In a recent interview with Associated Press, Barra indicated that GM had little interest in relocating its headquarters, despite the recent change to a “hybrid” remote / office work structure for GM employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our headquarters will always be in Detroit, in the RenCen,” Barra told AP. “Right now the plan is for it to be at the Renaissance Center. That’s our home.”
Barra also indicated that she could not predict possible changes that may occur over the course of the next five, 10, or 15 years.
At present, GM employees take up just one and a half of the seven buildings at the Renaissance Center. A good portion of GM employees are located at the GM technical center in Warren, a location that was under consideration for relocating GM’s headquarters following the automaker’s bankruptcy in 2009.
Additionally, GM employees are currently operating under a new hybrid work structure following the COVID-19 pandemic. The hybrid structure allows employees to work from home part of the time. The new structure may or may not be permanent, according to Barra. The GM CEO also indicated that there are benefits to working in an office environment, and that GM would need to ensure that it maintains its essential company culture going forward. For now, certain worker teams are still required to occasionally meet in person.
Looking ahead, Barra indicated that GM is considering riverfront development opportunities within Detroit. At present, the city is expanding a trail that runs from the south side of Downtown Detroit to a bridge connecting to Belle Isle.
GM purchased the Renaissance Center complex in 1996, relocating its world headquarters from what is now known as the historic Cadillac Place state office in the New Center district. The center was completed in 1977, with towers 500 – 600 built in 1981. GM completed renovations to the complex in 2004.