Detroit is building a $1 billion ‘city within a city’ on the site of a dead department store

Detroit, Michigan, is in the midst of several redevelopment projects that are quickly transforming its streets.

One of the largest is happening downtown. For nearly a century, a J.L. Hudson Company department store had dominated the corner of Farmer Street and Gratiot Avenue. After the city demolished the building in 1998, it built an underground parking garage on the site, which has stayed vacant until now.

Developers have now begun building an 800-foot-tall tower with 1 million square feet of retail, office, residential, and public space on the site of the former department store. Due to the project’s array of uses, its architects are calling development – which is expected to cost around $1 billion – a “city within a city.”

“The idea that all of these different activities happen on the site on an ongoing basis means that the development is not just one thing, but many,” said Bill Sharples, Principal at SHoP Architects, one of two firms that designed the tower.

Detroit is building a $1 billion, 800-foot-tall skyscraper. It will be the tallest tower in the city.

The development will feature 425,000 square feet of residential space, 240,000 square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of event space, and 100,000 square feet of retail space.
The project’s real estate firm, Bedrock, is behind many recent redevelopments in Detroit.
Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert launched Bedrock in 2011, two years before the city would file for bankruptcy.

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