Detroit-based IT software firm Compuware Corp. is (quietly, it seems) marking a major milestone for itself and its hometown.
It was 10 years ago that it opened the doors to its new 16-story headquarters, becoming a bold early adopter among businesses that would come to embrace the central city and helping to reignite a spark of economic activity in downtown Detroit.
There was enormous buzz when the news hit in 1999 that Compuware would move its global headquarters from the suburbs to a large new complex it planned to build on the former J.L. Hudson’s department store site. This was easily the biggest and best news the city had received since Mike Ilitch moved his pizza, sports and entertainment empire to the refurbished Fox Theater a decade prior — and similarly done against all better judgment among some skeptics.
By the late ‘90s, pockets of life had re-emerged in downtown Detroit, mostly around sports and entertainment offerings and projects like the construction of Comerica Park and the Detroit Opera House project. But it was still far from what you’d call vibrant. Compuware would change things by bringing in 4,000 employees, giving them a state-of-the-art office complete with day care and a fitness center and jumpstarting the development of the award-winning Campus Martius Park in its front yard.
Compuware quietly put together this video to mark the occasion and the ripple effect it’s had on the neighborhood. Hat tip to Ryan Bateman for making us aware of it. We love being in Detroit, too.