- Idle for 33 years, Hudson’s block poised to see construction of 250 new residential units, 225,000 sq-ft. of new commercial/retail space.
- Bedrock Detroit commits to robust local hiring program, 20% affordable housing units throughout its Greater Downtown and Brush Park developments
DETROIT, Mich., April 27, 2016 – Detroit’s iconic Hudson’s block, which has sat empty since the department store’s flagship location closed in 1983, is now on the verge of a transformational development that would bring 250 new residential units and 225,000 sq-ft. of new commercial/retail space to the heart of downtown Detroit.
Today, the Downtown Development Authority, chaired by Mayor Mike Duggan, approved an amendment to its development agreement with Rosko Development, an affiliate of Bedrock Detroit, to allow it to build a high-rise development on the site that could be one of the most significant construction projects in downtown Detroit’s history.
The project also includes firm commitments from Bedrock for hiring Detroiters and providing 20% affordable housing units across its residential developments that receive city incentives.
“This is the Hudson’s block development Detroiters have waited three decades to see happen,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Its impact will be felt far beyond downtown into our neighborhoods for years to come through the construction jobs, fulltime jobs and countless other opportunities that will be created as a result.”
The Hudson’s site has sat empty since the department store, once the tallest in the world, was demolished 18 years ago. Since then, the City of Detroit has used the site as an underground parking garage (Premier Garage).
The development agreement requires Bedrock to buy Premier Garage from the City of Detroit for $15 million. Chief Financial Officer John Hill led the city’s negotiation on the Premier Garage sale. “The $15 million purchase price was based on an appraised value of $16.5 million, less $1.5 million in deferred maintenance,” Hill said. “We will use the proceeds of the sale to reduce the city’s outstanding debts.”
Commitment to Local Hiring, Affordable Housing
The purchase agreement also requires Bedrock Detroit to hire Detroit residents for the construction of the Hudson’s project under City of Detroit Executive Order 2014-4, which establishes thresholds for local hiring.
As part of the property sale, the company proposes entering into an affordable housing agreement with the City of Detroit. Through the agreement, Bedrock Detroit commits to developing affordable housing throughout Greater Downtown and Brush Park. Specifically, Bedrock will develop a number of affordable units equal to 20% of the next 1,350 rental units they develop.
“The Hudson’s project is a unique, once-in-a-generation opportunity that we hope will transform the landscape of downtown Detroit,” said Jeff Cohen, CEO of Rock Companies. “Our vision is to create an iconic structure that all Detroiters can enjoy, while also providing additional retail, housing and commercial space that the city needs to continue its transformation.”
The DDA agreed to transfer the air rights above the former Hudson’s site to Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of business and real estate investments, in 2007 as part of the agreement that brought Quicken Loans to Downtown Detroit. The agreement required Quicken bring 1,500 jobs to the city. Since moving Downtown in 2010, Quicken and its affiliated companies, have created more than 13,000 jobs and invested $2.2 billion in the city. The investment includes breathing new life into 90 buildings in the urban core, helping to fuel the most rapid downtown transformation in modern history.
A land transfer agreement and the affordable housing agreement will be submitted to City Council for approval within the next three weeks. Budgetary approval will also be required from the Financial Review Commission. Pending approval, construction is expected to begin April 2017.
About Bedrock Detroit
Bedrock Detroit is a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, leasing, financing, developing and managing commercial and residential space. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock has located more than 160 office and retail tenants to Detroit’s technology-centric downtown. In addition, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested more than $3.5 billion in acquiring, renovating and developing 90+ properties in downtown Detroit and Cleveland totaling more than 15 million square feet.
About Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders.
Its 40 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit.