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Startup News

Blue Cross Blue Shield finishes move to Ren Cen in style

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has completed moving thousands of its workers from Oakland County to newly renovated offices in downtown Detroit.

The health insurer began consolidating its Metro Detroit employee base downtown almost two years ago, filling out its office buildings in and around its downtown Detroit headquarters and taking over a significant chunk of the vacant space in the Renaissance Center. The bottom line is to achieve efficiencies from a streamlined campus that creates a vibrant atmosphere for employees for the nonprofit.

"Think about what it takes to move 3,400 people from Southfield to downtown Detroit," Daniel J. Leopp, president & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, said at the moving celebration last week. "And 94 percent of them are happy."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan held a big party last week at a park area at its headquarters last week that included a small concert and picnic lunches. The nonprofit giant now has 6,400 employees downtown that are housed in its headquarters, a couple of smaller office buildings nearby and Towers 500 and 600 of the Renaissance Center, the smaller ones just east of the main structure.

The health insurer has also worked to make this urban campus pedestrian friendly, creating a new entry way at the Renaissance Center, improved walkways, new LED streetlights and improved building facades. Leopp and his fellow corporate and civic leaders hope this new influx of people will attract more retailers to downtown Detroit.

"We need retail," Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said at the event. "They say if you build it they will come. We have people that are already here."

Source: Daniel J. Leopp, president & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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