At left, the J.L. Hudson building being imploded in 1998, the vacant spot as it stands now.
DETROIT (WJBK) - You probably watched the old J.L. Hudson building fall live right here on FOX 2 back in 1998.
For the past 18 years the site has been little more than a slab of concrete in the heart of downtown. But now there's a plan to build a new high rise on that spot.
Detroit's iconic Hudson's block is on track to be that once again. The Downtown Development Authority chaired by Mayor Mike Duggan approved a development agreement with Rosko Development, an affiliate of Bed Rock Detroit, to build a new high-rise.
Sitting idle for 33 years, the plan is to build 250 new residential units and 225,000 square feet of new commercial and retail space.
The agreement requires Bedrock to buy Premier Garage from the city for $15 million and that money will be used to lower Detroit's outstanding debts.
"For those of us who were in Detroit in January, 1983 when Hudson's closed their doors, it's been a painful thing to watch that site have no activity for 33 years," said Duggan.
The purchase agreement also requires Bedrock Detroit to hire city residents for construction. The mayor says this will also have a major impact on affordable housing in the high rise.
"In this agreement, 20 percent of all of the housing that the Bedrock affiliates build in the greater Detroit area supported by the city, 20 percent will be affordable," Duggan said. "They will be available for people with low to moderate income."
Duggan said the plan is to have drawings by the end of 2016, and to break ground by this time next year.