Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Ren Cen's Facets

Downtown Detroit, looking toward the Renaissance Center.
Stroh's River Place can be seen in the distance to the right side of the Ren Cen.

It began with the removal of the once-intimidating dual beams at the front of the Renaissance Center between 2001 and 2002, and has progressed rapidly with no end in sight. I'm referring to the world's largest automaker's plans to turn its global headquarters into a top-notch entertainment and shopping destination for everyone to enjoy.

In fact, just last week, GM unveiled the RenCen's transformed entrance - named the Jefferson Avenue plaza - a beautiful, inviting glass and steel structure that is aimed to send an inviting signal to the public. Also part of the new two-acre entrance are various areas of greenery, as well as a sleek granite stairway which leads into the pavilion.

What will one find once inside the building? The 6000-square foot lobby is impressive and designed with a modern, clean look. In a
press release dated January 11, 2005, GM announced plans to also add a 50' x 25' glass wall sculpture to the wall of the lobby.

Aside from the lobby, there are numerous restaurants - including Seldom Blues, which is co-owned by retired-Detroit Lion Robert Porsche, and the Riverfront Shops, which include retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Casual Corner, Jos A. Banks, and Pure Detroit.

Of course, there is also GM's Winter Garden - a fabulous area to stroll around in, sit and relax, or look at the river and our lovely Canadian neighbors.

In addition to opening the new facade on its headquarters, GM also opened and dedicated its Riverfront Promenade in mid-December 2004. This area - located at the rear of the Renaissance Center - signifies GM's participation in Detroit's Riverwalk, a $500 million development designed to create a walk/bike path on the edge of the Detroit River between the Ambassador and Belle Isle bridges. Here is the post I wrote on the Riverfront Plaza and Promenade.