Excerpted from contractdesign.com: read the full article!
Anyone who doubts recent media buzz about Detroit’s resurgence needs to look no further than the new offices of Lowe Campbell Ewald for evidence that a turnaround is underway. Designed by Detroit-based Neumann/Smith Architecture, the premier global advertising agency’s new 122,000-square-foot headquarters creates a vibrant and energetic urban home for a segment of the creative economy.
For several decades, Lowe Campbell Ewald had occupied an office building in suburban Warren, Michigan, but management decided the timing was right to be part of the urban revolution and move back downtown, where it got its start 103 years ago. The new office is located in the former J.L. Hudson Co. building, a 1920s warehouse structure connected to the city’s Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions football team.
Lowe Campbell Ewald’s move, with 500 employees, marks a turning point in a broader migration of creative and technology firms into the city. The influx is gradually infusing the midtown area near the bustling central business district downtown with new vitality. “Hipsters and small entrepreneurial companies are starting to move back to the city,” says Jaimelyn Neher, Neumann/Smith project architect. “The rent is cheap, so they can afford to renovate and expand. It’s like Detroit version 2.0.”
Tax benefits and other incentives from the city helped in the firm’s decision-making process, says Jari Auger, chief financial officer and chief operating officer for Lowe Campbell Ewald. “We received a personal property tax abatement, a Creative Corridor Incentive grant, and a Discretionary Business Attraction Grant, all coordinated through the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation,” she explains. The company also infused $15 million of its own funds to transform five floors of the eight-story building into a future-oriented workspace.