GM says it will move headquarters from RenCen to Hudson's site in 2025

Breana Noble, Daniel Howes and Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

DETROIT — General Motors Co. on Monday said it will move its global headquarters to the Hudson’s Detroit development next year as it works with billionaire mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert's real estate firm to redevelop the Renaissance Center, its current home a mile away.

GM CEO Mary Barra alongside Gilbert, Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans 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 office floors of the building adjacent to the 685.4-foot-tall tower for 15 years.

The partnership would represent 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. 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%.

Gilbert's Bedrock LLC previously looked at purchasing the 47-year-old Renaissance Center. The real estate firm, which has made strides in contributing to the refresh of the city's downtown, has snatched up a portfolio of properties along the Detroit Riverfront, citing a vision for a "sustainable urban neighborhood." In addition to acquiring some vacant parcels and parking lots that had been given to a creditor during Detroit's bankruptcy, Bedrock also has bought the shuttered Roberts Riverwalk Hotel on River Place Drive, Stroh River Place on River Place Drive and the former UAW-GM Center for Human Resources on Walker Street.

Last week at the Hudson's site on Woodward Avenue, Bedrock and contractor Barton Malow held a topping-off ceremony, placing the final steel construction beam on the project's 685.4-foot-tall tower. Bedrock broke ground on the project in 2017.

The two-building development will include 1.5 million square feet of office, retail, food, residential, hotel and event space. Bedrock plans to continue construction through the spring in a phased approach with crews installing the remaining elements of the glass façade. The project along with Bedrock's Monroe, Book Tower and One Campus Martius expansion projects received$618 million in transformational brownfield tax credits over 30 years, and the city approved an additional $60 million in tax breaks over 10 years in 2022.


The city's first addition to its skyline capable of attracting a headquarters like GM's in a generation is a milestone for Detroit's renewal, said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross Business School.

"The bad news is the decline of RenCen, the most identifiable building in Detroit's skyline," he added in an email. "It's going to be difficult to find tenants for all that space, and they are unlikely to be as prestigious as GM."

But that's OK, said Noah Rernick, associate dean at the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture & Community Development. Investment in the building that's a symbol for the city itself can attract other plans in the area.

"There's so much potential for the riverfront," he said. "The Renaissance Center can still be that icon, that focal point, even if it's not the lead tenant anchor."


swipe to next page

©2024 Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus