In a move described as “wise stewardship of its resources,” the Archdiocese of Detroit will consolidate its administrative offices as the lead, anchor tenant in the city’s Capitol Park Historic District and, at the same time, relocate one of its off-site facilities in Detroit. At a special presentation Tuesday, April 30, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron shared the news with archdiocesan employees, currently working in four different locations— two buildings in downtown Detroit, one in Corktown, and in offices at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. “This move will bring us figuratively and literally closer together,” Archbishop Vigneron told his coworkers. “Tremendous good will come from the easier interaction between and among all of us,” he said. “Being under one roof will help us work more efficiently and with a greater sense of satisfaction."
The Detroit Archdiocese has reached an agreement on a cash sale of its Gabriel Richard Building located at 305 Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit to GRB New Detroit, LLC. The Archdiocese has also finalized a purchase agreement for a cash sale of its Chancery Building at 1234 Washington Boulevard, as well as an adjacent, unoccupied two-story building to Capitol Park Partnership, LLC. The archdiocesan Print Shop building at 1501 6th Street in Corktown has been sold to a private telecommunications firm. The total proceeds from these transactions is $3,254,000.
The sale of the Gabriel Richard Building and Print Shop facility were among several recommendations made to Archbishop Vigneron in 2009 to stabilize archdiocesan finances. The sale of these aging buildings will eliminate mounting archdiocesan outlays for repairs and maintenance, while enabling the archdiocese to consolidate its administrative offices (Central Services) in one location, reducing its space footprint from approximately 150,000 square feet to a maximum of 50,000 square feet.
Central Services staff and operations will become the anchor tenant at 1212 Griswold in Detroit’s Capitol Park, leasing five or six floors for its administrative operations when the space is ready in mid-late 2014. In the meantime, the archdiocese will maintain its current office space in the Chancery and Gabriel Richard buildings. The Print Shop will move from Corktown to the former seminary high school building at Linwood and Chicago in Detroit, on the southwestern border of the Historic Boston-Edison District.
While the archdiocese considered possibilities elsewhere in Detroit and outside the city to consolidate its offices and operations, Archbishop Vigneron, with the support of the archdiocesan Finance Council and the College of Consultors (priest advisors to the archbishop on administrative and financial issues), decided to commit on a long-term basis to downtown Detroit. The major benefit of these property sales facilitates the retention of 185 jobs in the core downtown area in newly-renovated space in which virtually all administrative staff will be under one roof, with increased collaboration to serve Catholics and Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions in the six counties of the archdiocese.
“We have asked our parishes to plan their futures in terms of mission vs. maintenance,” Archbishop Vigernon said. “In making this move, we are giving a good example,” he continued. “Together, we refocus on our mission— Sharing Christ in and through the Church.”
30 April 2013
Since 2011, Archbishop Vigneron has addressed questions and concerns from the Catholic faithful of Detroit. These online briefings— Sharing the Light— have focused on the Detroit archdiocese’s financial condition, the Together in Faith pastoral planning process, and future plans for the Church of Detroit. Archbishop Vigneron’s latest, on the move to Capitol Park, is available online at www.aod.org/sharingthelight.