Hudson’s Site in Downtown Detroit Marks Construction Milestone

Bedrock in Detroit today announced the Hudson’s Site commemorated a historic milestone as the final steel construction beam was raised, securing its place as Detroit’s largest ground up development in the past 50 years.
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Hudson Tower construction site
Construction workers top off the 48-story tower on the Hudson’s Site, which when completed will bring more than 1.5 million square feet of new retail, office, dining, hospitality, residential, and event amenities to downtown Detroit. // Photo courtesy of Bedrock

Bedrock in Detroit today announced the Hudson’s Site commemorated a historic milestone as the final steel construction beam was raised, securing its place as Detroit’s largest ground up development in the past 50 years.

Upon completion next year, the Hudson’s development will introduce more than 1.5 million square feet of new retail, office, dining, hospitality, residential, and event amenities to the 1200 Woodward Ave. block of downtown Detroit.

The 48-story tower will provide unique city views at every level and an indoor-outdoor space for activations will anchor the ground-floor retail. The second tallest building in Michigan, behind the 73-story Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the Hudson’s tower is 685.4 feet tall.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, a central atrium, and an abundance of natural lighting, the overall Hudson’s Site’s Class A office space will offer features and amenities to quickly adapt to emerging commercial trends.

Best-in-class residences, convenient parking options, experiential dining, and a 5-star hotel will be part of the project. Various media reports have stated an Edition hotel will be located inside the tower and offer between 220 and 230 rooms. A Marriott brand, Edition is a luxury hotel brand owned by Ian Schrager, who with the late Steve Rubell owned and operated Studio 54 in New York City from 1977 to 1980.

A neighboring midrise building is included in the Hudson’s development and is immediately north of the tower. The two structures are separated by a walkable plaza. The midrise will offer ground floor retail space (31,000 gross square feet), and above that an event hall, a meeting center, and pre-function space (127,000 gsf), and on the top floors 400,000 gsf of office space and a central courtyard with daylight streaming in from a glass roof.

On the upper floors of the tower will be 90 to 100 residential units, likely condominiums, and below that the hotel.

The overall Hudson’s construction project includes the work of more than 3,500 tradespeople, who put in more than 2.7 million hours of recorded labor.

“The talent and dedication of Detroit’s tradespeople has been a driving force on the Hudson’s Site and integral to achieving this landmark project,” says Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Bedrock. “We are proud of their individual contributions, that will make this a generational development and will surely enhance the city’s skyline for Detroiters and visitors for decades to come.”

Bedrock states Matt Menchaca, a 37-year construction veteran, was motivated to join the Hudson’s project in downtown Detroit to be part of something “monumental for the city.” When he first heard about the endeavor, he approached general contractor Barton Malow’s senior leadership and requested to be part of this project.

As lead tower crane operator at the Hudson’s Site, Menchaca has witnessed the tower’s ascent from the ground up through today’s final beam placement.

“I always wanted to be involved in something this big,” Menchaca says. “To say I was a part of it, and to see it when I am old and retired, it’ll put a smile on my face.”

For those on the ground, the Hudson’s development provided an opportunity to hone their skills, as the Tower continued to rise.

Hope Hinderer grew up working construction with her dad, which inspired her to experiment with welding in high school. She quickly realized that she was destined to follow in her dad’s footsteps and become a welder.

It wasn’t long before she put her skills to the test. Hope quickly advanced from an apprentice to a Journeywoman Iron Worker during her two-and-a-half years as part of the Hudson’s team where she has focused on structural welding. The Hudson’s Site has provided Ms. Hinderer with some of the biggest welds in her career: 5 feet tall and 0.75 inches thick.

“It is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on,” Hinderer says.

Following today’s Tower Topping Off milestone, the Hudson’s Site construction will continue in a phased approach. Crews will install the remaining elements of the glass façade and construction will progress throughout the spring.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this historic site and build a project that transforms the downtown Detroit landscape,” says Ryan Maibach, president and CEO of Barton Malow in Southfield, the project’s general contractor. “This is an important moment that represents another big step toward completion and a momentous occasion for the city.”

Ralston Shruggs, a native Detroiter and Journeyman Ironworker who has been involved with the Hudson’s development since its start, recalls his childhood memories. From shopping at the original J.L. Hudson Department Store with his mother and grandmother, Ralston remarked, “It was great to work on this project as we make architectural history downtown. When I have grandkids, I can’t wait to be able to show them the skyline that I helped change.”

As the Hudson’s Site continues to evolve, Crane Operator Matt Menchaca encapsulated the gravity and significance of being involved in a landmark project. “Hudson’s puts us on the map. People need to know what we’re building here. It’s important,” he says.

To learn more about the Hudson’s Site story, and the tradespeople whose dedication have helped build it, visit the following links:

The site was originally occupied by a row of commercial buildings in the 1800s before J.L. Hudson’s moved across Woodward Avenue and in 1891 began a massive, years long expansion. The Hudson’s department store was imploded in 1998.

For additional information on the Hudson’s Site, visit hudsonssitedetroit.com.

For a fly-through video of the Hudson’s Site, visit here.

Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in innovative city building strategies. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $7.5 billion to acquire, develop, and operate more than 140 properties in Detroit and Cleveland with landmark developments at the Hudson’s Site, Book Tower, City ModernOne Campus MartiusAlly Detroit CenterOne WoodwardTower City Center, and the May Company Building.

Bedrock’s projects include new construction, adaptive reuse, and a portfolio totaling more than 21 million square feet of office, retail, residential, industrial, hospitality, and parking.

For additional information about Bedrock, visit bedrockdetroit.com.