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An Employee’s Guide to the GM Renaissance Center

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting on your couch, watching TV, and b-roll of Detroit scenery flashes across your screen. The General Motors Renaissance Center is front and center in most of these images. “That’s Detroit!” you say either out loud or in your head…but how many of you have actually stepped foot inside this Detroit staple?

GM Renaissance Center

In preparation of this blog post, we decided it would be beneficial for me to take the official GM Renaissance Center tour. My tour had a family from Iowa, Grand Rapids, and Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotians traveled 25 hours JUST to visit Detroit!

While touring, I learned some of the basic facts. The Renaissance Center first opened its doors in 1976 with just one tower functioning – Tower 100. In 1977, the three other towers – 200, 300, and 400 – were opened. Franco Public Relations Group was lucky enough to become one of its first tenants shortly after that, and we have stayed ever since. It wasn’t until 1996 that General Motors decided to make the Renaissance Center its world headquarters. They quickly made some changes to the building, adding the Wintergarden, and level two, the circulation ring.

Ren Cen 100

The GM Renaissance Center is broken up into four levels. The first is level A; my favorite. It’s home to the massive food court, the Wintergarden, RenCen Fitness, Andiamo Detroit Riverfront, and of course the General Motors show room. The show room is in the middle of it all, almost as the building’s main event. You can see it from all levels.

I call level one the main floor. It’s where you will find the Marriott lobby, and its elevators.  Circulating level one is a brick paved inner circle that allows you to easily access all the stores and restaurants. Joe Muer, Pure Detroit, Potbelly, Verizon Wireless, and a PR pro’s best friend, Starbucks, all take shop on level one.

Level two is the circulation ring, creating a path to each tower’s main entrance and their visitor’s desk, which allows you to enter offices in their respected tower. Also on level two is a CVS, a post office, the skywalk to the Millender Center, and access to the Detroit People Mover.

Wondering how to get to the highly regarded restaurant, Coach Insignia? Take the glass elevator located on level three, all the way to the top floor, level 77. From there, you can see the entire view of the city, and it is nothing short of breath taking.

Yearning to know more? Here are my recommendations: Take a tour of the building, it’s completely free of charge, and you’ll learn so many interesting facts. Renaissance Center tours are offered at noon and 2 p.m. right outside of the Pure Detroit store. If touring isn’t your thing, then take a walk; get lost in the building! Or next time you’re visiting Franco Public Relations Group, let me know you would like a grand tour! There’s nothing I love more than showing people around.

Have you toured, or gotten lost in the Renaissance Center?  What cool or interesting facts did you learn when you visited? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Laura Skimin is an administrative coordinator at Franco Public Relations Group.