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SupercityGR

The big 3

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I really wish Meijer, Spartan foods, and Gordon foods would of moved there hq's to downtown. Can you imagine the jobs that would bring downthere.

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Nice thought, but it would make no sense. Do you really think those employees--any of them--want to take a .75% pay cut to move downtown (city income tax)? There is zero benefit to any major corporation for moving downtown, particularly when most of their employees live elsewhere. Scrap or cap that tax, and you might have better luck next time.

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I heard recently that Meijer is about to start an extensive remodel of the 2929 Walker Ave building.

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Would be nice. We sure need one suburban CEO to see the light and then convince all his CEO friends to move downtown too. Ridiculous you say?

http://www.freep.com...ext{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE{sodEmoji.|}s

...I mean he only brought 6500 of his own employees to downtown Detroit in the worst local economic/political climate and convinced employers of 3,500 more to do the same, and sparked and entire renaissance along Woodward Avenue, and snatched up and fixed 12 underused buildings and filled them with growing little companies like Twitter. I mean, really, can you imagine all that AND a .75% pay-cut? The audacity!

It just takes one.

Edited by Jippy

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Then they should do another Renaissance tax. No taxes for 10 years for any company that moves there business downtown. That would fill more office space downtown. Bring more people downtown. More people would then shop and eat down there. Then more people would move down there. Win win situation

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Would be nice. We sure need one suburban CEO to see the light and then convince all his CEO friends to move downtown too. Ridiculous you say?

http://www.freep.com...ext{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE{sodEmoji.|}s

...I mean he only brought 6500 of his own employees to downtown Detroit in the worst local economic/political climate and convinced employers of 3,500 more to do the same, and sparked and entire renaissance along Woodward Avenue, and snatched up and fixed 12 underused buildings and filled them with growing little companies like Twitter. I mean, really, can you imagine all that AND a .75% pay-cut? The audacity!

It just takes one.

Blue Cross Blue Shield got about $35 Million in local and State tax credits to move all those people to downtown Detroit. Dan Gilbert also is receiving quite a few Renaissance Zone and historic tax credits for all of his downtown ventures. Which is weird because I thought Gov Snyder got RID OF TAX CREDITS. :whistling: Also, Gilbert is giving away millions in incentives to get his workers to live downtown.

That'd probably be the incentive businesses like Amway et al would need.

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it's funny that you say big three, cause i can think of quite a few midsized corporations within a 30 mile radius that have their headquarters in the burbs

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I call them the big 3 because they all are a similar retail

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Would be nice. We sure need one suburban CEO to see the light and then convince all his CEO friends to move downtown too. Ridiculous you say?

http://www.freep.com...ext{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE{sodEmoji.|}s

...I mean he only brought 6500 of his own employees to downtown Detroit in the worst local economic/political climate and convinced employers of 3,500 more to do the same, and sparked and entire renaissance along Woodward Avenue, and snatched up and fixed 12 underused buildings and filled them with growing little companies like Twitter. I mean, really, can you imagine all that AND a .75% pay-cut? The audacity!

It just takes one.

the city of detroit income tax is actually 1.25% for non-residents

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Isn't the city tax rate .65%? City taxes on a salary of 45k is just under $300. Taking a job at Spartan Stores would double my commute from the north side. Downtown is 20 miles round trip. Byron Center is 42 miles round trip. Annually 5000 miles vs 10,500 miles. My car gets 32 miles per gallon, which is better then what most get. So annually I will need 156 gallons of gas for a downtown Spartan Stores office vs 328 gallons at Byron Center. At current gas prices ($3.50) $546 vs $1148. I think I'd rather pay the city taxes as it less then the difference in the cost of gas. That doesn't even include the cost of wear & tear and mileage depreciation.

This is a relevant comparison for me because I used to work downtown and am now considering a job in Byron Center.

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Even if taxes were lower, they still need the incentive to move. We're talking about 3 HQs that happen to have colossal distribution centers adjacent to their corporate offices, all strategically located with easy freeway access. Well, it makes no sense to put their distro centers downtown (if they even fit), so now you have to convince them why investing in new property for a geographically separate corporate office is in their interest. Location still counts, and moving is a pain in the arse, with or without taxes.

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Isn't the city tax rate .65%? City taxes on a salary of 45k is just under $300. Taking a job at Spartan Stores would double my commute from the north side. Downtown is 20 miles round trip. Byron Center is 42 miles round trip. Annually 5000 miles vs 10,500 miles. My car gets 32 miles per gallon, which is better then what most get. So annually I will need 156 gallons of gas for a downtown Spartan Stores office vs 328 gallons at Byron Center. At current gas prices ($3.50) $546 vs $1148. I think I'd rather pay the city taxes as it less then the difference in the cost of gas. That doesn't even include the cost of wear & tear and mileage depreciation.

