Wayne County pursues possible sale of Guardian Building
Seeking to reduce a $70 million structural deficit, Wayne County is looking for a real estate agent to help sell the county government’s headquarters in the landmark Guardian Building in downtown Detroit and two other properties, officials said Monday.
Designed by Wirt C. Rowland and built in 1929, the art-deco style building on Griswold features an orange brick façade and carvings by Corrado Parducci. The 496-feet-tall building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
The county moved into the Guardian Building in 2010 after moving offices out of the Old Wayne County Building and spending $57 million to buy and renovate the iconic downtown skyscraper.
The county also wants to put the First Street Parking Deck and an office building at 511 Woodward up for sale.
Wayne County faces an annual structural deficit of $70 million and an employee pension that's underfunded by $910.5 million.
County Executive Warren Evans has launched a series of initiatives to shrink the deficit, including the consolidation of three departments and a division, and a countywide spending and hiring freeze.
Evans’ consolidation plan, which he announced in March, calls for moving employees from other county-owned buildings into the Guardian. The county leases space in 18 buildings at a cost of $8.8 million a year.