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GM to spend $1 billion on Warren Tech Center renovation

Last year, GM's Warren Technical Center was designated a National Historic Landmark.

That was the good thing that happened.

But a bad thing happened that same year. Many buildings and infrastructure on the sprawling campus were damaged by severe flooding.

GM's head of Global Product Development Mark Reuss says the event helped to call attention to how outdated the center was.

"We got people working in places that are dark, that are outdated, don't have the right power, don't have the right hydraulic systems," Reuss said at a press conference to announce a $1 billion makeover for the Warren Tech Center.

The campus was designed by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen and landscape architect Thomas Church.  Reuss says any changes will honor the history.

"There's a lot of historical things that matter here," says Reuss. "The fired brick, the dome, the lakes, but frankly there's some historical things that don't matter here." Reuss said some buildings are just eyesores and have outlived their usefulness, and they will be torn down.

The changes will include new design studios, rebuilding and renovating some existing R & D facilities, new parking decks, a new IT building, along with extensive interior upgrades to offices.

The investments will also bring about 2,600 additional employers to the campus, although many could be relocated jobs rather than new jobs.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.