This is a relevant comparison for me because I used to work downtown and am now considering a job in Byron Center.

this is the biggest reason to move downtown. sure, most of the employees live in the suburbs but not in ada or walker or whatever suburb you want to locate your business. some people live on the suburbs on the other side of town. by centrally locating your business you make the commute easier for everybody (on average).

that being said, If I was in charge of a company, I would need a compelling reason to relocate. that being said, you see it all the time. Boeing relocated their headquarters to chicago from Seattle a few years ago and I still trying to figure that one out. Comerica relocated to Dallas also a couple of years ago stating they wanted to be closer to where the business was expanding. The only reason I would see to move is is they outgrow their current space and need to move anyway.

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this is the biggest reason to move downtown. sure, most of the employees live in the suburbs but not in ada or walker or whatever suburb you want to locate your business. some people live on the suburbs on the other side of town. by centrally locating your business you make the commute easier for everybody (on average).

that being said, If I was in charge of a company, I would need a compelling reason to relocate. that being said, you see it all the time. Boeing relocated their headquarters to chicago from Seattle a few years ago and I still trying to figure that one out. Comerica relocated to Dallas also a couple of years ago stating they wanted to be closer to where the business was expanding. The only reason I would see to move is is they outgrow their current space and need to move anyway.

Some of those moves are political I think. IIRC, Boeing moved their HQ's out of Seattle to Chicago as a slap in the face to Seattle's handling of the G8 riots back in 1999, where downtown Seattle was ransacked by a bunch of punks and really didn't do much to stop it. I seem to remember Boeing at the time saying something at the time about Seattle losing its business-friendly atmosphere and cowtowing to hippies and radicals. They left their production there because it would have been way too expensive to move those operations.

I believe Comerica moved for similar reasons. IIRC on that one, it was right in the middle of the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal, and Detroit's reputation was at rock bottom yet there were still a lot of Kilpatrick apologists. Plus the leadership team may have wanted to move somewhere warmer.

There are all kinds of logistical decisions when making a move downtown, but I really think it's more emotional than anything (which is strange for CEO's of big companies to behave emotionally). If they want to do it, they'll find a way and put enough pressure on government officials to make it financially worthwhile. It's true that it certainly makes sense for employees having a central location.

I've also heard that the employee approval ratings at BCBS in Detroit for the move downtown is pretty high, and a lot of people like working downtown Detroit vs. Southfield.

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For some reason i thought the brutalist looking tower off of 375 with the bcbs sign was the headquarters, and that the office in southfield was just a satelite. Never really thought about it much I guess, it's awsome they are moving more downtown.

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Too bad gfs is building new in Wyoming, Meijer has all the room needed in walker (however they have stuff DT for grid70). Not sure about SPartan. Gilbert has gotten 10,000 jobs, just imagine what a fifth of that would do or GR?

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Some of those moves are political I think....

I believe Comerica moved for similar reasons. IIRC on that one, it was right in the middle of the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal, and Detroit's reputation was at rock bottom yet there were still a lot of Kilpatrick apologists. Plus the leadership team may have wanted to move somewhere warmer.

...

The K2 scandal took quite a while to implode, and corporate relocations are not snap decisions. Regrettably, the naming rights on Comerica Park don't expire for a couple more years. Whoops, make that a 30-year tour.

Sources:

http://www.prnewswir...s-52126982.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/03/06/idUSN0616663520070306

Edited by Veloise

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For some reason i thought the brutalist looking tower off of 375 with the bcbs sign was the headquarters, and that the office in southfield was just a satelite. Never really thought about it much I guess, it's awsome they are moving more downtown.

They're pretty much done with the move. I sat in on a presentation by BCBS about it in Detroit. They're now in 6 buildings in downtown Detroit (2 of the Ren Cen's towers) all within walking distance of each other. And yes, the HQ was always downtown but they had 3000 (?) employees on a big campus in Southfield. They even demarcated a walking path between the buildings in downtown Detroit for "health walking" or something similar. They also have a parking ramp with a jogging track on top.

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Too bad gfs is building new in Wyoming, Meijer has all the room needed in walker (however they have stuff DT for grid70). Not sure about SPartan. Gilbert has gotten 10,000 jobs, just imagine what a fifth of that would do or GR?

The big new building that Farmer's built out in Caledonia was another lost opportunity. One of the big insurance companies in Des Moines built a similar center, but in downtown Des Moines, and huge. Looks like Nationwide Insurance,

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Isnt there a huge company in ada that sells soaps? Cough Cough

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There are all kinds of logistical decisions when making a move downtown, but I really think it's more emotional than anything (which is strange for CEO's of big companies to behave emotionally). If they want to do it, they'll find a way and put enough pressure on government officials to make it financially worthwhile. It's true that it certainly makes sense for employees having a central location.

