Chrysler Strengthens Commitment to City of Detroit

CEO Marchionne and staffers move into Dime Building.

DETROIT — Chrysler Group LLC on Monday announced that for the first time in its history, the automaker will have an office presence in downtown Detroit. Chrysler Group will rename the historic Dime Building — Chrysler House — as it plans to move its Great Lakes Business Center and several corporate functions into the top two floors of the 23-story building.

Chrysler Group will lease nearly 33,000 square feet of space in the Dime Building, owned by Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. The space will accommodate about 70 employees who will be located in the new offices. Refurbishments to the space will commence immediately and are expected to be completed by late summer.

“The future of Chrysler Group and the city of Detroit are inextricably tied,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group LLC. “In order to reflect this we want to go beyond spiritual or symbolic evidence of our faith in the City’s future by establishing a physical presence people can see and be proud of.”

“It’s very exciting that a company with the legacy and brand of Chrysler is joining the many other companies opening shop in Detroit, as we together help build downtown into the energetic, job-producing, high-tech corridor it is quickly becoming,” said Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. “Chrysler has always been synonymous with Detroit, but today they can truly say they are ‘Imported from Detroit,’ as their presence makes them an important participant in the positive transformation of a great American city.”

This is the latest in a series of announcements Chrysler Group has made in recent months demonstrating the Company’s deepening commitment to the City of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

On January 5, the Company announced that it will be adding a third crew and 1,100 new jobs at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, expanding the Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup to include a diesel version for North America. The Company also announced its plans to reactivate its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, also located in the Motor City, for production of the SRT Viper. The opening of the Conner Avenue plant will create 150 new jobs.

Within the City of Detroit, in addition to the JNAP and Conner Avenue plants, Chrysler Group operates the Mack Avenue Engine Complex on St. Jean Street. The automaker employs nearly 4,000 people in the city.

On Jan. 6, Chrysler Group also announced that Marchionne will serve as Campaign Chair for the United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s  2012 campaign. As Campaign Chair, Marchionne will be the face and voice of the nonprofit’s fundraising and education efforts and will work to promote the growth and impact of the campaign among businesses and individuals.

Located in the heart of Detroit at 719 Griswold Street, the Dime Building was built in 1912 by the Dime Savings Bank. It was designed in the Neo-classical style by Daniel Burnham, the famous Chicago-born architect whose other works are known worldwide, led by his famous Flatiron Building in New York City. The Dime building underwent extensive renovations in 2002.

The lease deal between Chrysler and Rock Ventures was brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space.