City officials give Dan Gilbert 30-day extension in deal involving former Hudson’s site
Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s final plans for the vacant Hudson’s site in downtown Detroit could be revealed in 30 days or sooner.
Gilbert has described the project a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The block-long site on Woodward is where the former J.L. Hudson’s store once stood. There was a Dec. 31 deadline but Gilbert is still negotiating to buy the city-owned, 900-space Premier Garage underneath the site. The deadline to settle that garage deal was given a 30-day extension.
The extension was approved Monday by the board of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, DDA, which is a unit of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Thomas Lewand, who is the chairman’s representative on the DDA board, said the Premier Garage and the Hudson’s site deals are linked and so it “doesn’t make sense” for one part of the agreement to proceed until all issues are settled.
Lewand said a tentative deal could be reached in less than 30 days.
The development rights for the Hudson’s site is controlled by an affiliate of Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services.
Last week, Bedrock officials said “great progress” was being made. “We continue to work with the city of Detroit on all of the steps necessary to proceed with our development of the iconic Hudson’s site,” said Jeff Cohen, founder and CEO of Rock Companies. “This includes the acquisition of the underground Premier Garage. We are making great progress on our pre-development work and looking forward to being able to provide a substantive update in the near future.”
Gilbert is leading the charge to revive downtown and the Hudson’s site is one of Bedrock’s most ambitious plans. Earlier this year, Bedrock released tentative designs that showed a swooping glass structure.
Other details that have been released include 250 residential units, 225,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial or retail space, as well as a “programmed civic space,” according to an earlier document provided the development authority.
Gilbert is founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans Inc.