DETROIT-The head of General Motors Corp.’s six-year, $500-million renovation of its world headquarters at the Renaissance Center says the exterior work at the building complex should be completed in January, though plans to add more shops and restaurants will continue into the future. Locally based Bieri & Associates Inc. has been hired by the automaker lease the remaining 70,000 sf of commercial space left over from various construction zones around the entrances of the center.

Bieri replaces Taubman Centers, Inc., which had been managing the retail leasing of the RenCen over the past four years. “We are now moving to the second phase of retail leasing as we prepare to open our new front entrance and riverfront plaza,” says Matthew P. Cullen, general manager of GM’s economic development and enterprise services department. “We’re also adding more public events to celebrate our opening, including activities for the North American International Auto Show [at Cobo Center in January].”

Cullen, GM’s point man for renovating the RenCen, says several merchants will open at the complex, including Pure Detroit, Andiamo’s Riverfront Bistro, Rainbow Rascals and a florist shop. At the rear of the complex, GM is nearing completion of an outdoor plaza overlooking the Detroit River that will feature Italian granite tiles, a fountain, landscaping treatments, lighting and public seating areas.

In January, GM will start work on a seven-story, 1,100-space parking deck east of the complex. The deck, to be completed in early 2006, will offer 18,000 sf of street-level retail space.

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