General Motors has announced that it will be relocating its global headquarters to Hudson’s Detroit, a historic building in the city. This move is expected to have a significant impact on both General Motors and the city of Detroit.

General Motors names Hudson’s Detroit as its new global headquarters

General Motors will relocate its global headquarters to Hudson’s Detroit in 2025

General Motors will relocate its global headquarters to Hudson’s Detroit in 2025, becoming the anchor tenant at Bedrock’s development on the historic site of the former J.L. Hudson Department Store. This marks GM’s fourth headquarters location in the city since 1911, reaffirming its longstanding commitment to Detroit. GM, Bedrock, the city of Detroit and Wayne County will establish a partnership to explore redevelopment opportunities for the Renaissance Center site over approximately the next year, prior to GM’s move to Hudson’s Detroit.

“We are proud to remain in the city of Detroit in a modern office building that fits the evolving needs of our workforce, right in the heart of downtown,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “Our new headquarters will provide collaboration areas for our teams, executive offices and display space for our vehicles. Dan Gilbert and Bedrock have done so much to make downtown Detroit a great place to live, work and visit. We are thrilled to be a significant part of the historic Hudson’s project and also look forward to working with them to explore new ideas and opportunities for the Renaissance Center site and the riverfront.”

The move to Hudson’s Detroit will mark GM’s return to Woodward Avenue, where it established its first headquarters in the city. GM has now entered into an initial 15-year, multi-level lease for the top office floors of the state-of-the-art office building as well as showcase space on the street level for GM vehicles and community activations.“For more than a century, General Motors has been synonymous with the city of Detroit, and we warmly welcome them to Hudson’s as they continue to drive the future of innovation and mobility,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman & Founder of Bedrock.

“I can’t think of a better organisation to help define the new legacy of Hudson’s as General Motors continues to shape the way the world moves directly from Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit.”“GM has been in the city for more than 100 years and it’s great to see that commitment continue as they move their headquarters to the heart of downtown at Hudson’s Detroit. In my time as mayor, I am proud that our team has worked together with GM and Bedrock to build on the city’s revitalisation,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Hudson’s Detroit marks a significant development in the city and returns an iconic name back to where it belongs. GM, meanwhile, is already building EVs at its Factory ZERO plant, located here in Detroit. I am equally excited to see what these two great companies imagine when it comes to the future redevelopment of the Renaissance Center.”“

As Detroit and Wayne County continue to drive global growth, knowing that General Motors is committed to staying in the area is reassuring and signals the automaker’s desire and commitment to continue working together to improve our region’s long-term growth and sustainability,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “As businesses invest in their community, the community grows and becomes healthier. The principle of shared value lies at the very heart of economic success. We’re excited that General Motors will remain downtown and move its world headquarters into this landmark development, appropriately named Hudson’s Detroit.”

Hudson’s Detroit

Hudson’s Detroit is a 1.5-million square-foot development that will feature office, ground-floor retail, a 5-star hotel, rooftop bar, residential condominiums, a public plaza, parking and large event spaces. Comprised of a 12-story office building with event and retail spaces, and adjacent 45 floor hotel and residential tower, Hudson’s presents sweeping city views at every level.The Hudson’s department store, known as the “Big Store” and “J.L. Hudson,” broke ground in 1891 and was the foremost retailer in Detroit — at one time the second largest department store in the world. The massive flagship store anchored the bustling Woodward Avenue corridor and was a destination for domestic and international shopping enthusiasts until it closed its doors in 1983. The structure was eventually demolished, but Bedrock has ensured that the history of the site is echoed in the new Hudson’s Detroit.

Renaissance Center Site

The decision to explore redevelopment opportunities for the Renaissance Center site comes at a time when the office real estate market is transforming. Post-pandemic, the work environment has changed the way that office space is utilised. A recent study by CBRE indicated that 80% of current office occupiers have adopted or will adopt hybrid work. Repositioning the Renaissance Center to reflect these changes will require an experienced real estate developer like Bedrock.When GM acquired the Renaissance Center in 1996 it was a catalyst for the revitalisation of the city and the transformation of the Detroit riverfront. The development of GM Plaza was the genesis of the private-public Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, providing expansive public access to the Detroit River for the first time.The Renaissance Center area and RiverWalk have been bolstered by GM’s continuous improvements, totalling more than $1 billion in investment since 1996.

The initial $500 million Renaissance Center renovation was designed to make the site more accessible to the community, including the removal of the external concrete towers that limited entry from Jefferson Avenue. Improvements were also made to the interior to ease navigation, including a central glass circulation ring and the addition of the Wintergarden, an inviting space where visitors and workers could enjoy panoramic views of the Detroit River.GM developed the first phase of the Detroit International RiverWalk in partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, building some of the most popular places on the riverfront, including the GM Fountain, GM Plaza and the Wintergarden. Each year more than 3.5 million people visit the riverfront, and the Detroit RiverWalk was named ‘Best in America’ in 2021, 2022 and 2023 by USA TODAY.

GM and Detroit

General Motors invested $2.2 billion in Factory ZERO (formerly the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center) in November 2020 for retooling and upgrades. Factory ZERO builds a number of Ultium-powered EVs including the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and SUV, the Chevrolet Silverado EV WT, as well as the upcoming Silverado EV RST, the GMC Sierra Denali EV and the Cadillac Escalade IQ.The plant was first built in 1985 and has manufactured over 3 million vehicles. Today, it has been transformed into one of the most modern automotive plants in the country with nearly 4,000 employees.Additionally, GM has awarded more than $117 million in grants over the last decade to various Detroit-based nonprofit programs to further its engagement and impact in the city. Centred around Detroit’s people and places, GM prioritises funding toward education, workforce development, and neighbourhood revitalisation efforts.GM’s first home in Detroit was at 127-129 Woodward Avenue, on the west side of the street between Fort and Congress, where the company resided from 1911-1923. GM then relocated to the Albert Kahn-designed General Motors Building at 3044 West Grand Boulevard in 1923, where it remained for many years before the company purchased the Renaissance Center in 1996.Financial terms of the transaction between GM and Bedrock are not being disclosed.SOURCE: General Motors

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