Chrysler opens downtown office with 70 workers, CEO

Chrysler is taking over the two highest floors of the Dime Building in downtown Detroit, moving 70 workers into the new space including the company's CEO, Sergio Marchionne. As part of the deal to execute the move Chrysler will rename the Dime Building (named after a long-defunct bank) Chrysler House and become a prominent part of the Auburn Hills-based automaker's "Imported from Detroit" branding campaign. On top of it all, on Monday Chrysler committed $3 million in funding to the M1 light-rail project.

"Detroit is on the comeback," says Kirk Lewis, deputy mayor of the city of Detroit who shared the announcement stage with Marchionne, Detroit Regional Chamber CEO Sandy Baraugh and Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert. "The automotive industry is on the comeback. Things are getting better here and you can see that in this office."

Chrysler will lease nearly 33,000 square feet of space in the 23-story Dime Building. The automaker will begin moving the employees in immediately and expects to finish the build-out of the office and move of the employees by the end of this summer.

When asked why he choose the Dime Building, Marchionne says "because of it's history." The structure on Griswold Street a block west of Campus Martius was built in 1912 and designed in a Neo-Classical style by Daniel Burnham, who also designed New York City's Flat Iron building. It was named for Dime Savings Bank and served as a bank headquarters until 1983 when Commonwealth Bank merged with Comerica Bank.

What is now Chrysler House is one of the many downtown office buildings owned by Dan Gilbert. The billionaire entrepreneur is spearheading an effort to bring more companies, especially tech start-ups, to the lower Woodward corridor. Landing the Chrysler office has been one his team's biggest wins yet.

Source: Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler; Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans and Kirk Lewis, deputy mayor of the city of Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke

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