Detroit − About 100 political leaders and community members gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the opening of a new downtown office building that will house the headquarters of Huntington’s commercial bank Bancshares.
The 21-story Huntington Tower housed hundreds of bank workers and customers as Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan and other officials marked the completion of the 427,000 square foot building on Woodward Avenue. Huntington officials would not disclose the cost of construction.
“It benefits the entire state of Michigan,” Whitmer said. “Right after I took office I came here and it was just empty ground…it’s an honor to be here less than four years later and see what has been accomplished here and how it goes mean to the people of this community.”
A rooftop terrace, balcony and function rooms are some of the amenities offered to the 750 employees who will work at 2025 Woodward. The building can accommodate 800 employees, a number Huntington expects to reach in the near future.
Now that the Columbus-based bank has acquired TCF Financial Corp., Huntington employs 21,000 employees in 1,000 branches in 11 states. Gary Torgow, chairman of the bank’s board, said the $22 billion all-stock deal grew the bank from $50 billion in assets to $179 billion.
“We can employ more people, we can do more, we have more branches in Detroit,” Torgow said. “It gave us the opportunity to really grow the business.”
Less than five years ago, Torgow was executive chairman of a small bank, Talmer Bancorp Inc., until it merged with Midland-based Chemical Financial Corporation in 2019, creating TCF Bank. He said it was a “true privilege” to lead the board of directors of Huntington, the 25th largest bank in the country.
“As we grew, we were able to do more and more for the community, our colleagues, Detroit, our state,” Torgow said. “The bigger we are, the more promises we can make and the more opportunities we can deliver.”
The acquisition left Detroit without a major corporate bank headquarters and made Huntington one of the top 10 regional banks in the country.
Duggan said this wasn’t Huntington’s first involvement with the city. Steve Steinour, CEO of Huntington, spearheaded the creation of a strategic fund that raised $35 million to rebuild Detroit neighborhoods. Steinour and Torgow have partnered to help Detroit residents gain more access to mortgages, helping homeowners become the majority of residents.
“Our intention is to make this a building that helps the community, not just homes for our colleagues,” Steinour said. “We will be looking to enable the building in multiple ways with other community partners as we move forward.”
Torgow’s achievements in Detroit led city officials to present him with the “Spirit of Detroit” award at the event on Wednesday. As for what he sees next for the company, “We will continue to grow the bank, serve our customers, continue to support our colleagues, and whatever the good Lord designs will be the next step.”