Ally Detroit Center

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Ally Detroit Center
Alternative namesComerica Tower
500 Woodward Avenue
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural stylePostmodern
Location500 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates42°19′48″N 83°02′42″W / 42.330°N 83.045°W / 42.330; -83.045Coordinates: 42°19′48″N 83°02′42″W / 42.330°N 83.045°W / 42.330; -83.045
Construction started1991
Antenna spire188.7 m (619 ft)
Roof184.9 m (607 ft)
Top floor176.2 m (578 ft)
Technical details
Floor count43
2 below ground
Floor area1,674,700 sq ft (155,580 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectPhilip Johnson
John Burgee
DeveloperHines Interests
Main contractorWalbridge Aldinger Company

Ally Detroit Center, formerly One Detroit Center, is a skyscraper and class-A office building located downtown which overlooks the Detroit Financial District. Rising 619 feet (189 m), the 43-story tower is the tallest office building in Michigan and the second tallest building overall in the state behind the central hotel tower of the Renaissance Center, located a few blocks away. Although the Penobscot Building has more floors above ground (45), those of Ally Detroit Center are taller, with its roof sitting roughly 60 feet (18 m) taller than that of the Penobscot. It has a floor area of 1,674,708 sq ft (155,585.5 m2).


Ally Detroit Center from Jefferson Avenue

The building was designed by noted architects John Burgee & Philip Johnson, partners influential in postmodern architecture.[5] Ally Detroit Center was constructed from 1991 to 1993. It houses numerous tenants, including many prominent Detroit law firms and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition to retail, the building also contains a restaurant and a gym.

The building is famous for its postmodern architectural design topped with Flemish-inspired neo-gothic spires which blend architecturally with the city's historic skyline.[5] It is constructed mainly of granite. Sometimes called a "twin gothic structure", for its pairs of spires, it is oriented North-South and East-West (as named on a plaque along the Windsor waterfront park). Ally Detroit Center won an Award of Excellence for its design in 1996. Ally Detroit Center replicas have become a souvenir item along with those of other Detroit skyscrapers.[6]

Project plans for a twin tower directly to the east, Two Detroit Center, were placed indefinitely on hold.[7] Two Detroit Center parking garage was constructed on the site in 2002.[8]


The law firm Dickinson Wright (formerly Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman) has its headquarters in Ally Detroit Center.[9][10] The company moved into the building when it opened in 1992.[11] In 2007, when it renewed its lease, the company occupied almost 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of space in the building.[10] Additionally, the international law firm of Clark Hill, PLC operates its headquarters on three floors of the building.

The building was previously occupied by Comerica Bank. In efforts to expand its U.S. presence, the bank has engaged in a succession of takeovers in Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California. The bank's lease on Comerica Tower at Detroit Center ran through 2012.[12] Comerica is a major sponsor of Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. In December 2009, tenant Comerica announced it would vacate Ally Detroit Center by 2012, consolidating its Michigan operations at 411 West Lafayette Boulevard.[13]

In March 2015, following the purchase of the building by Dan Gilbert through his Bedrock Real Estate Services, Bedrock and Ally Financial announced a 12-year lease under which it would move its main office into the building from the nearby Renaissance Center as well consolidate all employees in suburban Detroit to the building, occupying 20 floors or approximately 321,000 square feet (29,800 m2). The tower was renamed Ally Detroit Center.[14][15]



  1. ^ "Ally Detroit Center". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ Ally Detroit Center at Emporis
  3. ^ "Ally Detroit Center". SkyscraperPage.
  4. ^ Ally Detroit Center at Structurae
  5. ^ a b Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-0-8143-3270-2.
  6. ^ InFocusTech skyscrapers. Retrieved on July 16, 2009.
  7. ^ Gallagher, John; Dick Rochan (27 October 1991). "Unbuilt Detroit". The Detroit Free Press Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  8. ^ Two Detroit Center Garage at Emporis
  9. ^ "Dickinson Wright gaming practice enters Europe with law firm agreement in Bulgaria." Crain's Detroit Business. November 12, 2013. Modified November 13, 2013. Retrieved on November 23, 2013. "Detroit-based law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC announced Tuesday a cooperation agreement with Velchev & Co., a law firm based in Sofia, Bulgaria."
  10. ^ a b "Dickinson Wright renews Ally Detroit Center lease." Crain's Detroit Business. December 3, 2007. Retrieved on November 23, 2013.
  11. ^ "Tenant Testimonials". Ally Detroit Center. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Comerica to move headquarters to Dallas". Houston Business Journal. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Comerica Bank to Invest $18 Million in its Landmark 411 W. Lafayette Building" (Press release). Comerica. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  14. ^ Gallagher, John (31 March 2015). "Gilbert buys One Detroit Center, persuades Ally to move". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  15. ^ Felton, Ryan (31 March 2015). "Gilbert buys One Detroit Center; Ally Financial to consolidate regional offices into building". Metro Times. Detroit. Retrieved 29 July 2020.

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