DETROIT (WXYZ) — Bedrock held a groundbreaking at the Monroe Blocks site at the corner of Monroe Street and Campus Martius Thursday morning.
Plans for the massive project include the first high-rise office tower to be built downtown in a generation, as well as more than an acre of space, nearly equivalent to the size of Campus Martius Park.
“Monroe Blocks will serve a purpose much larger than just providing much needed office and residential space to downtown Detroit. It will be a magnet for excitement and activity on a previously dense and vibrant site that has been underutilized for decades,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman of Bedrock. “The world’s most innovative professionals and companies demand an environment that inspires and has a positive impact the surrounding area. Monroe Blocks places ample open space and cutting-edge technology at the literal center of the city, while offering a new landmark gathering place for Detroiters and visitors alike.”
The development is expected to be completed in 2022.
"For decades, it seemed like all we saw in this town were buildings going vacant and buildings coming down,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Now there is historic preservation taking place everywhere you look and demand is so strong we have new skyscrapers about to rise. The Monroe block and Hudsons block projects will fill major holes in our downtown and transform our city's skyline for generations to come."
The groundbreaking Thursday took place on Monroe Blocks Block A, the block located at Campus Martius and Monroe Street. Block A represents two-thirds of the project and will feature a 35-story glass and terra cotta office tower. Block A will also contain a 17-story, 148-unit residential building and a total of 66,000 square feet of retail space.
Officials say Block B, located at Monroe and Randolph Streets, will be largely residential. Designs are reportedly still evolving.
In total, Monroe Blocks will have 847,000 square feet of office space, an estimated 482 residential units and 117,000 square feet of retail space.