The parade of companies moving to downtown Detroit continues. The latest brings not only 150 employees from Southfield to Detroit but also an $85 million monetary commitment to Detroit.

“Fifth Third Bank has come to the same conclusion as many other small and large businesses: To compete for the best talent, to inspire your people in the most creative and innovative environment possible, and to be exposed to numerous close-by exciting growth businesses who are all potential customers, it just makes sense to locate in downtown Detroit,” said Dan Gilbert.

Here’s more about this $85 million commitment, which along with this move is being branded “5/3 (Five Three) in the D.” Over the next five years it would include charitable donations, small business lending, Community Development Corporation tax credit investments, and “economic impact contributions.”

Also, there will be $1 million in upgrades and renovations to the Northwest Activities Center on Meyers.

One Woodward Fifth Third Bank Detroit

Time for a little Detroit architectural history. In 1962 what’s now to be named “Fifth Third Bank at One Woodward” was constructed to be the headquarters of the Michigan Consolidated Gas Company (commonly referred to at the time as “MichCon”). Originally, it had reflecting pools in the front which have since been turned into landscaping.

Today it’s home to a variety of tenants including the Detroit Regional Chamber. The Minoru Yamasaki structure was his first skyscraper and is often thought of as a forerunner to the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The bank also intends to partner with the city to adopt the moribund Hart Plaza and improve it. At the time the Yamasaki building was designed, the plaza was targeted to have more green space, but instead it became the cement and block plot that we know today.

Rendering courtesy of Bedrock Real Estate Services.
Rendering courtesy of Bedrock Real Estate Services

“Now that we’ve established a footprint in the city, we wanted to move our headquarters to be part of the downtown movement and contribute to the remarkable resurgence Detroit is experiencing,” said David Girodat, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan.

Fifth Third Bank will take up 62,000 square feet and four floors to become the second-largest tenant in the building. 20,000 square feet will be maintained in Southfield to house between 30-40 employees according to other reports.

We’re told the executive leadership team and some employees will move in to the space in March of 2015. The relocation is expected to be complete by the summer of 2016.

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