Photo: Crain's Detroit Business 
Nearly a century ago, when downtown Woodward Avenue brimmed with shops, pedestrians, automobiles and streetcars, the corner of Woodward and State was the busiest in the nation.

Now, the corner is where two companies intent on making big, bold statements will intersect: the upscale Restoration Hardware and Bedrock Real Estate Services, part of downtown tycoon Dan Gilbert’s business portfolio.

Restoration Hardware, a luxury home furnishing retailer, will open an outlet store at the northwest corner of Woodward and State, according to sources familiar with the plan. The buildings on that corner are owned by Gilbert’s Bedrock, which is reshaping downtown by gobbling up buildings and often filling them with new life.

An outlet store may sound downscale, but Restoration Hardware sells $7,000 couches and $59 “faux fur pet vests” among other things.

The Corte Madera, California-based retailer is on a major push to build huge, elaborate stores. Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman has become famous and drawn parody for starring in YouTube videos describing the company’s “real estate transformation.” The transformation includes scrapping smaller stores in favor of spaces that range from 25,000 to 60,000 square feet.

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