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Hudson’s tower may not be tallest in state, other updates from Bedrock

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The skydeck won’t be part of future plans either

Heavy machinery and equipment in a 40-foot deep excavation site. On the other side of the hole, there’s a row of 5- to 10-story buildings.
Excavation site for Bedrock’s new Hudson’s building
Photo by Aaron Mondry

For months, Detroiters have seen Bedrock dig or block off sites downtown, and many have wondered what kind of progress was actually taking place. Today, the Dan Gilbert–owned development company updated members of the media about the state of several of its downtown mega-projects, though most won’t be excited by what they hear.

The biggest revelation is that the design for the projects is being reworked, with the final height for the new Hudson’s no longer certain to be the largest in the city and state. Joe Guziewicz, vice president of construction for Bedrock, said that whether it ultimately exceeds the 727-foot tower at the Renaissance Center depends on what hotel operator they’re able to secure and what its needs will be.

Overall, Guziewicz was noncommittal. “Do I think it’s going to be half the size? My gut reaction is probably not. Is it going to be the tallest building? Possibly.”

This will come as a disappointment to those who saw the project, and its height distinction, as an important milestone for the city’s present development era. Bedrock had planned on having the tower be at least 800 feet high, and at times over 900 feet, since 2017.

The glass and steel Hudson’s building
Previous rendering of the Hudson’s tower
Courtesy of Bedrock

Guziewicz also said the observation deck will no longer be part of future design plans because it wasn’t an “efficient” use of space and would have required its own elevator. Bedrock will also use an as-of-yet unnamed national brokerage firm to handle tenant acquisition for the buildings.

The company didn’t give any updates about the total cost of the projects, but said they’re all still in the same ballpark. With the skydeck included, total cost for Hudson’s was projected to be $909 million.

The media was also taken into the 40-foot excavation site at Hudson’s, or what Bedrock calls “the hole,” where much of the work over the past 18 months has taken place. There, crews have installed about 75 percent of the building’s foundation which will support the tower and an underground parking deck.

Sometime next spring, Bedrock says construction should begin on the structures themselves. The estimated date of completion for the Hudson’s site is 2023.

It also said the the restoration of the Book Tower building and expansion of One Campus Martius are on schedule. The later has a 2019 open date, and will add 310,000 square feet of office space to the building.