Johnson Controls spin-off Adient will move its operational global headquarters, along with hundreds of jobs, to downtown Detroit.
The global automotive seat manufacturer on Wednesday officially announced plans to make the Marquette Building — located at 243 W. Congress across from Cobo Center — its new home for 500 employees, including about 100 new positions that were with its former parent company in Milwaukee.
The move is the most recent in a rebirth of automotive suppliers investing in the city. Other major investment announcements have come from Lear Corp., American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. and ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, a subsidiary of steel and mining company ArcelorMittal.
Adient purchased the 10-story, 164,000-square-foot building as well as a nearby parking garage as part of a $97.8 million investment for the move, including $50 million into renovating the Marquette Building.
The renovations are expected to take two years. In addition to office space, the building is expected to include a product showroom, fitness center, eatery and rooftop terrace.
“It’s something our company is going to be very proud of,” said Adient CEO R. Bruce McDonald, who was joined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials Wednesday at Cobo Center for the announcement. “It’s a landmark building. It’s going to reflect our image and what we want Adient to be known as.”
Adient said it plans to “work with the city” to fill as many jobs as possible with Detroit residents. The company’s move is expected to generate about $17.2 million in income and property tax revenue for the city over the next 12 years.
Duggan said “standard” incentives for Adient’s move and investment will be presented to the Detroit City Council in January. He declined to estimate the value of the incentives, citing they will depend on property values and tax abatements.
The project was already awarded a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant by the Michigan Strategic Fund board.
“We’ve had a pretty remarkable past seven days,” Duggan said, adding that Adient will be the fourth Fortune 500 company with a global headquarters in Detroit. The others are General Motors Co., Ally Financial and DTE Energy.
Duggan said the Adient announcement in many ways “is the most extraordinary” of all of the recent announcements in Detroit, including the Detroit Pistons upcoming move to Detroit and construction of a new 20-building mixed-use City Modern project that will occupy 8.4 acres of mostly vacant land in the Brush Park neighborhood just north of downtown.
“To have them decide to move their global headquarters to Detroit is a message to every major company in America that Detroit is a place that you want to be,” Duggan said.
Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Steve Arwood called the move a “game-changer” for the city, as it may attract the attention of other companies to Detroit.
One of the biggest hurdles, according to officials, actually was finding parking for the companies employees once they move downtown.
The corporate office will replace some operations on its research and development campus in Plymouth. McDonald said the company will consolidate four offices, including three on its Plymouth campus, into one. The company plans to invest $75 million to $100 million in the campus over the next two to three years.
Adient employs 3,500 in Michigan at eight facilities in Auburn Hills, Battle Creek, Detroit, Holland, Lansing, Plymouth and Warren. The 100 new jobs will be in human resources, legal and other positions that were handled by Johnson Controls.
Adient, like Johnson Controls, is domiciled for tax purposes in Ireland. Corporate offices outside Metro Detroit are in Milwaukee; Burscheid, Germany; and Shanghai, China. The company’s current operations in Milwaukee, which includes 80 people, will not be impacted by the move, according to McDonald.
“We’re really happy to be calling Detroit home,” said McDonald, who plans to move to Metro Detroit. “It’s really exciting to be part of the Motor City.”