The other motivation is talent attraction and marketing. This may not be as big of an issue in West Michigan yet since any job is a good job. But in better performing markets, employers are having more difficult time attracting the desired talent in the exurbs. This is especially true for tech companies, with the average employee age of 29. The vast majority of tech companies out west are setting up urban operations, or retrofitting their suburban complexes into more urban ones (exception Apple). Google is in the process of leasing out 100,000s of sq ft in downtown Chicago. On the marketing/PR end, no one maligns a downtown HQ with a gigantic tower sign affixed to their highrise, but plenty deride the suburban sprawlplex with their sea of surface parking.

It only takes one to swing the tides....but it also doesn't help that GR has zero vacant Class A LEED certified office space built in the past 10 years. 38 Commerce is fully (or close to being) leased. Regardless of overall vacancy rates, many corporations want new.

Edited by Jippy

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I know people refuse to believe it, but it is very expensive to set up shop downtown. Income taxes are one part of the picture, but the rest of the picture is likewise not all that pretty. Many good reasons have been posted. As GRDad noted above, the companies that relocated to downtown Detroit were in many cases, essentially bribed. Unless you have a reason to be here that somehow makes or saves money, there isn't a lot of economic incentive. It is not for bad reasons that downtown has scads of empty space.

I always love to see these threads like this though questioning why doesn't company X, Y, or Z move downtown. The answer? Something called a calculator, which most big companies know how to use.

Don't get me wrong--I wish downtown would become hustling and bustling again. But its going to take a lot more than corporate scolding.

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Isnt there a huge company in ada that sells soaps? Cough Cough

You're looking at this backwards - you can't GOAD and PROD a corporation into moving into your city if they don't already have plans to move. The corporation has to WANT to move first, and then you sell them the benefits of moving downtown. You have to ask, what companies are expanding and need bigger offices? What companies from outside the region are looking to enter the GR market? Who actually needs space? Go after those companies. Examples: Sequenom, Plante Moran - SUCCESS. Farmer's - FAIL. Who else is out there?

Tax incentives and a central location are great selling points for businesses that want to move, but it doesn't convince people to move in the first place.

The big 3 (or big 4, if you count the soap company) will likely never want to move, let alone move downtown. Their spaces, all near highways, are perfectly suited for their large distribution operations, so there are no practical reasons to do it. The most likely reason they would ever move is if business was so bad that they had to severely contract (or shut down) their distro operations and needed smaller spaces. God forbid that ever happens, because at that point, the local economy would already be really, really sucking.

At least, that's where it stands in practical terms. As GRDad said, there's always a chance that emotional attachments might sway them into moving, but that's outside of anybody's control. And seriously guys, does GR really want to continue relying on the same families' emotionally-based investments for the future?

Edited by RegalTDP

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You're looking at this backwards - you can't GOAD and PROD a corporation into moving into your city if they don't already have plans to move. The corporation has to WANT to move first, and then you sell them the benefits of moving downtown. You have to ask, what companies are expanding and need bigger offices? What companies from outside the region are looking to enter the GR market? Who actually needs space? Go after those companies. Examples: Sequenom, Plante Moran - SUCCESS. Farmer's - FAIL. Who else is out there?

Tax incentives and a central location are great selling points for businesses that want to move, but it doesn't convince people to move in the first place.

The big 3 (or big 4, if you count the soap company) will likely never want to move, let alone move downtown. Their spaces, all near highways, are perfectly suited for their large distribution operations, so there are no practical reasons to do it. The most likely reason they would ever move is if business was so bad that they had to severely contract (or shut down) their distro operations and needed smaller spaces. God forbid that ever happens, because at that point, the local economy would already be really, really sucking.

At least, that's where it stands in practical terms. As GRDad said, there's always a chance that emotional attachments might sway them into moving, but that's outside of anybody's control. And seriously guys, does GR really want to continue relying on the same families' emotionally-based investments for the future?

Case in point: Rockford Construction. They're marketing their move to the West Side as a move "downtown." It's great, but not really downtown in the true sense (they're not going to add much vibrancy and foot traffic to the downtown/RPC area). Orion Construction, moving into 32 Market. They're small but it's a positive move. Springthrough moving from Oak Industrial Drive to Commerce avenue. Small but not insignificant.

Even if you are a big employer in the area, you would have to start going through the checklist of what's available. If you're moving 500 employees, you pretty much HAVE to provide your own on-site parking (attached/ug ramp at $30,000/space). You have to find land of any considerable size. In the core? Where? It's all owned by Ellis and the Amway families. Monroe North? There's a possibility. There's county and city land, and unused GR Press land available. Near the new Downtown Market? Possible. Some of the DASH lots by the arena? Possible, but expensive land.

That's where tax credits come in.

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Well, think about this... I appreciate Pete Secchia's support of downtown from the statues to Cathedral Square and all. However, where is Universal Forest Products HQ?

3 Mile and the Beltline.

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I like to think of the success that downtown Minneapolis has had with Target. They have been expanding like crazy downthere

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