May 2022 - Sachse Construction

Gucci opening store in downtown Detroit this summer

Gucci is opening a store in Detroit.

A spokesperson for the luxury retailer, which is headquartered in Italy and owned by fashion conglomerate Kering Group, confirmed the store will open this summer but would not give the location.

The spokesperson said additional details would be released at a future date. Things like store square footage, number of employees, contractors and build-out costs are not known.

However, a city website that lists site-plan reviews shows the store is to open in the Dan Gilbert-owned former L.B. King & Co. building at 1274 Library St., just down the block from Vincente Cuban Cuisine. A building permit was issued in December for the property.

The building is about 38,000 square feet at Library Street and East Grand River Avenue; Gilbert bought it in early 2015 for an estimated $2.7 million.

A message was sent to Gilbert’s Bedrock LLC real estate development company seeking comment Friday afternoon.
Job postings for a Gucci store director and lead client advisor in Detroit are posted on with a starting date of April 22.

A store in Detroit wouldn’t be the retailer’s only connection to the city.

Last year, Gucci teamed with Detroit fashion brand owner Tommey Walker to launch a line of “Vs Everybody” clothing in several other cities. They include Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The collaboration with Walker is part of Gucci’s Changemakers project, which involves donations to organizations in each city as part of the launch of the T-shirts, which cost $390 and are sold online and in flagship stores, Crain’s reported in March.

Confirmation of the new Gucci store comes a week after Under Armour shuttered its downtown Detroit location on Woodward Avenue, which opened about five years ago. Under Armour has closed locations in other cities over the last couple years.

Gucci already has a store inside Somerset Collection in Troy.

As remote work persists, retailers see the suburbs as the next hot retail location

Urbanites aren’t the only ones taking part in the so-called Great Migration — retailers are also expanding into the suburbs.

Last week, Amazon announced that it is launching a new store format targeting suburban shoppers. The company is opening a new Amazon Go store in the coming months in Mill Creek, Washington — a suburb of Seattle. Meanwhile, retailers like direct-to-consumer eyewear brand Warby Parker and e-commerce furniture retailer Wayfair are also increasingly plotting suburban locations.

For years, trendy startups mostly flocked to city centers when opening new stores, as that’s where their core consumer — millennials — were located. But foot traffic to some of these areas has declined when many consumers were no longer required to commute to offices, experts said. Retail hub Madison Avenue in Manhattan, for instance, saw just 71% of foot traffic levels the week of August 8, compared to the same week in 2019, according to analytics firm Orbital Insight. As work from home life continues for many, retailers are seeing growth opportunities in opening stores where shoppers live.

“This, to me, is the next natural evolution,” said Bryan Eshelman, managing director in the retail practice at global consulting firm AlixPartners. “They are now trying to get access to yet another set of customers to continue that growth. That’s the next adjacent opportunity if you will – moving from online to city stores, city stores to suburban stores.”

Retailers move from the city to the suburbs

Opening stores in suburban locations isn’t necessarily a new concept. But it has gained traction in recent years as remote work becomes more commonplace, said Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. As of February, 39% of employees worked entirely remote and only 19% worked fully on-site, according to a recent Gallup survey.

In March of last year, Warby Parker opened a new store in Ardmore, a suburb of Philadelphia. DTC hair color brand Madison Reed also opened a full-service hair color bar in the area a month before. They weren’t the only DTC darlings to move into the Philadelphia suburb in recent years. Denim-focused brand Madewell opened a store in the area back in 2015.

“A retailer has an interest in opening a store wherever there’s consumer demand,” Lipsman said. “With remote work, there are a lot more consumers who are sticking close to home in the suburbs during the course of the day.”

While city centers suffered losses during the pandemic, suburban main streets flourished. For instance, overall traffic in a suburban shopping district in White Bear Lake, Minnesota increased by at least 25% from 2020, according to Star Tribune in November. On the other hand, in office-dependent retail corridors in Midtown East and around Grand Central, almost 30% were unoccupied as of summer 2021, according to a report from Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

In a quest to acquire more customers, retailers are snatching up real estate in suburban locations. Wayfair’s first storefront in the Chicago area is set to open next year in Edens Plaza, a strip mall in a village called Wilmette.

Metro Detroit summer development guide 2022: Openings, closings, renovations abound

With the dust of COVID-19 finally beginning to settle, commercial development in metro Detroit is once again bustling. Big plans are in store for several the area’s shopping malls and office buildings, many of which were left abandoned or under-utilized during the peak of the pandemic.

