Hudson’s Site Development

Introducing a landmark mixed-use development on Woodward Avenue in the heart of downtown Detroit breaking ground as a new era emerges in the Motor City: The intersection of muscle and brains. Situated on the site of the iconic J.L. Hudson’s flagship store, the succeeding structure is designed to suit the significant legacy of its footprint. Its 800-foot tower crowned by the city’s first observation deck makes Detroit’s tallest building (and most sweeping views) an asset that all residents and visitors can enjoy.

Project Principles

Design an iconic building that celebrates the rich history of the Hudson’s site.

Engage the public realm with dynamic public space and active streetscapes.

Create a destination that attracts visitors from across the city and around the world.

Celebrate Detroit as leader in innovation at the ‘intersection of muscle and brains’.

The Vision


Library Square’s burgeoning arts and culture district with lower Woodward’s dense retail experience


Hudson’s with the surrounding urban context and adjacent developments including Monroe Blocks and the Shinola Hotel


the public realm with Woodward Avenue retail, Farmer Street market, and new pedestrian connections

Hudson’s Legacy


For generations, Hudson’s (also known as the “Big Store” and “J.L. Hudson’s”) was the premier retailer in downtown Detroit, and one of the most important department stores in the country. The massive flagship store anchored the bustling Woodward Avenue shopping corridor, and at 25 stories was the tallest department store in the world.

Hudson’s broke ground in 1891, ultimately undergoing 12 expansions, with final additions in 1946 extending the store over an entire city block. Detroit and Hudson’s reached their zenith in the 1950’s and 1960’s – in fact, in 1954, Hudson’s had sales of more than $163 million which is equal to more than $1.4 billion today. However, Hudson’s began to see a decline in business by the middle 1970’s. Hudson’s closed its doors in 1983, and the building was imploded in 1998, leaving a large vacant space in the heart of this great American city.

Do You Remember When?

Everyone has strong memories of visiting Hudson’s. Share your memories and stories with us below!

The Detroit News - 1934

The Plan

Designed by SHoP Architects out of New York, plans for the Hudson’s site include 1 million square feet of retail, office, residentials and public space. Detroit’s first observation deck crowns the 800-foot residential tower, while a market anchors the ground floor retail space.

Building Facts

Total Project Area:

1,000,000+ sf

Tower Height:



December 2017

Project Highlights:

  • 1,500 Person Event Space
  • Street-Level Market
  • Observation Deck

Contact Us

For leasing info contact:


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