SHL breaks ground on Monroe Blocks mixed-use scheme in US

WCN Editorial Team 14 Dec 2018 NORTH AMERICA BUILDINGS

Ground was broken on Monroe Blocks, a mixed-use development in Detroit, Michigan, and Danish architecture company Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s first project in the US.

Located on the northeast corner of the Campus Martius Park, the 12,500m² site has been vacant for years. The project covers two city blocks and includes the first high-rise office tower to be built downtown in more than 25 years, as well as 4,800m² of public outdoor space.

The Monroe Blocks will feature residential units ranging from studio apartments to multi-bedroom dwellings.

Multi-level retail offering will provide an environment for a mix of destination shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Campus Martius Park is located near the Detroit River where people-watching, ice skating, and outdoor concerts take place.

The masterplan project awarded to Schmidt Hammer Lassen by Bedrock Management Service, the largest real estate developer in downtown Detroit, is located along Monroe Street, one of the major thoroughfares from the park to the surrounding suburbs.

The two blocks along Monroe Street that constitute the development were known as Detroit’s first theatre district, lined with Italianate stone and brick buildings that were built between 1852 and 1911.

The site will connect some of the city’s key central public spaces: Cadillac Square, Campus Martius, Library Square and Woodward.

Monroe Blocks Plot A represents nearly two-thirds of the project and will be anchored by a 35-storey glass and terracotta office tower offering a combination of large floor plates, tall ceiling heights and access to sunlight currently unprecedented in Detroit.

The building heights have been adjusted to optimise the views over the surrounding city and maximise the sunlight exposure.

The office tower facing Campus Martius will be backed by retail, residential apartments, and new public plazas and green space.

When complete, the Monroe Blocks will carry on Detroit’s architectural legacy. The Monroe Blocks are located adjacent to Campus Martius Park, the epicentre of the Central Business District.

Plot A also comprises a 17-storey, 148-unit residential building and a 66,000ft² of retail space designed to attract signature shops and restaurants.

Construction is expected to commence in December 2018. The Monroe Blocks development is scheduled for completion in 2022. Completion for Block A is scheduled for Sept-Oct 2021.

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Image: A view of Monroe Blocks entrance. Photo: Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.

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