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  #741  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 3:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post

Hate the city? You're projecting. Skepticism about a project's current status isn't "hate."
I never said YOU hate the city, personally I don't think you really care. But you're sticking your nose in something that you haven't been following and dont have info on. So I just find it annoying. We'll just have to end it here.

Crawford types absolutely hate the city, and you fell for his troll bait, I'm sure he's very happy about it.


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Anyone have an actual argument?
See this is where you lose me, this dismissive kinda condescending stuff. I don't care to take this further, this thread is for updates and info on the project not pointless arguments.
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  #742  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 4:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
I'm rooting for this project. But reality intervenes. What started as a simple point about the semantics of "underway" (on another thread, which got moved here) has become a big argument because people are making it so.

But I'm down for it.

Why not light money on fire? Obviously, they want to build the project. They spent millions before breaking ground, and have apparently jumped the gun on the below-grade portion before the above-grade portion has permission to build what they think.

The contractor knows more than I do? Of course. But you don't know what they know. A contractor in this situation would make the best of things and keep their mouths shut.

No above-grade permits? IIRC, I pointed out a scenario where this is ok, and said it's not necessarily a sign of anything. But it's also very likely being delayed until their entitlements are in hand. Do you expect them to do detailed design while the basics are in question?

Hate the city? You're projecting. Skepticism about a project's current status isn't "hate."

I'm not media folk. I work for a general contractor who builds projects on this scale and my job includes media relations.

Anyone have an actual argument?
But why is this even a debate? Permits in Detroit are a non issue and any delay would be from market forces. Bedrock has literally explained in multiple news interviews that they were looking for very specific hotel operators and so far had no deals. What else is there to discuss beyond that?
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  #743  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 5:14 PM
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The topic is whether the 680' tower is fully underway. You haven't mentioned any reasons to move it beyond the gray-area category.
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  #744  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 6:48 PM
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In Boston we had a major hole in the ground right in the heart of the city, Downtown Crossing, for 5 years. The 495' original proposal didn't get built. The 420' revised proposal didn't get built. Instead we waited, and waited, and waited, and were finally rewarded with a 685' which jump-started the current boom.

Perhaps Detroit would be better off leaving this as a hole in the ground for a couple of years. Then instead of settling for 680', you can get the new tallest that this was supposed to be.

Personally hoping you guys don't eclipse Boston's 790' John Hancock Tower, but that's my own competitiveness and homerism. However, how many of you from Detroit would be willing to wait a couple more years for a guaranteed 750'+, rather than rushing the 680' now? Opportunities don't come around like this particularly often, especially in cities considered downtrodden, like Detroit. I would rather hold out for a new tallest myself.

In the age of COVID, the hotel aspect is probably going to stall this out. Maybe they'd be better off switching to residential, or just waiting and producing a better, taller tower a couple years from now.

What are the thoughts of those of you from there? Are you happy rushing out the 680', just to "get something built" or would you rather wait for something grander? If it does get built now at 680', are there other legitimate shots at getting a new tallest in the future? It looks like you have only ended up with 2 buildings over 300', and none over 350', since the Ally Detroit Center was completed in 1993. Could we really expect Dan Gilbert to put up a 2nd, even larger vanity project if this one gets built at 680' now?
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  #745  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 8:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
In Boston we had a major hole in the ground right in the heart of the city, Downtown Crossing, for 5 years. The 495' original proposal didn't get built. The 420' revised proposal didn't get built. Instead we waited, and waited, and waited, and were finally rewarded with a 685' which jump-started the current boom.

Perhaps Detroit would be better off leaving this as a hole in the ground for a couple of years. Then instead of settling for 680', you can get the new tallest that this was supposed to be.
It's kind of past that point. Most of the cassions have already been drilled and they're already halfway with columns for the underground parking structure. Prior to this point, the previous parking structure had to be demolished and the foundation had to be strengthened. The site could originally only support a 16-20 story structure so anything above that has been a welcome change but it does mean a more expensive and time consuming project.

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In the age of COVID, the hotel aspect is probably going to stall this out. Maybe they'd be better off switching to residential, or just waiting and producing a better, taller tower a couple years from now.
Half the tower is already residential and it'll be the most expensive in the city. I think an all residential tower at 912 might make it the most expensive in SE Michigan which is risky territory since you would have to market this property to buyers who otherwise can buy mansions in villas in any of Detroit's best suburbs. That's a pretty hard sell with the current state of Detroit.


