Huntington Bank opens 21-story building in downtown Detroit
Detroit − About 100 political leaders and community members gathered Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a new office building downtown that will house Huntington Bancshares's commercial banking headquarters.
The 21-story Huntington Tower held hundreds of bank employees and customers as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials marked the completion of the 427,000-square-foot building on Woodward Avenue. Huntington officials would not disclose the cost of construction.
"This benefits the whole state of Michigan," Whitmer said. "Right after I took office, I came down here and it was just an empty lot ... it's an honor to be here less than four years later and see what has gotten accomplished here and what's it's going to mean for the people of this community."
A rooftop terrace, balcony, and multi-purpose rooms are some of the amenities available for the 750 employees who will work at 2025 Woodward. The building can accommodate 800 employees, a number Huntington plans to reach in the near future.
Now that the Columbus-based bank has acquired TCF Financial Corp., Huntington employs 21,000 employees across 1,000 branches in 11 states. Gary Torgow, the bank's chairman of the board, said the $22 billion all-stock deal took the bank from $50 billion in assets to $179 billion.
"We can employ more people, we can do more, we have more branches in Detroit," Torgow said. "It's given us an opportunity to really grow the enterprise."
Less than five years ago, Torgow was executive chairman for a smaller bank, Talmer Bancorp Inc., until it merged with Midland-based Chemical Financial Corporation in 2019, creating TCF Bank. He said it's a "real privilege" for to lead the board of directors at Huntington, the 25th largest bank in the country.
"As we grew, we were able to do more and more for the community, our colleagues, Detroit, our state," Torgow said. "The bigger we have gotten, the more promises we can make and the more opportunities we can give."
The acquisition left Detroit without a major corporate bank headquarters and made Huntington one of the 10 largest regional banks in the country.
Duggan said this is not Huntington's first commitment to the city. Steve Steinour, Huntington's CEO, led the creation of a strategic fund that raised $35 million to rebuild neighborhoods in Detroit. Steinour and Torgow teamed up to help Detroiters get more access to mortgages, helping homeowners become a majority of residents.
"Our intent is to make this a building that helps the community, not just houses our colleagues," Steinour said. "We're going to look to activate the building in many ways with other partners in the community as we go forward."
Torgow's accomplishments in Detroit led city officials to present him with the "Spirit of Detroit" award at the event Wednesday. As far as what he sees next for the company, "We're going to continue to grow the bank, serve our customers, continue to support our colleagues, and whatever the good Lord designs, that'll be next."