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OKEMOS, MI-Delta Dental of Michigan, a large dental insurance firm, plans to expand its current office headquarters here to 295,000 sf. The company announced it will renovate its existing office complex and build two more facilities on its 57-acre campus at a cost of $85 million.

The firm plans to renovate its 28-year-old, 160,000-sf current headquarters complex at 4100 Okemos Rd., in this Lansing suburb, and add another 35,000 to the building. The company also plans to build an 80,000-sf office building and a 20,000-sf data center. To fill the space, Delta says it plans to add up to 150 new jobs by 2017, bringing the total employee count to 800.

A spokeswoman says the firm has just outgrown its home. “Our working conditions are not the best,” she says. “We have our tech people working in the basement. We’ve needed an expansion; we’ve grown every year. We’ve been looking at an expansion for several years, and we’ve come up with the right plan.” She says the new structures should be complete by 2011.

Contrary to the current trend of corporations engaging in sale-leaseback transactions for new headquarters space, Delta has actually saved up most of the funds for the expansion, and will finance a small portion, the spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com. “We handle our budget very well,” she says.

Albert Kahn and Associates, based in Detroit, will handle the expansion. The second office building will be built just to the north of the existing facility, and the data center will be built to the east. The spokeswoman says much of the work will be done with green in mind. “We’re going to apply for LEED certification,” she says.

Sustainable features will include recycled building materials, maximization of natural lighting, a green roof, landscape-derived stormwater management and native plantings. “It’s a very pastoral campus, and we’d like to retain that sense,” the spokeswoman says. “Our company was founded in this community, and we feel a commitment to stay here. We believe in the future of Michigan.”

Delta, celebrating its 50th year this year, has affiliate offices in Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. Clients include General Motors Corp., Chrysler, Dow Chemical and Whirlpool, and it has revenues of $1.9 billion.

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