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What are the thoughts of those of you from there? Are you happy rushing out the 680', just to "get something built" or would you rather wait for something grander? If it does get built now at 680', are there other legitimate shots at getting a new tallest in the future? It looks like you have only ended up with 2 buildings over 300', and none over 350', since the Ally Detroit Center was completed in 1993. Could we really expect Dan Gilbert to put up a 2nd, even larger vanity project if this one gets built at 680' now?
The Monroe Blocks could be taller if redesigned. It's already had a height increase since originally proposed. However, there's as of yet been no indication that there's any intention on making it the city's new tallest.

The city needs new office space and the Hudson's site is aimed at technology companies that wouldn't occupy a traditional office high rise. The Midrise block is designed in such a way that it's basically one continuous floor plate that spirals up. The Monroe Blocks fulfies more traditional office space.

Dan Gilbert has kind of been known for luring large companies into the city so if he managed to get more big tenants then obviously there will have to be new towers. New tallest would obviously depend on how big the tenants are. But at that point, I feel, that's more long-term speculation rather than anything immediate.
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  #746  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
The topic is whether the 680' tower is fully underway. You haven't mentioned any reasons to move it beyond the gray-area category.
As currently designed, the underground parking would only be accessible through the at-grade portion of the tower.

The whole project would be on-hold if that part of the structure wasn't able to be completed.

Granted, this is based on what Bedrock sent to the city a few years ago, but again for them to still be working on construction right now means either very little or nothing at all has changed since then. At least as far as what you're talking about.
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  #747  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 12:11 AM
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If you're saying that opening the garage would require building at least one level above-grade, that doesn't address my points. Of course it would require that, and it's typically not that major of an issue.

For starters, it's common to design a garage to be separate (or easily separatable) for occupancy, which is about egress, fire stopping, MEP systems, etc.

Second, if the existing permits doesn't include the full portal, another permit can be gotten to make an interim condition possible.

Many projects either intentionally build below-grade parking so that other projects can eventually be built on top, OR intend to build the whole thing but pause and come up with plans to partially open for the interim.

In this case, it's a safe bet that the contractor and design team have worked on contingency plans for a variety of partial-occupancy concepts.
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  #748  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 1:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
If you're saying that opening the garage would require building at least one level above-grade, that doesn't address my points. Of course it would require that, and it's typically not that major of an issue.

For starters, it's common to design a garage to be separate (or easily separatable) for occupancy, which is about egress, fire stopping, MEP systems, etc.

Second, if the existing permits doesn't include the full portal, another permit can be gotten to make an interim condition possible.

Many projects either intentionally build below-grade parking so that other projects can eventually be built on top, OR intend to build the whole thing but pause and come up with plans to partially open for the interim.

In this case, it's a safe bet that the contractor and design team have worked on contingency plans for a variety of partial-occupancy concepts.
Sure, but there hasn't been any indication a partial-occupancy would be necessary. By that logic, if there isn't a building permit for full above grade construction, why is there not a permit for a partial occupancy?

And again why would it be relevant now if the structure won't reach street level for another several months?
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  #749  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 5:53 AM
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Of course there's no need for above-grade permits until work gets there. I acknowledged that already. (On the flip side, it's general practice to get those permits going, so you don't get blindsided by reviewers' code interpretations later on.)

The land use permit is much more relevant here. With that still in question, it's not clear that they can build the basic concept they want. Further, they might be holding off on building permits for that reason.

It's not uncommon to start a building under old shoring/excavation and below-grade permits, then revise what's upstairs afterward if it's accommodated by the original parameters. But with the LUP not finalized, it's hard to call the tower "underway."

Still not getting your point in the past couple posts.
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  #750  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 6:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
What are the thoughts of those of you from there? Are you happy rushing out the 680', just to "get something built" or would you rather wait for something grander? If it does get built now at 680', are there other legitimate shots at getting a new tallest in the future? It looks like you have only ended up with 2 buildings over 300', and none over 350', since the Ally Detroit Center was completed in 1993. Could we really expect Dan Gilbert to put up a 2nd, even larger vanity project if this one gets built at 680' now?
Having a new tallest would be great, but I'd rather see downtown's surface parking lots filled in. Downtown needs to build out, not up. A couple dozen 5-20 story buildings filling up our surface lots would do a lot more for downtown than a new tallest would, IMO.
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  #751  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 7:17 AM
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Yet another thing that sets this project apart from others is that, aside from some promised state incentives, it's self-financed. Not even so much as a construction loan.

