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DETROIT-The company responsible for renovation of the former General Motors Corp. headquarters, now used as offices for state of Michigan employees, says it was a thrill to perform the $126-million project. The state of Michigan has consolidated its Detroit offices into the Cadillac Place building, formerly known as GM’s headquarters, after Barton Malow of Southfield completed a $126-million renovation of the historic New Center Area building.

“This Detroit landmark was a functionally obsolete building that had no air conditioning,” says Alex Ivanikiw, senior vice president of Barton Malow. “We turned it into a viable building for the 21st century that is already fully occupied and in use to serve the people of Michigan.”

The massive renovation project, which encompassed virtually all 15 stories of the historic building, was performed while the building was partially occupied over the past two years. The project was closed out and finalized in early October.

Barton Malow served as the construction manager for the project performing all demolition and renovation work on the 1.3-million-sf building.

“The State of Michigan had proposed a fixed budget for the project yet they had a very extensive list of improvements they desired for the building,” Ivanikiw says.

The building is owned by New Center Development and is leased to the state.

Albert Kahn Associates, the firm founded by the original architect of the GM Building, designed the modernization program.

The famed structure served as GM’s global headquarters from 1923 until the automaker moved to the Renaissance Center in 1996-99.

“This building is a showcase for office renovations and demonstrates that great design and construction does not have to cost a fortune,” says project director Bob Smith. He was most awed when his team did minor renovation and restoration work to the famed Executive Level 14th Floor and the former offices of the GM CEO that will now be used by new Gov. Jennifer Granholm as the official governor’s office when in Detroit.

The building houses as many as 2,500 state employees and replaces 13 leased office spaces totaling 246,000 sf, including the state-owned Michigan Plaza on 6th Street and the Labor Building on Woodward. Many Detroit-based state departments, including the Michigan gaming control board, the attorney general, the state Supreme Court, the secretary of state and consumer and industry services, have moved into the renovated building.

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