General Motors Moves HQ, Stays In Detroit

General Motors will move its global headquarters building in downtown Detroit from the Renaissance Center on the riverfront to a new building about a mile away in 2025.

The automaker will works with billionaire Dan Gilbert's real estate firm to redevelop the Renaissance Center. Gilbert, the chairman of mortgage lender Rocket Companies Inc., also owns Bedrock, which is the developer of GM’s new home, the site of the J.L. Hudson’s Building on Woodward Avenue, which was demolished in 1998. 

The new 1.5 million-square-foot development topped out last week at just over 681 feet, making it the second-tallest building in Detroit, behind the central tower of the Renaissance Center, according to theDetroit Free Press.



GM CEO Mary Barra alongside Gilbert made the announcement at an afternoon news conference at the under-construction former J.L. Hudson’s department store site, which is set to open this year. 

“The automaker will lease the top two floors of the 685.4-foot-tall tower for 15 years,” according toThe Detroit News.

The partnership “represents a new era for Michigan's tallest skyscraper amid raised questions over its future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted workplace models and sent many to do their jobs remotely,” per The Detroit News. “Earlier this year, southeast Michigan and parts of central Michigan were ranked as the metropolitan area with the nation’s highest office vacancy rate at 25%.”

The automaker has been based at the Renaissance Center since 1996.

The Hudson’s site consists of two side-by-side buildings: a 12-story office block with 400,000 square feet of office space, and a 49-story skyscraper that will house retail, food, residential, hotel and event space.  The 1.5 million-square-foot project broke ground in December 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. 

“By committing to Detroit, GM will continue to be the only major automaker still based in the city,” per Bloomberg. “The carmaker has about 5,000 employees downtown and thousands more in its Tech Center about 12 miles north of its current headquarters. GM has one plant in the city, its Factory Zero electric vehicle facility.”

Ford Motor Co., which is headquartered in nearby Dearborn, “is in the process of rehabilitating Michigan Central Station in downtown Detroit — the city’s historic but dilapidated former rail station — to be a large hub for tech workers and software engineers,” per CNBC

Stellantis, formerly Chrysler, is in another Detroit suburb and also has discussed selling its Auburn Hills headquarters in a leaseback agreement where it would remain in the Pentastar-topped tower and technical center off Interstate 75 as a tenant, per The Detroit News

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