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Detroit archdiocese moves into Capitol Park building

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Archdiocese of Detroit has finished moving its headquarters to smaller digs in the city’s Capitol Park district, officials announced Tuesday.

All central offices and 183 employees supporting 228 parishes and 95 schools in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Lapeer counties now operate out of a new chancery building at 12 State Street, according to the archdiocese. The move also includes personnel previously stationed at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

The archdiocese, which represents an estimated 1.3 million Catholics in the region, is leasing the lower level and first five floors from Capitol Park Partnership LLC. The upper floors are residential.

It’s a cost-cutting consolidation that reduces office space from about 150,000 to 44,000 square feet and aims to “eliminate expenses for repairs and maintenance on former headquarter buildings,” archdiocese officials said.

“The move into our new chancery building makes tremendous financial sense to us and also helps us by having everyone together in one building, working cooperatively and creating possibilities for a more direct collaboration. For the right use of the money that the people of God give us, this makes all the sense in the world,” Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron said in a statement. “Remaining downtown and coming into the Capitol Park district allows the Church to continue to be a part of the rebirth of the city of Detroit.”

The archdiocese announced in 2013 it was selling three nearby buildings — the former chancery at 1234 Washington Boulevard, the Gabriel Richard Building at 305 Michigan Avenue, as well as a printing and mailing facility in Corktown — and consolidating. Central operations were significantly restructured in 2009.

The building now housing the archdiocese’s chancery previously was home to the Chamber of Commerce and Detroit Savings Bank as well as the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. The 14-story building was Detroit’s tallest when construction was completed in 1895 and is considered the oldest standing steel-framed building in the city, officials said. It was listed as part of the Capitol Park Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.