Hudson's Site Development

For decades, the iconic J.L. Hudson's flagship store occupied the entire 1200 block of Woodward Avenue and stood as the tallest department store/retail building in the world. Although the building no longer stands, the site's legacy is still alive and vibrant. In its place, a mixed-use development has broken ground. Once complete, it will be one of the tallest buildings in Detroit, providing breathtaking views.

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 a leader in innovation.

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 more than one million square feet of retail, office, residential units and public space. The building's 912-foot stature will provide unique city views at every level, while a market anchors the ground floor retail space.

Building Facts

Total Project Area:

1,400,000+ sf

Broke Ground:

December 2017

  • 1,250 Person Event Space
  • Street-Level Market

Contact Us

Leasing/Purchasing Retail/Commercial:


Construction Information:


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