Drive-in theater, concert stage planned on site of delayed Monroe Blocks project

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Bedrock plans to bring a temporary drive-in movie theater and concert stage to downtown Detroit at the site of its stalled Monroe Blocks project.

The Downtown Development Authority Board approved during its meeting Wednesday Bedrock's proposal that would include the outdoor entertainment venue at Farmer and Monroe. The temporary attraction would include a movie screen, stage, food and beverage concessions, and stalls for 77 vehicles, according to a Downtown Development Authority document. It may also include a no-touch play area for children.

Bedrock plans to create a drive-in movie theater and concert venue on the vacant stretch of land bounded by Monroe, Bates, Cadillac Square and Randolph, shown here. Its plan to develop the Monroe Blocks, a mixed-use project, has been delayed.

Bedrock declined to provide more details to The News, said it expects to release details in coming weeks. The plan was first reported by Deadline Detroit.

The approval comes as the real estate developer prepares to launch on Friday its Decked Out Detroit initiative to draw visitors downtown. There will be open covered archways with space heaters, tables and chairs in front of some downtown restaurants

"Bedrock remains committed to creating a safe, festive and family-friendly environment Downtown Detroit throughout the winter season and beyond," Bedrock officials said in a statement Thursday. "As a continuation of our Decked Out Detroit initiative, we are investing millions and working with a number of partners to imagine new socially distanced and innovative attractions for the whole community to enjoy."

In 2016, the Detroit Downtown Development Authority approved a land sale to Rosko Development Company LLC, an affiliate of Bedrock Real Estate Services, to develop Monroe Blocks, a mixed-use project, on a stretch of of land bounded by Monroe, Bates, Cadillac Square and Randolph. In 2019, the developer and the DDA closed on the property under a development agreement.

Market changes and "uncertainties that have been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic," have placed the project behind schedule, the DDA wrote in its memo. It expects that the developer will need an extension under the development agreement until late February to allow time to request a formal amendment.

Bedrock is not expected to make a profit from the temporary venture due to the significant level of investment needed and the nominal fees that would be charged, according to the DDA.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN