Google to open offices by Detroit's Little Caesars Arena in spring

DETROIT - Google, which has said it is moving from Birmingham to Detroit, announced Monday it is opening offices alongside Little Caesars Arena in the spring.

The lease gives the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech company even higher visibility in the state with nearly 30,000 square feet at 52 East Henry St. It also helps boost Detroit’s ambitions to be a technology center.

"Our new space will not only provide room for future growth but will also give us the opportunity to contribute to the dynamic economic and community activity happening in Detroit,” Danielle Russell and Guy Schueller, co-site leads for Google Birmingham, said in prepared remarks. "The City of Detroit has a rich history of culture and innovation.

The company's renderings show Google's colorful signs on the arena, giving the company more visibility as fans go to concerts and Red Wings and Pistons games, as well as every time images of the arena are shown on TV or in other media.

Google's 100-plus employees in Birmingham focus on automotive advertising and technical support. They are expected to move into the new Detroit office by spring, when the suburban office is slated to close. 

In the past few years, businessman Dan Gilbert, the founder of mortgage company Quicken Loans and a major Detroit property owner, has been developing a tech area in downtown Detroit, dubbed the Madison Block.

Google's move to Detroit from the suburbs would add to that cluster of tech companies.

In addition, it adds another business to a 50-block area, dubbed the District Detroit, that the new arena is designed to help spur.

“This exciting move by Google is another clear sign that, in the District Detroit, we’re building one of the best and most exciting places to live, work and play in the entire region," said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings. "We welcome Google as the first of many new tenants expected to join the District Detroit in office, retail and residential developments.”

The district — which, in addition to entertainment, is planned to include at least six residential developments — is designed to transform a part of Detroit that for years has been made up of vacant and dilapidated buildings, offices housing nonprofit service organizations and bars and liquor stores.

Google now has more than 600 employees in Michigan, not including the new self-driving car development center in Novi that is operated by Waymo, a spinoff from Google's parent company, Alphabet.

In September, Google showcased its three-story, 135,000-square-foot offices on the north side of Ann Arbor, where there are about 450 employees.

Google co-founder Larry Page is a Michigan native and University of Michigan graduate.

The Michigan moves are part of Google's push to expand beyond its headquarters in Silicon Valley. Google offices have recently opened or are opening in Chicago; Miami; Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colo.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or fwitsil@freepress.com.

Google in Detroit

Address: 52 East Henry St.

Square feet: 29,178

Employees: 100-plus

Expected opening: Spring 2018

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Detroit Free Press


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