Read on to see what’s in store for notable sites like Fairlane Town Center, the United Artists building, The Oakland Mall and more in our summer development guide.


Fairlane Town Center mall sold, could gain housing

Dallas-based real estate firm Centennial bought Dearborn’s Fairlane Town Center in May. The company hopes to transform the sprawling property into a mixed-use development, offering shopping, housing and possibly medical services. The mall, which opened in 1976, is spread out over three floors, with 125 stores and a reported 83% occupancy rate as of February, according to the city of Dearborn.

Deserted offices, schools and stores being converted into housing in metro Detroit

A growing number of empty or underused metro Detroit office buildings, schools and motels — and even one abandoned department store — are being converted into new housing. Southfield is home to several such projects, including the former Northland Center Mall, John Grace Elementary School and Hawthorne Suites hotel.

Rehab underway of Ilitch-owned United Artists Theater building in Detroit

The 18-story United Artists Theater Building, located at 150 Bagley St., will be transformed into a 148-unit residential building called the Residences @150 Bagley. The $75-million project is headed up by a Detroit-based and Black-led development team known as Bagley Development Group, whose members include Emmett Moten Jr. and Richard Hosey. The residence is scheduled to open in late 2023.

New owner of Oakland Mall wants an ‘anti-mall’ with TikTok stars

Real estate investor Mario Kiezi, who owns commercial properties in Ohio and Michigan, purchased the giant 1.5 million-square-foot Troy shopping mall in March. The 31-year-old Kiezi said he intends to gradually transform it into an “anti-mall” that will appeal to teens and feature new, unique and affordable entertainment options for families.

New developments

Officials break ground on 22-acre park on city’s west riverfront, expected to open in 2024

The Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park is the final piece of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s plan to revitalize 5.5 miles of frontage along the Detroit River. The park, a $75 million investment, is stationed on the west side of the riverfront near the site of the former Joe Louis Arena and will consist of 22 acres of playscapes and recreational spaces.

New renderings released for Hudson’s site project in Detroit

Dan Gilbert’s plan for his real estate firm’s Hudson’s site development in downtown Detroit consists of two buildings: a skyscraper with luxury residences and a luxury hotel; and an 11-story mid-rise with more than 550,000 square feet of office space, exhibition space and ground-floor retail. The development, located at 1208 Woodward Ave., broke ground in December 2017 and is still under construction.

Construction finally begins on large Detroit upscale housing development [For subscribers]

As of Mid-May, construction is officially underway on an upscale 318-unit housing development in Detroit’s Lafayette Park that is one of the larger pandemic-era residential developments in the city to get started. The $133 million Lafayette West, located at 1401 Rivard St. near I-375, will consist of six five-story buildings with a mix of 230 rental apartments and 88 for-purchase condos. It is scheduled to open in spring 2023.

Joe Louis Arena site tower could be finished in spring 2024

The 25-story residential tower in Detroit that is now under construction at the former site of Joe Louis Arena could be finished as early as spring 2024. Early foundation work began at the site in February.

Ikea to invest more than $3B in stores

Dive Brief:

  • Ingka Group, Ikea’s largest franchisee, on Monday announced it would invest more than 3 billion euros, or about $3.2 billion at press time, in its stores.
  • The investment will include both new and existing stores and will focus on making its physical locations double as e-commerce distribution points, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • The plan will cover all 32 of Ingka’s markets, including the U.S., France, Finland, Canada, Germany and Spain. About a third of the investment — 1.2 billion euros — will be allocated to its London market, including to its Oxford Street store, new services and a new distribution center in Dartford, which will allow the company to make home deliveries within 24 hours.

Dive Insight:

After e-commerce surged in popularity during the early days of the pandemic when consumers were trying to avoid trips to the store, Ikea is investing in its physical locations to make them more adaptable to online orders.

“Our stores remain one of our biggest strengths and we will continue to transform them to meet the needs of our customers for generations to come,” Tolga Öncü, retail operations manager at Ingka Group, said in a statement. “We see many of our stores playing a dual role, giving our customers the best of both physical and online retailing and the investment will support not only an inspiring in-store Ikea experience but also a faster and more affordable shipping of online orders directly from our stores.”

