(WXYZ) — Over the years, Downtown Detroit has gone through some major transformation, all in a bid to revive the city after it declared bankruptcy back in 2013.
One of the key players for Detroit’s urban regeneration continues to be the real estate company Bedrock.
In fact, their upcoming project, the Hudson's Site, which has been in the making for over 4 years, is one of the most highly anticipated developments that experts say has the potential to be a game-changer.
Off Woodward, the Hudson’s Site is taking shape, the ambitious skyscraper project that is aiming to take Downtown Detroit’s status to a new height.
"I think the scale of it, the location of it, even the legacy and the history of the building, I think it's going to be enormous and I’m very anxious for it to be complete," said Matt Rossetti, renowned architect.
The project broke ground on the 14th of December 2017, on the site of the former Hudson’s Department Store. At the time it was proposed to be a $1 billion, mixed-use development.
Since then, the project has scaled back.
Rossetti says it all started with Bedrock's management being changed multiple times.
"My look is that they’ve gotten smarter and smarter each time and made the proper adjustments to the height and the new program," said Rossetti.
Initially, the building was projected to be 800 feet tall then increased to over 900 feet with an observation deck. And now as per the official Hudson’s Site webpage, the structure will stand around 685 feet tall.
7 Action News reached out to Bedrock on the current status of the project. They referred us to a Detroit News article where the company’s senior vice president of construction, Joe Guziewicz, told the publication that they encountered problems as they hit the original Hudson’s department store foundation, which impeded the drilling for the foundation system that would support the new buildings.
COVID also impacted the process as the construction industry faced issues ranging from supply chain to labor shortage.
Professor of Architecture Noah Resnick says it's common for projects of this magnitude to experience changes and challenges.
"From things that have to do with design and engineering to things that have to do with politics, things that have to do with economics, in terms of financing, to things like global pandemics," said Resnick.
Historically one of the biggest challenges most skyscrapers face is the installation of a safe and efficient elevator system.
"A city like Chicago where they are building all the time, they have got a ready supply of elevator manufacturers and installers, a city like Detroit, where we haven’t built a skyscraper in a long time, some of these elevator companies have packed and move off in the last 20-30 years," said Resnick.
Regardless of the delay, experts believe the Hudson’s Site on Woodward Avenue is a bold and iconic move for Downtown Detroit.
"Who else is doing anything even close to this quality? Nobody," said Rossetti.
The overall project is expected to complete by 2024, but before that, the two shorter buildings are set to finish by the end of this year.