Dan Gilbert’s long-awaited Monroe Blocks project in downtown Detroit broke ground on Thursday. The project spans a two-block area between Cadillac Square, Monroe Street, Randolph Street, and Bates Street and will include a 35-story office building, around 500 residential units, and 117,000 square feet of retail space. Currently, one block contains a parking lot and the Cadillac Tower, while the other block is comprised of a large vacant lot, the old National Theatre, a temporary skatepark created in part by Tony Hawk, and another building.
Bedrock Detroit is investing over $800 million into Monroe Blocks and estimates that the project will support over a thousand construction-related jobs. Construction will be separated into two phases, each centered around a public space totalling more than an acre of open space combined. Construction is expected to be complete in 2022, the same year the Hudson’s site construction is supposed to be finished.
The first phase of construction, known as Block A, broke ground today. Block A is the block adjacent to Campus Martius and will contain the 35-story office tower as well as “a 17-story, 148-unit residential building and a total of 66,000 square feet of retail space.” The office building will be Detroit’s first WELL Certified building, based on how it impacts “human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.”
The second phase, or Block B, will contain more residential buildings, but final designs are still in the works. The facade of the National Theatre will be preserved and made into a pedestrian archway on Farmer Street.
Bedrock’s press release also mentions the other three large projects that Gilbert’s real estate arm is currently working on. The projects, totalling $2.1 billion in investment, include the Hudson’s site, which will be Michigan’s tallest building, the restoration of the historic Book Building and Tower, and the 310,000 square-foot addition to One Campus Martius.