA and the DDA had been working for years to bring this project to life. DEGC staff managed a complex due diligence process to ensure the $2.1B investment will return tremendous value to the area beyond the tax incentives awarded it.
Michael Aaron, DEGC Board member and business manager, Laborers’ International Union, Local 1191, was one of many speakers at the event. He thanked Gilbert for the job creation associated with the project, and stressed the need for future development and long-term training that will lead to secure employment for all Detroiters.
Like Little Caesars Arena and many other projects in the city, the new Hudson’s development is another example of DEGC leading private/public partnerships to drive economic development in Detroit.
While shovels weren’t used to break the frozen ground, bulldozers began knocking down the entrance to the underground parking structure there. Project managers say construction of the development could be completed by 2022.
Renderings and a history of J.L. Hudson’s company can be found at hudsonssitedetroit.com.
Watch a video by clicking on this YouTube link.
• Total Project Area: 1,000,000 sq. ft.
• Tower Height: 800 ft.
• Other Highlights:
o 1,500-person Event Space
o Street-level Market
o Observation Deck