DETROIT-General Motors Corp. is selling an 11-story office building as part of itsexodus from Downtown Detroit’s New Center Area, the former headquarters for the Big Three automaker. The 700,000-sf Argonaut Building is up for sale for $7.4 million, GM officials say.

“In our internal studies, we think the building could be transformed for multiple uses, such as residential loft apartments and offices,” says Conrad Schwartz, director of asset management for GM’s Worldwide Real Estate arm. He says the building, which began its life in the 1920s as a home to the GM research department, has had a number of users over the decades.

The various departments within the company are moving from the building in December to other locations, such as the 1-million-sf Renaissance Center towers Downtown, which GM bought for $75 million in 1996. The company also still owns a few parking garages and the New Center One office building on West Grand Boulevard in the New Center area.

“The move out of the Argonaut building is part of GM’s overall strategy to exit all of our properties in the New Center,” Schwartz tells, adding he could not go into detail when the last GM employee will leave the area.

State of Michigan employees have moved into the renovated Cadillac Place, formerly the General Motors Corp. headquarters building next to the Argonaut. Both were designed by famous local architect Albert Kahn.

About 2,595 state employees will be moving into the 1-million-sf building. The first phase of workers will be switching over during the last weekend in August from their current offices at the Plaza Building and the Labor Building in Detroit. The state is leasing the old building from TrizecHahn for $12 million per year for 20 years.

Penny Griffin, public information officer for the State Department of Management and Budget, said Cadillac Place has been through a $116 million renovation.

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