The investment is aimed at creating a more immersive experience and helping to support the increase in home deliveries, the company said, pointing to its recently rebuilt store in Kuopio, Finland, which now helps to fulfill online orders. Ingka said with that store’s improvements, customers can receive online orders in half the time and the company has reduced delivery costs by 40%.

Ingka Group over the past three years has invested more than 2.1 billion euros in new and existing stores across all of the markets it serves.

“More than ever before, we want to optimise our network of stores in order to cater for an inspiring shopping experience — no matter how or where our customers choose to engage with us,” Öncü said. “With this investment we aim to secure the long-term viability of our business by making Ikea more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable.”

The company also announced on Monday that the first city stores in Stockholm and Toronto will open soon, featuring more than 2,000 products in store, with larger furniture pieces available for home delivery.

New renderings offer first look inside Detroit Hudson’s site development

DETROIT – The ongoing redevelopment at Detroit’s former Hudson’s store site has entered a new phase — and we’re getting a look at what the interior of the building will look like once it’s finished.

Bedrock released the first renderings of inside the new skyscraper, which as of May 12, was near 200 feet tall, on its way to 685 feet, according to the real estate company. Originally, the building was supposed to be 800 feet tall.

Between the office, retail, event and public space, the Hudson’s site will offer 1.5 million gross square foot mixed use space.

Construction on the development has been ongoing since Bedrock broke ground in 2017. 130-foot caissons were drilled to support the buildings’ foundation, and in total more than 10,200 tons of steel and 11,600 beams were used to create structural support.

Since March 2021, the building has been steadily increasing in height, with the office building “topping out” at 220 feet in April 2022. Structural work on the Tower continues and will reach its final height of 685 feet in 2023, becoming the second tallest building in Detroit and the State of Michigan.

The skyline silhouette of downtown Detroit will be forever reshaped by the transformational project, creating a legacy development that will be enjoyed by generations to come. The development is expected to be completed in 2024.

Event venue renderings

The second and third floors of the office building have been designed to incorporate a 126,000 GSF world-class events and meeting venue featuring a wide range of modern, and highly desired amenities, that will host events ranging from 50 to 2,500 people.

Rooftop food and beverage renderings

The project will also feature unique rooftop food and beverage amenities, providing one-of-a-kind views of the city skyline. This will be one of Detroit’s most unique experiences for visitors and residents.

Public plaza renderings

The development will feature an activated through-cut plaza in the space between the office building and Tower of the development, in line with Bedrock’s commitment to activating public spaces such as Parker’s Alley and the Belt.

Office space and atrium renderings

The development will offer more than 400,000 GSF of office space with large flexible floor plates and floor-to-ceiling windows, providing an abundance of natural light and exceptional views of the city.

“The future of industry is one of ingenuity and creativity,” said Anna Okerhjelm, Studio Director at Pophouse. “We set out to create a design narrative for the development on the site of the former Hudson’s department store that embraces the soul of opportunity in Detroit and complements the rich fabric of the city to inspire and propel growth. Our team is proud to play a role in bringing to life this shared vision of a world-class urban campus, which will function as an incubator for innovation and progress moving forward.” Office leasing for the office building is underway.

Overhead photos show Boyne Mountain’s new SkyBridge construction rising high

BOYNE FALLS, MI – Construction on SkyBridge Michigan, the world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge, reached a soaring phase in the last week. It’s perched high atop Boyne Mountain resort, where the 1,203-foot long pedestrian bridge is set to debut this fall.

In the last week, all four SkyBridge towers were lifted and placed. The raising of these timber towers was a big milestone for SkyBridge fans, as well as the construction teams making it all happen. The towers each measure more than 50 feet high and nearly 70 feet long, anchoring both sides of the new bridge atop the ski run area. They were designed to honor the logging heritage of Northern Michigan.

SkyBridge will have some unique “peak-to-peak” construction for a Northern Michigan resort.
“Positioned at the crest between McLouth and Disciple’s Ridge, SkyBridge Michigan is set to become the world’s longest timber-towered suspension bridge, and will offer resort guests and visitors alike an exhilarating experience,” said Erin Ernst, communications director for Boyne’s Michigan properties. “The walking surface will hang suspended 118-feet from the ground level and showcase panoramic views of the surrounding Boyne Valley. The bridge is expected to open in September, and will be open year-round.”

It will also connect with the resort’s paved trail system to encourage more exploration of the property and all its features. It’s one of several new projects the Boyne Mountain team is undertaking as part of its Renaissance 2.0 plan, which is being used to guide the resort’s development for the next decade. Key among them are renovated guest accommodations and an outdoor expansion of its popular Avalanche Bay waterpark complex.

