The shovels are in the ground for the long-fought-for Gateway Marketplace shopping center, a 350,000 square-foot development at Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile Road.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held today for the project. In attendance were Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Dave Bing and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, as well as leaders of the development such as Meijer Inc. CEO Hank Meijer and Dale Watchowski, CEO of Redico LLC, the real estate development company in charge of Gateway Marketplace.
Gateway’s total construction costs will be about $71 million, said Kenneth Till, vice president of acquisitions and development at Redico. The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2013, and construction began in earnest today.
Committed retailers include Grand Rapids-based Meijer, which will fill 215,000 square feet; Marshalls, the Framingham, Mass.-based discounter, with 28,000 square feet; and K&G Superstores, a division of Houston-based Men’s Wearhouse Inc., with 20,000 square feet.
Oakbrook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp. will build a restaurant in the parking lot.
The space is 85 percent committed, said Till.
The development received a series of tax credits from the city and federal government, including a $12 million federal New Markets Tax Credit, $10.75 million in tax incentives from the city of Detroit and a $5.9 million brownfield credit.
Detroit’s General Retirement System is investing $28.6 million into the construction of the marketplace and is expected to earn between $2.3 and $2.7 million a year on the investment, said Susan Glaser, chairwoman for the General Retirement System.
Gateway Park Outlet Mall LLC, a group of investors that includes developer Bernie Schrott, Dykema Gossett PLLC attorney Elliot Hall, former Wayne County Commissioner Ricardo Soloman and Marvin Beatty, a former owner of Greektown Casino-Hotel, owns the property.
The project has been in the works for more than 10 years.
Early momentum came from Chicago-based developer General Growth Properties, which was set to develop and own the project. The company ended dropped out in July 2008. Then, that same summer, Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney dropped out.
Redico took over the project in September of 2010.
“It’s come in a variety of different years and we’ve had a variety of potential anchor tenants,” said Beatty.