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General Motors Corp. has started construction on a $1 billion expansion of its 680-acre Tech Center campus in Warren, MI, which will include a new 2.2 million s.f. Vehicle Engineering Center expansion.

A main part of the project includes the construction of a new, 1 million s.f., eight story office tower next to a man-made lake on the east side of the campus. The tower will be 600 feet long and more than 170 feet wide.

Gerry Holmes, the GM media relations director for facilities, said the project is going well. “We’ve not yet started construction on the tower. That will happen probably before the end of the year. We’re working on getting the footing prepared, and renovating the existing facilities. It’s a massive undertaking,” says Holmes.

About 8,000 engineers and technicians of GM’s North America Car Engineering group will be located at the new VEC. The move will consolidate engineering functions, formerly performed in 14 locations throughout Southeast Michigan.

The VEC will include an existing building formerly known as the Mid-Size and Luxury Car headquarters, a two-story sky lit atrium serving as a central commons and activity-filled gathering space with retail cafe amenities and exhibition areas, and a tower with a two-story, 1,000 seat “cafetorium” for dining.

Occupancy of the tower is scheduled to begin in August 2001, while the remainder of the project is to be completed in early 2002.

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