When Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei came together in 2019 under the new name Marelli, they brought together 62,000 employees around the globe to form one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. And Marelli has chosen the Southfield City Centre for its new North American headquarters.
For its new home, the company has selected 26555 Northwestern Highway, the former Federal-Mogul building. In 225,000 square feet of the three-story building that sits on the corner of Lahser Road and the Lodge Freeway, Marelli will create workspace for 450 employees with room to grow, says Lisa Van Giesen, head of marketing and communications, North America, for Marelli Holding USA LLC.
Separately, Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei each had a presence in southeast Michigan and were looking for a location to bring together several hundred employees under one roof. It’s not an easy task to find the perfect building that blends ample space and convenience of location, but it’s an important step forward for the company, says Van Giesen. The move will relocate employees from three locations in Auburn Hills and Farmington Hills.
“Having everyone under one roof will go a long way in terms of integration, will drive collaboration and cohesiveness, and it’s great for morale,” Van Giesen says.
The current plan is for employees to begin to move in mid-February 2021, and move-in will be complete by spring, 2021. Prior to this, the building will undergo extensive renovation which will change the iconic midcentury exterior of the building. “We want to bring the building up to date with a look that is more current and will take us into the future,” Van Giesen says.
Interior renovations will provide amenities that some employees don’t currently have in their workplaces, including a cafeteria, fitness room and indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. About 100,000 square feet will be used for R&D activities for several automotive business units, and there will be conference rooms and an auditorium for larger gatherings.
“We are really happy to be able to move in and preserve certain elements of the building, paying homage to its architectural history, but also making it our own, branding it with the Marelli name and having it be our home for the foreseeable future,” Van Giesen says.
The Southfield City Centre location, with easy access to major freeways, is an attractive feature of the new Marelli building.
“While it’s important for us to be in close proximity to our automotive clients, it’s just as important to ease the transition for our employees,” said Gene Spektor, Marelli’s senior vice president of sales and business development North America, in a statement about the move. “Our new location will have minimal impact on the average commute, and will provide employees with a modern, open and collaborative work environment.”
To that end, Van Giesen has developed an internal communications campaign to provide information to employees about the building, its amenities and its wider surroundings to better acquaint everyone with Southfield and the Southfield City Centre. “This is a great introduction for our employees to Southfield. Many won’t be familiar with it and one of the goals of our campaign is to make employees feel at home when we move in,” she says.
While the move may be incremental due to the continuing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Van Giesen plans to conduct tours to give employees a sneak peek as to how the space will look once renovation is complete.
With the goal of soon becoming official members of the Southfield business community, Marelli is excited to bring commerce to the already bustling business center corridor. “We plan to plant roots here, and are looking at ways to get involved with the city to provide support. In fact, Gene Spektor was recently sworn in as a City Centre Advisory Board Member,” Van Giesen says.
The Southfield City Centre extends a warm welcome, and excitement about sharing its summer concert and food truck series known as Eat To The Beat, the business-focused Southfield CommUNITY Cup Challenge as well as other community-building events that take place here.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Marelli employees to the Southfield City Centre and introducing Marelli employees to all the great and convenient amenities here,” says Rochelle Freeman, business and economic development director with the City of Southfield. “We hope they enjoy the newly expanded Southfield City Centre trail network and bike-share system and take full advantage of walking and biking opportunities to get out into the community to see what is here.”