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Michigan's tallest skyscraper project breaks ground at historic Hudson's site

DETROIT -- Officials broke ground Thursday on what's expected to be Michigan's tallest skyscraper at the historic ... Former J.L. Hudson CEO Joe Hudson, Jr. joined billionaire real estate developer Dan Gilbert, Mayor Mike Duggan and Lt.

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Gallery: Bedrock breaks ground on Hudson's site to make way for Michigan's next tallest building Comment By Dana Afana DETROIT -- Officials broke ground Thursday on what's expected to be Michigan's tallest skyscraper at the historic site of the former J.LHudson department store, which was one of the world's tallest department stores before it was famously imploded 1998. Former J.LHudson CEO Joe Hudson, Jrjoined billionaire real estate developer Dan Gilbert, Mayor Mike Duggan and LtGovBrian Calley to celebrate the start of construction. "In Christmas season 1982, when they announced Hudson's would close, I came here..I went in the store for the last time (and) bought a Christmas ornament to have a memory of that store that still hangs on my Christmas tree 35 years later," Duggan said.  "When we were told it would close they said 'Don't worry, Detroit's recovery is just around the cornerOther businesses will move in to this location.' I was here nearly 20 years ago when the building was implodedWe were told it was the big empty building that was holding this city back." var youtubeEmbedInfo = youtubeEmbedInfo || []; youtubeEmbedInfo.push({ div: "player_o7LyH_wiFBM", id: "o7LyH_wiFBM" }); Groundbreaking teaser shows long history of Hudson's site as next chapter begins The 1.1-million-square-foot, mixed-use development will cost $900 million and will include two separate structuresThe 800-foot-tall, 58-story skyscraper will include between 330 and 450 residential units and a skydeckThe second, 12-story building will feature a ground-floor market and exhibition space. A below-ground parking deck will also be constructed to fit 700 vehicles. Hudson, Jr., who was the company's youngest CEO and worked there for about 45 years, said the implosion marked a sad day, and that his favorite memory was looking at the "sensational" flag that flew in front of the building. "On behalf of all the Hudsons'..I want to also include the thousands of employees of the Hudson company who worked so effectively right on that site," Hudson, Jrsaid"Detroit's been fortunate over many years in having leaders of the community step forward and create new activitiesThat's why this is going to be such a great success. "This is all part of history..I think there's a similarity between what Hudson's was and what this building is going to be." var youtubeEmbedInfo = youtubeEmbedInfo || []; youtubeEmbedInfo.push({ div: "player_NpzBHl7V-w8", id: "NpzBHl7V-w8" }); "When we lost Hudson's it symbolized how far we had fallen," said Dan Gilbert as historic site en... Gilbert called the site "retail holy ground." "Detroit is coming back todayOne of the most positive things is that talent is coming back here," Gilbert said, adding that the project will generate widespread economic opportunities.  "The opportunity is there for everybody and diversity is a big, big part of what we do..Detroit's diversity is probably one of its best assets and I really mean thatYou're a better business when you take those kinds of important things into serious account." Hudson's flagship Downtown Detroit location on Woodward Avenue was one of the world's tallest department stores, at 410 feet, occupying 2,124,316 square feet or space, according to Historic DetroitIt had more than 200 departments, 705 fitting rooms, 51 elevators and 48 escalators. It opened in 1911, closed in 1983 and was demolished in 1998.  "Hudson's had sales of more than $163 million, which is equal to more than $1.4 billion today," WJR's Paul Smith said at the Thursday ceremony. On Oct4, 1998, the massive building was imploded at 5:45 p.m., which was the store's closing time, according to Historic Detroit. The site sat vacant for nearly 20 years. View Comments /* */ About Us MLive Media Group Our Team Advertise Frequently Asked Questions Contact Us Jobs at MLive Subscriptions Newspaper | Digital Editions | eNewsletters The Ann Arbor News The Bay City Times The Flint Journal The Grand Rapids Press Jackson Citizen Patriot Kalamazoo Gazette Muskegon Chronicle The Saginaw News MLive Sections News Business Sports High School Sports Entertainment Living Opinion Obituaries Jobs Autos Real Estate Apartment Rentals Classifieds Local Deals Local Businesses Business Resource Center Your Regional News Pages Ann Arbor Bay City Detroit Flint Grand Rapids Jackson Kalamazoo Lansing Muskegon Saginaw Mobile Mobile apps | Tablet apps More on MLive Photos Video Weather Post a job Post a free classified ad Sell your car Sell/Rent your home Apartments and Rentals Sponsor Content Follow Us Twitter | Facebook | YouTube Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

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