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Bedrock’s 3D model shows Detroit’s skyline of the near future

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

What will Detroit look like in the next few years? Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock, who owns over 90 properties mainly in downtown Detroit, would know. The real estate company has built a 3D-printed interactive model, meant to be a “comprehensive storytelling platform,” with every building, arena, park, parking lot, and tree within 1.5-square-miles in the Central Business District. This includes parts of Corktown, Brush Park, and the Arena district.

The model—which was shown off extensively last week during the Urban Land Institute’s 2018 Spring Meeting—uses five laser projectors in the ceiling to activate the model, almost making it come to life. A screen behind shows an exciting, vibrant Detroit, and projections can make it look like cars are zooming around the city during different seasons.

Bedrock properties can be highlighted in orange and separated into different categories (office, residential). The Hudson’s skyscraper stands out the most, as it will be the tallest building in Detroit in a few years. The Monroe Blocks development blends into the city, and you can see it cascading in height on the model. The Compuware Building has its addition. Also completed in the model is City Modern in Brush Park.

What’s missing? There’s no development yet at the fail jail site at Gratiot and 375. The Statler Site, which is a City Club Apartments development still in the large-hole-in-the-ground phase, is missing. Bedrock’s Jake Chidester told us that they’d update the model every six months. The Joe Louis Arena is also missing.

The 10-foot by 10-foot model uses 30 million pixels of projection mapping, and can be used to show off the downtown Detroit lifestyle to developers, future tenants, and future employees. It’s also modular, and comes apart in six pieces. It’s traveled to trade shows already. The model is a product of Bedrock, Zoyes Creative Group, and Moment Factory. Bedrock has not revealed the cost of this project.

Aside from the addition of new developments, we noticed the amount of land still open—mainly used for parking, and the possibility for the site at the Joe. What do you see?