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DETROIT-New York City-based Deloitte LP, one of the country’s largest consulting firms, is looking to spend about $400 million this year on new leases and construction, including a potential new office tower in Downtown Detroit. Most of the new offices will follow a green design, as well as a new Workplace of the Future format, according to company officials. The firm currently uses about 8.5-million sf of office, and about 40% of that space comes up for renewal in the next two to three years, according to Mary Ellen Rodgers, US managing partner for field operations.

In Detroit, a new tower would be met with welcoming arms. The company occupies about 157,000 sf in one of the towers of the 5.5-million-sf Renaissance Center on the Detroit River. However, General Motors Corp., which bought the complex in 1996, has been slowly moving out the remaining tenants to fully occupy the building.

Deloitte has said it would need about 200,000 sf for about 1,000 employees. “Our lease here is running out in two years,” says Tom Dekar, regional managing principal for the Detroit branch. “We’re early in the process. Staying in the building is still an option, and so is building another building, or partnering with Dan Gilbert’s new Quicken plans Downtown.” Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., has announced plans to build at least one and possibly two towers Downtown, with one of the properties to be used as a headquarters for its 4,000-employee mortgage firm.

Dekar tells GlobeSt.com that a lot depends on what developers pitch to the company. “We’ve talked to Gilbert about partnering, but no decision has been made. It will probably be about six months before we know anything,” he says.

Already this calendar year, Deloitte has been renewing large leases, including in Houston, Minneapolis and at 260,000-sf at 191 Peachtree Tower in Atlanta. The company is also going to partner with another firm to take the entire 180,000-sf at 100 Kimball Dr. in Parsippany, NJ. It’s at this last building that the company is initiating its Workplace of the Future concept, which incorporates a “neighborhood” concept to office layout, with team environments and lots of glass and light accessibility.

Office layout expert Stephen Silverstein (SS), director, construction and design for Deloitte, tells GlobeSt.com that the company did thousands of surveys to get even further on understanding what the modern office worker needs for efficient productivity, as well as sustainable design practices. Team-based office layouts with separate meeting spaces, and a more open layout with lower workstation walls, were some of the findings of the new Workplace concept. “Space is designed with function in mind,” Silverstein says. “It’s all done pertaining to the task at hand, as well. For example, where tax workers are more of a settler, stay-at-the workstation people, consultants are more nomads, wanting more conference rooms and team space.”

Another addition is telecommunication space. Firms such as Deloitte are creating “telesuites,” which allow executives to conduct meetings with offices around the world without a visit to Travelocity. “The reduction in lost time, and the carbon footprint, has really been huge,” Silverstein tells GlobeSt.com. “All of our new buildings of significant size will not only have telesuites, but also significant conference facilities.”

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