Jun 10, 2022 - Business

Bedrock seeks big tax break at Hudson's site

Rendering of downtown Detroit's Hudson's site development.

Hudson's site rendering. Courtesy: Bedrock

Bedrock, the developer for the Hudson's site, is seeking a $60 million tax break as the megaproject's cost has now increased to $1.4 billion.

Why it matters: The redevelopment on Woodward Avenue is supposed to transform the downtown skyline with a 685-foot tower.

  • The tax break would eat into any increased revenue the city would get as a result of the project.

Driving the news: Representatives with Bedrock discussed the deal yesterday with a City Council committee, which then voted to send the proposal to the full Council for a vote, possibly next week.

Flashback: The site was home to the iconic Hudson's department store, which closed in 1983. The building sat vacant until its 1998 implosion.

  • Bedrock, which is owned by businessman Dan Gilbert, began the redevelopment in late 2017. It will include offices, a hotel, about 100 condos and underground parking..

Yes, but: The project is two years behind schedule and is now expected to be finished in 2024.

  • And in 2018, the state approved $618 million in tax breaks over 30 years at the Hudson's site and three other of Gilbert's downtown projects.

The bottom line: The local property tax break would last 10 years and apply to the commercial elements of the project.

  • The total value to Bedrock would be $60.3 million, which includes $31 million in reduced city taxes and $12 million in taxes that would otherwise go to Detroit public schools.

The other side: A City Council analysis says the city, school system and other local governments affected by the tax break will come out ahead by a combined $89 million in new tax revenue and fees if the proposal is approved.

  • The city can revoke the tax abatement if the project does not proceed in good faith.
  • The tax break is not tied to construction cost increases, a Bedrock spokesman tells Axios.

What they're saying: Council Member James Tate questioned how the project would affect downtown parking, which he described as "horrifically challenging" and expensive.

  • An upcoming announcement about Gilbert's Monroe Blocks project will address downtown parking, Jared Fleisher, of Rocket Central, responded.
  • When reached by Axios Detroit, the mayor's office declined to comment.

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