Wednesday afternoon, Bedrock released renderings for the upcoming construction on the Hudson site, finally filling the hole in the heart of the city after 20 years.
The two-acre site, former home of J.L Hudson’s Department Store, will sport a 734-foot tall tower, attached to a nine-story structure, both standing stark in a silvery-blue across the historic structures on Woodward Avenue.
Many remember the historic department store in Detroit, representative of a rich and booming economic time in America. Many of our grandparents remember the days of shopping at Hudson’s, but this isn’t your grandparents’ Hudson’s building.
Taller than the Renaissance Center, Penobscot and One Detroit Center, the 52-story building is set to change the Detroit skyline for the first time in years, taking the title of the tallest building in the city.
“For long-time Detroiters, we remember what Hudson’s represented. It wasn’t just a department store – it was the economic engine of Detroit. It drew residents and visitors downtown, where they spent a day shopping at Hudson’s and visiting the retail, restaurants and theaters around it,” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans and founding partner of Bedrock. “Our goal is to create a development that exceeds the economic and experiential impact even Hudson’s had on the city. We believe this project is so unique that it can help put Detroit back on the national – and even global – map for world-class architecture, talent attraction, technology innovation and job creation.”
The new structure will provide opportunities for retail, 250 residential units located in the building’s tower, underground parking for 700 cars and a community civic space, focusing on technology as well as local food and culture.
The development plans were designed by New York City-based SHoP architecture and Detroit-based architects Hamilton Anderson Associates.
“In its heyday, Hudson’s was a premier destination in the heart of downtown. After the flagship store closed in 1983, the structure would bring back fond memories of a vibrant downtown,” said Sandra Laux, Project Architect, Hamilton Anderson Associates. “We now have the opportunity to be a part of creating unique, new architecture in one of the few vacant sites downtown.”
According to Bedrock, the Hudson’s development is projected to attract three million unique visitors per year.
This economic engine is expected to create more than 5,800 direct and indirect jobs and $1.5 billion in new economic output during construction.
In addition, the building anticipates $240 million in direct annual spending, supporting 3,000 direct jobs.
“The driving force behind our design for the Hudson’s site is to create a building that speaks to the rebirth of optimism in the city’s future and an experiential destination that positively impacts Detroit in a meaningful way,” said William Sharples, Principal, SHoP.
“The building is conceived around a huge and inspiring new public space, a year-round civic square that, both in its architecture and its culture, will foster and convey the feeling we all share when we work together to imagine what this great city can become.”
The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) approved the timeline for the building’s design with construction beginning as early as December 1, 2017 and completion anticipated in 2020.
Ever since the demolition of the Hudson’s building in 1998, the literal hole boxed in by Grand River Avenue, Woodward Avenue, Farmer Street and Gratiot left a hole in the hearts of Detroiters who shopped the “Big Store,” as it was formerly known.
Hudson’s was the premier retailer in downtown Detroit, anchoring the shopping mecca that was Woodward Avenue. Today, the retail, residential and recreational offerings of Woodward Avenue continue to grow and expand, impacting the overall economic success and attraction to the city of Detroit.