Detroit council vote on $60 million tax break for Hudson’s site project tabled indefinitely 

Councilmember Coleman Young II says without the abatement, the $1.4 billion skyscraper project could be in jeopardy.  

A decision to grant Dan Gilbert a $60 million tax break for one of his downtown Detroit developments has been delayed — again. Gilbert’s Bedrock real estate firm asked Detroit City Council on Tuesday to table its vote for a later undetermined date.

The move follows strong pushback from residents against the tax breaks for the Hudson’s site development. Detroit City Councilmember Coleman Young II says he supports the deal, but his colleagues remain divided.

“From the way I look at this, we just don’t have the votes.”

He says without the abatement, the entire project could be in jeopardy.

“Have they come out and said outright ‘we’re going to lay these people off?’ No,” Young says. “But have I heard things like this project is not doable, this is something that we can’t see doing. This is something we’re going to have to reevaluate. They’ve made strong suggestions that this is a possibility and you got to prepare for all outcomes out here.”

Bedrock officials say the tax breaks are needed to finance the $1.4 billion skyscraper. Gilbert is putting up $1 billion in equity and taking a $400 million loan on the remainder of the Hudson’s site project.

Residents say that money would be better spent on Detroit’s public schools and libraries.

City officials and developers with Bedrock Detroit say they are working to educate residents about the benefits of the long-delayed project at the former Hudson’s department store property. City Council President Mary Sheffield says while the tax breaks would steer future money away from public schools and libraries, the property will generate more revenue than it does now.

The Hudson’s site has gone through several redesigns since it was first announced in 2017. Sheffield says without the tax breaks, there’s a smaller chance of adding a skyscraper to Detroit’s skyline.

“From what I’ve received, I believe if it’s not approved they would probably have to scale down the project for sure.”

Developers say the tower will reach 680 feet if completed. As it stands now, much of the building remains unfinished and construction is behind schedule.

Photo credit: Nate Pappas/WDET

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  • Eli Newman
    Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.