GM puts the brakes on portions of headquarters project

on Jul21

General Motors’ planned updates to the front exterior of its RenCen headquarters, including a huge LED screen, were to act as a beacon to draw people to the building on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit.

DETROIT — General Motors has mothballed plans for one of the more eye-catching portions of its 120,000-square-foot addition and renovation of its world headquarters, the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

The canceled plans for the automaker’s property include the 70-foot by 80-foot LED wall that was to encase the Detroit People Mover station at the RenCen, which is 5.5 million square feet.

“We are expecting to complete the current renovations underway in the Renaissance Center, on the central space known as GM World, by the end of 2017,” Afaf Farah, Chevrolet marketing communications manager, said in an email.

“We have put the exterior updates and previously planned interactive experiences on hold. We will continue to evaluate the need for additional updates to the building and make the appropriate changes to support business needs.”

She declined to elaborate on why part of the project is being scrapped.

“All I can say is that we have decided to focus our efforts on successfully completing the renovation project that is currently underway, by the end of 2017. And that we evaluate large investments on a regular basis and have decided not to move forward with the interactive experience and exterior update at this time.”

The renovation and addition were announced in January 2016.

Turner Construction is the general contractor on the project, while the local office of Los Angeles-based CBRE Inc. is the property manager for the RenCen. The architecture firms on the project are Neumann Smith Architecture and EWI Worldwide.

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