'Imported From Detroit' Chrysler Finally Moves 70 Employees Into Swanky Detroit Offices

In Detroit this morning, 70 Chrysler employees took up residence in the newly named Chrysler House. It's a historic office building owned by Cleveland Cavaliers and downtown Detroit land mass accumulator Dan Gilbert.

He renamed the Dime Building for Fiat's American branch, which has never had offices downtown in its 87-year history. (If you think "House" is an odd thing to call a building, it's a common thing in Europe, and of course, we use it for pancake places and furniture stores all the time.)

The Chrysler employees are getting the top two floors of the 23-story building on Griswold, which was opened in 1912, a dozen years before Walter P. Chrysler officially founded the car company. It's one of the most significant buildings in the city, and was once Detroit's tallest building. The property was designed by Daniel Burnham, the Chicago architect whose famous slogan was, "Make No Little Plans" (certainly a motto with which Sergio Marchionne can relate).

Chrysler hasn't disclosed the price of the transaction, but rents in the building generally average $19.50 per square foot, plus utilities.

The group that gets to work downtown includes 70 employees from the Great Lakes business center staff and sales people, as well as other corporate functions. There's also a large training room, a state-of-the-art board room that Marchionne will put to good use, and a kitchen. Back when this was announced in April, Marchionne said the offices were meant to be "another step on the path to reviving a great city."

They certainly give Chrysler more cred in using "Imported From Detroit" as a corporate tagline, since its American headquarters is in Auburn Hills, a 30 minute drive (on a good day) north of the city. Before that, Chrysler was based in the Keller Building in Highland Park, which abuts the east side of Detroit.

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