DETROIT, MI – As one of the largest banks in Detroit, Fifth Third Bank has a long history of helping customers make investments. Now, the Fortune 500 company is making a multi-million dollar investment of its own – moving its regional headquarters and 150 employees to the burgeoning business sector in downtown Detroit from its current location in Southfield and pledging $85 million to help spur the city’s revitalization. A news conference was held Oct. 28 in the lobby of One Woodward Avenue, the 29-story landmark skyscraper where Fifth Third Eastern Michigan will relocate employees beginning in March 2015. The move is expected to be completed by summer 2016. The bank’s new offices will occupy four floors encompassing 62,000 square feet with opportunities for future growth at One Woodward owned and operated by Bedrock Real Estate Services. The building, designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki (best known as the architect for the World Trade Center), will be renamed Fifth Third Bank at One Woodward. Elements of the building’s design were used in the design of the Twin Towers.
“Fifth Third Bank’s relocation to downtown Detroit is further confirmation that the center of southeast Michigan’s business community is in the urban core,” said Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans and its family of companies. “A well-respected Fortune 500 company moving their large regional headquarters to the city is a major statement. 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.”
The bank’s move is part of an $85 million commitment to Detroit, which includes charitable donations, small business lending, Community Development Corporation (CDC) tax credit investments, and economic impact contributions over the next five years. The initiative, being called 5/3 (Five Three) in the D, includes more than $1 million in upgrades and renovations to the popular Northwest Activities center at 18100 Meyers. The popular facility provides crucial social services and community programs for Detroit residents. Fifth Third Bank also intends to partner with the city to ‘adopt’ Hart Plaza and enhance it as a premier public space along the Detroit riverfront.
“Fifth Third Bank has long been a citizen of Detroit’s neighborhoods having built numerous branches in the last ten years,” said David Girodat, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan. “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.”
“Fifth Third Bank is staking its claim as the Detroit bank,” added Jim Ketai, CEO and co-founding partner of Bedrock Real Estate Services. “A vibrant downtown Detroit is important to the future of the entire state. We certainly believe this is a wise investment in the city and our region.”
One Woodward, with its panoramic floor-to-ceiling views of the city, the Detroit River, and Windsor, Canada, got a thorough cleaning after it was purchased by Bedrock in December 2012. The gleaming, white façade was restored to its original beauty, and seating areas on the outdoor patio were recently added. Fifth Third Bank serves tens of thousands of customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genessee and Washtenaw. The company currently operates 92 banking centers and more than 150 ATMs across eastern Michigan.
“Detroit continues to experience a wave of revitalization as evidenced by Fifth Third Bank’s decision to move downtown,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “On behalf of the entire city, I extend my warmest welcome to Fifth Third Bank and its team.”