The City of Detroit used a quit claim deed to convey the property to 1208 Woodward LLC, subsidiary of Rock, and there are no other liens on the property save for that of the contractor, Barton Malow. If there were any other lenders on this project, they would be so named. Same goes for any government sources of funding. There would be all sorts of recorded documents on a project this large. Which means this whole thing is on their corporate balance sheets.

My gut feeling is that they are courting something other than a hotel at this point, and it's taking much longer than expected. Certainly no reason not to get to ground level. This is purely my own speculation, but I even wonder if the Rocket IPO might play into this somehow. I guess only time will tell.
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  #752  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 2:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Of course there's no need for above-grade permits until work gets there. I acknowledged that already. (On the flip side, it's general practice to get those permits going, so you don't get blindsided by reviewers' code interpretations later on.)

The land use permit is much more relevant here. With that still in question, it's not clear that they can build the basic concept they want. Further, they might be holding off on building permits for that reason.

It's not uncommon to start a building under old shoring/excavation and below-grade permits, then revise what's upstairs afterward if it's accommodated by the original parameters. But with the LUP not finalized, it's hard to call the tower "underway."

Still not getting your point in the past couple posts.
Like you're looking for the pedantic official legal definition of a tower under construction when the overall project is still nowhere near that point. To say the tower isn't getting built though is untruthful.

Of course that point will come eventually, but I can't say that with certainty because who knows what might happen between now and next summer. The economy could fall apart and render this moot.
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  #753  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 4:56 PM
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"Not fully underway yet" is very different from the connotations of "not getting built."
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  #754  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 5:20 PM
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Like you're looking for the pedantic official legal definition of a tower under construction when the overall project is still nowhere near that point. To say the tower isn't getting built though is untruthful.
Saying the tower is being built, right now, is untruthful.

Again, there are no permits. None. No financing. Nothing. No announcements about building program.

They're basically building a garage, right now, which replaces a previous garage, which was poorly built and nearly collapsing. The previous garage had to be replaced under any circumstance. Until there's some documentation indicating what (if anything) is being built above the garage, it's just boosterism to claim that a rebuilt garage is somehow indicative of what may eventually be built above.

I don't doubt there will eventually be a tower of some sort built on this site, but there's no reason to believe it's happening right now, absent evidence. And there's absolutely no reason for Bedrock to hide its plans, if it actually has plans. I mean, these plans would be the biggest development news in the city since the RenCen was announced nearly 50 years ago.
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  #755  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 6:15 PM
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I don't doubt there will eventually be a tower of some sort built on this site, but there's no reason to believe it's happening right now
Then what are the 200' cranes for? The garage?
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  #756  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 8:07 PM
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The crane heights suggest they can build a little above grade before adding segments, but they don't suggest they're assuming anything.
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  #757  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 10:30 PM
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The crane heights suggest they can build a little above grade before adding segments, but they don't suggest they're assuming anything.
The cranes for the Hudson site are climbing cranes, meaning they can be lifted with the height of a tower.

https://www.liebherr.com/en/usa/prod...ils/82114.html

Wouldn't that be a big assumption that a tower will eventually be built if they are using tower cranes? Seems like a waste if all they're going to do is dismantle or leave the cranes standing once they reach street level.
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  #758  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 11:13 PM
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No. These cranes can support the tower, but they also seem appropriate for the garage alone.

You can do a lot with mobile cranes instead, but that's tough on a downtown site with zero lot lines. And especially tough with the people mover blocking one side. And on a huge site like this that would require enormous reach.
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  #759  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2020, 2:03 PM
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That should make it pretty obvious then the intent to build a tower. If an underground parking garage can be built with less, then it would stand to reason it's more efficient to do so.

Numerous other construction projects in Detroit that are at least 10 to 12 stories and have tighter lot restrictions have been built with mobile cranes which is kind of why it's been a big deal when cranes arrived to this site.
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  #760  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2020, 4:52 PM
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Aren't we all assuming they intend to build the tower? I sure am. The topic is whether the tower is "underway." Since they don't even have a land use permit (a more relevant point than building permits), I say it's not.

Either way, to repeat, the cranes would be appropriate (and probably a necessity) even if it was only a garage project. Maybe they'd omit a couple segments if no tower was intended...a question for a crane expert or superintendent.
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