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Last Updated: 02/09/04

News Release

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Breaks Ground for New Detroit Office

DETROIT - The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago today broke ground for its new 220,000-square-foot Detroit Branch on E. Warren Avenue north of the Eastern Market.

On hand for the groundbreaking ceremony were Federal Reserve Governor Edward Gramlich, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Michael Moskow, Detroit Branch Board Chairman Edsel Ford and Detroit Branch Manager Glenn Hansen.

The new branch office, located on a 17-acre site, will employ roughly 275 staff members engaged in cash and check processing, economic research and education and community outreach.

The facility will include a cash-processing area and vault as well as check-processing and support and administrative areas. Its state-of-the-art design and equipment will allow its operations to be to be among the most efficient in the Federal Reserve System.

"The building is by far the single biggest investment project that we have undertaken during my tenure at the Chicago Fed," said Moskow. "We are allocating sizable resources to build a leading-edge facility that will be important to the Federal Reserve System and the city of Detroit."

The new building will replace the current Detroit Branch office, which was constructed on the corner of Shelby and Fort streets in downtown Detroit in 1926 and enlarged in 1955. It is one of the oldest facilities in the Federal Reserve System.

The decision to build a new facility came after review by the boards of directors of both the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its Detroit Branch and by the Federal Reserve System's Board of Governors in Washington.

The SmithGroup, a Detroit-based architectural firm, designed the facility. Higgins Development Partners provided development consulting. Skanska/W3 Joint Venture is acting as the construction manager and general contractor. HK Systems, which has developed vaults for a number of Federal Reserve System facilities, will assist in designing and constructing the automated vault material-handling systems.

Michael Blanks is the project officer of the Detroit branch and has overseen the development and design of the new facility and will oversee the upcoming construction. The project has been under the oversight of steering groups consisting of representatives from the Chicago and Detroit offices and their respective boards of directors. More than 30 possible project sites were reviewed in Detroit and the surrounding area, with the E. Warren Avenue site chosen as best meeting requirements such as:

  • An infrastructure that will allow the bank to employ state-of-the-art and emerging technology, such as digital switching and fiber optic trunks.
  • Proximity to the bank's customers, a regional airport, and interstate highways.
  • The capability to accommodate expansion of operations as necessary.
  • The ability to better meet the Federal Reserve Systems enhanced security requirements instituted after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

"The new Branch will help us provide better service to financial institutions in the Lower Peninsula," said Detroit Branch Manager Glenn Hansen. "We are pleased to continue our long relationship with the city of Detroit, and we are especially pleased to be an anchor in the Forest Park neighborhood."

The Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago serves the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Its board of directors consists of seven members, four of whom are appointed by the Chicago Reserve Bank's board of directors and three by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The Detroit board has governance responsibility for management of the Branch's operations and monitors and reports on economic conditions in the region.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., constitute the nation's central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago serves the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which encompasses the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, southern Wisconsin, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the state of Iowa. Each Reserve Bank supervises member banks and bank holding companies, serves as a bank for depository institutions and the U.S. government, monitors economic conditions in the District, and participates in formulating national monetary policy.

Project Facts

Location: 17-acre parcel bounded by E. Warren Avenue on the north, Forest Avenue East on the south, Dequindre Avenue on the east and Russell Street on the west.

Building: Approximately 220,000 square foot facility in a landscaped, environment. It will have state-of-the-art systems for cash and check processing as well as modern telecommunications systems. The facility will provide enhanced security for all operations. It will have on-site employee parking as well as a conference center that can accommodate over 200 visitors. The structure will be constructed of rusticated stone, pre-cast concrete, metal and glass.

Cost: Land and building - $79.5 million (estimate)

Operations: The following activities will take place at the facility:

  • Check clearing
  • Currency processing
  • Economic analysis and conferences
  • Support services including human resources, information technology, and security staff.

Timetable: Construction is scheduled for completion in September 2005.

Employment: About 275 employees are expected to work at the new facility.

Architect: SmithGroup

Owner's Representation: Higgins Development Partners

Legal Representation: Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Construction Manager/General Contractor: Skanska / W3 Joint Venture



Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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