DETROIT – Officials from Huntington Bank joined Detroit, Wayne County and state officials on Wednesday for the grand opening of Huntington Tower, the first large new downtown Detroit building to be completed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tower was originally envisioned to be the headquarters for Chemical Bank, prior to Chemical’s 2020 merger with TCF Bank and TCF’s subsequent June 2021 merger into Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bank, the Detroit Free Press reported.
As part of the TCF-Huntington deal, Detroit became the headquarters for Huntington’s commercial banking operations.
The new glass-clad building adorned with Huntington Bank’s signature green color is located across from Comerica Park on Woodward Avenue and was designed by Neumann/Smith Architecture.
Half of the tower is devoted to indoor parking, with mostly offices on the top nine floors and starting next month, a Huntington branch will open on the ground floor.
While Huntington for now is the tower’s sole occupant, others could join the bank in the future.
The Tower was built in the footprint of a surface parking lot and an empty 10-story, 1950s office building known as the Michigan Mutual Liability Annex that was demolished.
Construction began in 2019, but was delayed over the pandemic and bank mergers, with construction finishing up just last month. The project was originally projected to cost $104 million, though Huntington Bank has not revealed the final cost.
Today is a momentous day for our bank, for the city of Detroit, for the county of Wayne and for the state of Michigan. — Gary Torgow, chairman of Huntington Bank’s board of directors
Gary Torgow, chairman for Huntington Bank’s board of directors, and Huntington Bank CEO Stephen Steinour cut the ribbon at the entrance to the new headquarters along with Governor Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Sandy Pierce, chair of the Detroit Economic Club’s board of directors and others.
Among other officials, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joined hundreds of attendees at the grand opening.
“Today is a momentous day for our bank, for the city of Detroit, for the county of Wayne and for the state of Michigan,” Torgow told the attendees. “We never faltered through that promise that we made to Detroit, to that obligation, to occupy this new green glowing high-rise tower, representing the largest bank building built in Detroit’s history.”
Detroit City Councilman Coleman Young II gave Torgow a Spirit of Detroit Award at the grand opening.
Duggan talked about how with each merger announcement over the last few years, he worried about Detroit possibly losing the bank to another city.
Whitmer said that right after she took office, she came down to the location in Detroit and noted it was just an empty lot “on which we are all celebrating today.”
“It’s an honor to be here less than four years later, to see what has gotten accomplished here and what it is going to mean for the people of this community, for the people of our state,” Whitmer said.
Torgow co-founded the Sterling Group, the developer of Huntington Tower, back in 1988. In 2009, he handed off the real estate firm to his children to focus on banking, the Free Press reported. Huntington Bank itself is only a tenant in the building and has no ownership interest.
Torgow and partner David Provost bought numerous distressed banks to build what became Talmer Bank. Talmer merged with Chemical Bank in 2016, forming what was the biggest bank headquartered in Michigan.