Blue Cross Blue Shield continues downtown move, renovates facade

Posted on January 17, 2012

Evidence of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s move to downtown is starting to pile up as the nonprofit begins moving 1,200 more workers into theRenaissance Center today and aims to renovate the exterior of its office building across Jefferson Avenue.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan took over most of the office space in Towers 500 and 600 of the Ren Cen (the smaller ones just east of the main structure) last year as part of its plan to consolidate much of its Metro Detroit workforce in downtown Detroit. The health-insurance provider is creating an urban campus between its new offices in the Ren Cen its headquarters a few blocks away. More than 6,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield employees will be working on its campus by the time the move is finished later this year.

“One of the things we’re really excited about is our employees are really happy to be here,” says Tricia Keith, vice president, corporate secretary & services forBlue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been renovating the offices on its new urban campus to create a vibrant, walkable area between Greektown and the Detroit River it’s branding the Blue Path. The non-profit has rebuilt the Jefferson entrance to Ren Cen Towers 500 and 600, making it more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly.

The health-insurance provider is also renovating the exterior of its smaller office buildings at the corner of Jefferson and Beaubien Street next to the DuMouchelle Auction Gallery. The building that serves as a base for 800 of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s IT and business-intelligence workers. The plan calls for renovating the ground floor exterior, installing more windows and adding lighting. The idea is to make put more eyes on the street, making it pedestrian friendly and to turn it into a gathering place for employees.

“We think it is the linchpin of our united campus downtown,” Keith says. “We’re trying to get our employees to embrace the city and our architecture is helping us do that.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan expects to finish moving its employees into the Ren Cen and renovating the ground floor of its IT building by this summer.