DETROIT - Monroe Blocks, a major development in Downtown Detroit, broke ground Thursday morning near Campus Martius.
The $800 million transformation of the Monroe Blocks between the Greektown district and Campus Martius Park will deliver a 35-story, 810,000 square-foot office tower, 482 residential units, restaurants and retail, and three public plaza spaces.
Dan Gilbert, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Exec. Warren Evans and former Local 4 anchor Carmen Harlan all spoke at the ceremony.
“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.”
You can rewatch the event below:
Bedrock said Monroe Blocks will support 3,000 construction-related jobs and 4,600 new permanent jobs in the City of Detroit.
"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 development includes over an acre of public spaces, which are central to the design of the Monroe Blocks. The project is divided into two phases. Each phase is centered around a public plaza.
In addition, the first floor of the office and retail spaces are designed as public spaces for pedestrians to walk through and make connections in all directions.
The project is estimated to be complete by 2022.
The two blocks along Monroe Street that make up the development were known historically as Detroit’s first theater district, lined with Italianate stone and brick buildings built between 1852 and 1911. The site was razed in 1990 with the exception of the National Theater, which was designed by prolific Detroit architect Albert Kahn and opened as a vaudeville house in 1911.
Here's a look at where Monroe Blocks fits into the Downtown Detroit map. The red is the Monroe Blocks project:
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