SkyBridge Michigan is modeled after the successful Gatlinburg SkyBridge at its sister property, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park in Tennessee.

Modern furniture retailer comes to Grand Rapids

A national furniture retailer opened its first Michigan location in Grand Rapids.

Design Within Reach recently opened its new studio in Breton Village Mall, at 1872 Breton Village Road SE in Grand Rapids.

The retailer is owned by West Michigan-based MillerKnoll, the combined brand of Herman Miller and Knoll.

“With a longstanding history in Michigan and close ties to this vibrant design community, we’re excited to open our newest DWR studio in Grand Rapids,” said Andi Owen, CEO of MillerKnoll. “A short drive from our corporate headquarters, this new studio strengthens our retail presence in the area and provides a dynamic way for our customers and employees to experience authentic modern design from our collective of brands.”

The 4,442-square foot studio will feature displays curated to showcase various styles of modern design.

Unlike a traditional showroom, Design Within Reach has layered textures and details to “create an evolving sense of home” throughout the space, the company said. Aesthetic choices include hearth-inspired brickwork and a sunken living room-style consultation area.

“We are always exploring opportunities to evolve and elevate our offerings,” said Debbie Propst, president of global retail at MillerKnoll. “We believe good design solves problems, and our Grand Rapids studio will provide an intimate, approachable and personal experience for our customers in the region.”

Design Within Reach is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday.

The new studio marks the 35th store for Design Within Reach, with the next closest studio in Chicago.

Whitmer Announces Grant to Connect Veterans with Registered Apprenticeships in Construction Industry

LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded Helmets to Hardhats a $250,000 grant to support the Michigan Construction Apprenticeship post-Military Opportunity (MiCAMO) Program that will connect 225 Veterans with Registered Apprenticeships in Michigan’s construction industry.

“The MiCAMO Program offers active-duty and retired military Veterans meaningful career opportunities in Michigan’s construction industry,” said Governor Whitmer. “To continue fixing our roads and bridges so people can go to work or drop their kids off at school safely, we need high-quality construction completed by highly-skilled workers. The MiCAMO Program will empower those who served land a good-paying, high-skill, and in-demand job and help employers fill open positions. We will stay focused on growing our economy and turbocharging our progress to keep fixing our infrastructure.”

The MiCAMO Program will provide training to help transitioning active-duty and retired military service members, National Guard, reservists and veterans with Registered Apprenticeship paths to in-demand, high-wage construction jobs.

Resulting employment from the MiCAMO Program will benefit veterans and the state. Veterans who participate will gain long-term economic security in high-demand, high-wage U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Registered Apprenticeship Programs and improved access to GI Bill benefits for eligible veterans. Having skilled workers employed in the construction industry helps the state close current skills gaps and supports an important segment of the state’s economy.

“We are continuously looking for solutions to address the skilled talent needs of our state’s employers – and the MiCAMO Program does that and much more,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “The program not only helps address the talent needs of one of our state’s crucial industries – construction – but it also expands high-wage opportunities for Michigan Veterans. MiCAMO will have a real impact on Michigan families, businesses and communities.”

“Veterans represent the best of the best that our workforce has to offer,” said Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Zaneta Adams. “This program is exciting because it helps veterans realize the many opportunities to gain skills and sustainable income and enables them to increase the economic footprint in their communities. Serving the community is what veterans have been trained to do.”

Registered Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career training programs in which employers develop and prepare Michigan’s future workforce. Apprentices gain paid work experience, related classroom instruction and a national industry-recognized credential upon program completion. The programs help employers begin an immediate transfer of knowledge from current to future high value workers. Workers get a paycheck from day one while they build the right skills in a new career.

“Having the support of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity gives Helmets to Hardhats the ability to not only reach more veterans, but change more lives,” said Martin Helms, Helmets to Hardhats Executive Director. “We agree with Governor Whitmer on the importance of transitioning active-duty and retired military Veterans with meaningful career opportunities in an industry that is critical to our state’s infrastructure. Our outreach to military service members allows us to connect them to middle class, family-sustaining career opportunities. We cannot thank LEO enough for their commitment to our nation’s military Veterans and the Helmets to Hardhats program.”

More information about Helmets for Hardhats is available at To learn more about State Apprenticeship Expansion in Michigan, visit