Wayne County saves money as Guardian Building welcomes new tenant


Wayne County has struck a deal with the Detroit Land Bank Authority to relocate 90 employees to the historic Guardian Building in Downtown Detroit in August.

“The Detroit Land Bank Authority has outgrown its current space in Cadillac Tower,” said Kevin Simowksi, executive director of the Detroit Land Bank Authority. “When looking for new space, the Guardian building offered a truly competitive rate. The space doesn’t require any updates, which saves money.”

After reports of financial woes in the county earlier this year, Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans launched an efficiency and savings plan that saw the relocation of several county departments to the Guardian Building.

With the addition of Detroit Land Bank Authority employees, the Guardian Building will now bolster a 90% occupancy rate. DLBA employees will occupy two floors totaling nearly 28,000 square feet of space.  The agreement between the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation and DLBA is for three years and includes parking and furniture. The agreement has an option for a fourth year extension.

“The Guardian building’s layout will allow us to consolidate our operations, increasing our efficiency. The Guardian offers increased security, and the public will also have more comfortable areas to use when coming to do business with the DLBA,” said Simowksi. “We at the Detroit Land Bank look forward to doing business in this historic and iconic Detroit landmark.”

In the same month, 400 Monroe Associates and Friedman Integrated Real Estates Solutions will become the new management company of the building, as well as the First Street Parking Garage and 511 Woodward.

The deal is for two years and during the duration of it, the guardian vault is expected to undergo a renovation. Located in the building’s basement, the currently underutilized space is speculated to become a restaurant.

Park-Rite will manage First Street Parking Garage and the Guardian Building valet service. The Roxbury Group will work with the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation to devise a development strategy for 511 Woodward.

The money saving decisions are projected to save the county $190,000 annually in management cost.

“Securing these agreements, by themselves, are not the silver bullets that will solve our $52 million structural deficit,” said Evans. “These agreements however, and the numerous other efforts we are making to implement our recovery plan and improve the trajectory of the county’s financial situation, will collectively make a difference.”

The new agreements are expected to generate over $400,000 in annual income for the county.

“These deals are important because they are symbolic of the incremental change that we are making to maximize our resources and create efficiencies which will help to create a solid foundation for Wayne County’s future, said James Canning, Director of Communications of Office of Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans.


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