GM HQ to House Blue Cross Blue Shield

The GM Renaissance Center in Detroit is about to get new tenants, after healthcare giant Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) decided, in an attempt to save some money, to move no less than 3,000 employees from Southfield, Michigan, to the new location.

The move, which is expected to save BCBS $30 million in long-term real estate costs, will become effective in 2011. Once they move in, the 3,000 employees will share the Center with 5,000 GM employees.

“This is great news for the GM Renaissance Center and great news for Wayne County and the City of Detroit,” Ed Whitacre, GM CEO said. “We made the Renaissance Center our global headquarters because GM believes in Detroit, and it is clear that our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan share that commitment.”

Moving such a large mass of people will also boost the downtown Detroit economy. The 3,000 employees will also make BCBS one of the largest downtown Detroit employers.

"Creating a single campus for our southeast Michigan workforce will dramatically improve our corporate culture by bringing our people closer together to accomplish our shared goals," Daniel J. Loepp, BCBSM CEO added.

“It will also significantly improve our operational flexibility, which is necessary as we continue to respond to national health care reform."

GM's Renaissance Center, currently the carmaker's HQ, is in fact a group of seven buildings. It was designed by John C. Portman and was at its time the world's most expensive private endeavor, with an estimated cost of $500 million in 1971.

Irony of it all is that most of that money, as did the idea, came from Henry Ford II, at the time chairman of the board of directors of Ford Motor Company. GM bought it in 1996.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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