(Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. will move its downtown Detroit headquarters across the city next year to the Hudson’s building, a new 1.5 million-square-foot project being developed by billionaire Dan Gilbert.

For GM, the deal makes the automaker a long-term fixture in the revival of Detroit’s downtown, which Gilbert has been spearheading by acquiring and developing 45 major office, retail and hospitality properties. It will give Gilbert, chairman of mortgage lender Rocket Cos. Inc., an anchor tenant for the office portion of the $1.4 billion building. The companies revealed the plans late Monday, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report.

By committing to Detroit, GM will continue to be the only major automaker still based in the city. The carmaker has about 5,000 employees downtown and thousands more in its Tech Center about 12 miles north of its current headquarters. GM has one plant in the city, its Factory Zero electric vehicle facility.

Ford Motor Co. is headquartered in nearby Dearborn.

“For GM, Hudson Detroit is a perfect fit,” GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said at a press conference at the Hudson’s site. “We will be the signature tenant of this state-of-the-art building. It will be our corporate HQ, our nerve center and collaborative space for our employees.”

Gilbert said the building was designed to be a corporate headquarters and is a key part of his mission to make the city a destination for businesses and residents. 

“It’s a great day in the Motor City,” Gilbert said. “Hudson’s Detroit will serve as a symbolic era of optimism and confidence that I’m certain will last for decades to come.”

GM signed a 15-year lease and will take the top two floors of the building, said company President Mark Reuss. Relocating to the new building would mean GM leaves behind its space at the Renaissance Center office tower, the automaker’s longtime headquarters. The two sides will collaborate to find a new purpose for the towers that sit on the Detroit River.

Gilbert, through his Bedrock Detroit development company, has been overhauling the city since he moved the offices of his Quicken Loans and other companies he owns there starting in 2010. That brought Gilbert’s first 1,700 employees into the city. He has been on a buying spree since then, snapping up historic buildings and redeveloping them.

Department Store Site

His companies now have more than 20,000 employees downtown and occupy roughly a third of the space in his Detroit portfolio, Gilbert said in a February interview. He said his properties are more than 90% occupied.

Hudson’s Detroit is located on the historic site of the former Hudson’s Department Store, which was demolished in 1998. Barra said she used to shop there, making the site a special place to bring the carmaker’s headquarters. Gilbert bought it in 2007 with the dream of building the tallest tower in the city on the property.

That property and the Book Tower, also in downtown Detroit, are the crown jewels of Gilbert’s vast plan to bring the Motor City back to former glory after years of decay and decline.

The Hudson’s project will have 400,000 square feet of office space with the rest occupied by a hotel, retail, restaurants and residential. Gilbert has wanted GM to take as much as 200,000 square feet, said a person familiar with the matter. The talks have often centered on how much space the automaker needs.

GM’s shares fell less than 1% Monday in New York.

(Updates with time of GM’s move, additional details beginning in the first paragraph)

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