GM spending $71M to move, enlarge California design campus

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — General Motors Co. is investing more than $71 million to move its southern California design campus to a larger site that is slated to be open in late 2022, the automaker said Tuesday. 

The relocation of the Advanced Design Center from North Hollywood to the new campus in Pasadena will take the operation from 2 acres to 8 acres, increase the center's capacity and capability and eventually bring more jobs to the area, GM says. Advanced design teams work on concept and real mobility projects. 

General Motors Co. is investing more than $71 million on a new campus in Pasadena, California, for GM’s Advanced Design Center operations. Here's a rendering of the campus' exterior. The campus will be complete in late 2022.

"We've over the years had just a number of constraints relative to our current space," said Bryan Nesbitt, GM's executive director of global advanced design and global architecture studios. 

The new location, Nesbitt said, will provide a "larger footprint, so we can meet that demand but also explore ... the new opportunities relative to a lot of new work we're doing on the innovation space." 

He said the automaker will have to do some remodeling of the site's buildings.

GM has between 65 and 70 people working at its design operation, including sculptors, designers, digital map operators, engineers and builders. GM isn't yet saying how much the employment number will grow, Nesbitt said, "but the intent is to increase our headcount, especially in some of these core skill sets."

GM already has a job rotation program between its Warren and California design campuses and plans to continue that. 

"The neat thing is we can probably allow ourselves even more opportunity there because we do see a lot of benefit in those rotations," Nesbitt said. "It's a good experience to keep people connected."

Outside of its California design operation, GM is also updating its Warren campus with a new design facility under construction and it's upgrading the GM China Advanced Design Center in Shanghai to more than double the studio space and milling capacity.

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