MI: Little Caesars® Breaks Ground on $150M HQ, 1st in Detroit in a Decade+ | Trade and Industry Development

MI: Little Caesars® Breaks Ground on $150M HQ, 1st in Detroit in a Decade+

Sep 14, 2016

Little Caesars and Olympia Development of Michigan broke ground on a new $150 million, nine-story, 234,000 square-foot, Little Caesars world headquarters expansion, to be built at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Columbia Street in The District Detroit. Twenty-seven years after moving its headquarters from the suburbs to Detroit's Fox Office Center in the heart of downtown, Little Caesars is more than doubling the size of its current campus in Detroit to accommodate the company's rapid global growth and hiring.

"This remarkable building, with its one-of-a-kind architecture, will be a shining example of what's possible in our city," said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. "Today's groundbreaking represents the next chapter of global growth for an iconic Detroit brand, founded by my parents, Mike and Marian Ilitch, in 1959 with a single store. My hope is that our growth, commitment and continued investment in our community and its people will serve as a catalyst for others to call Detroit and Michigan their home."

"Building the new Little Caesars world headquarters in downtown Detroit is another example of the Ilitch family's commitment to our city's future," said Mayor Mike Duggan.  "It's great to see Detroit-based companies taking the lead on this major project, which will result in employment opportunities for hundreds of our residents."

Expected to be complete in 2018, this new expansion to the Little Caesars world headquarters campus is Detroit's first newly constructed corporate headquarters building in more than a decade and only the seventh since 1950. This state-of-the-art headquarters campus will create a collaborative workspace that will help the company continue to attract, train and retain the top talent and franchisees needed to continue its rapid growth and better serve customers around the world. The new space will provide the most modern infrastructure and technologies, and world-class amenities to foster collaboration, innovation and connectivity.

"Mike and Marian Ilitch, the founders and owners of Little Caesars Pizza, work hard to create a culture of opportunity in our organization," said David Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. "Today, as we break ground on an exciting new development that will anchor the Columbia Street neighborhood of The District Detroit, we're excited to continue our longstanding commitment to the people that have helped make a single Little Caesars pizza shop into one of the world's largest pizza chains."

The design and workplace amenities were determined by collaborative work groups of employees and architects to ensure a flexible work environment that results in employee engagement, optimal communication and heightened productivity. Anticipated features include:

·         One of a kind, formed-glass façade in the shape of 14-foot tall pizza slices

·         Glass-covered, open air terrace and "pizza garden" with vegetables and herbs

·         Two-story lobby connected to a new Welcome Center

·         Screening room and 425-seat training room

·         Fitness center

·         Retail and dining

·         State of the art training facilities for franchisees, crew and employees

·         Innovation kitchens (quadruples the size of current facilities).

Little Caesars Experiencing Rapid, Ongoing and Global Growth

Since moving to the Fox Office Center in 1989, Little Caesars has experienced incredible growth and now needs expanded, new workspace that meets the evolving needs of employees and the business. Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the world with a presence in all 50 states and 20 international markets. It recently opened franchises in Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama with additional expansion taking place worldwide. As an exceptionally high growth company with more than 57 years of success in the nearly $135 billion* pizza industry, Little Caesars attracts and continues to look for highly capable franchisee candidates for new market opportunities domestically and throughout the world.

Boosting The District Detroit and City's Economy

This expansion to the Little Caesars world headquarters campus will be The District Detroit's largest new construction to date in the Columbia Street neighborhood, which is also home to the spectacular Fox Theatre, a National Historic Landmark. Olympia Development of Michigan has organized a comprehensive effort to ensure the participation of Detroit-based and -headquartered businesses in construction of the new Little Caesars world headquarters.

The Michigan Made, Detroit Built project is led by Brinker-Christman, a Detroit-based company as construction manager, and Detroit-based architect, SmithGroupJJR. To date The District Detroit has awarded more than $315 million in contracts (nearly 60 %) to Detroit businesses and more than $500 million in contracts (more than 90 %) to Michigan businesses. The District Detroit will ultimately account for a total economic impact of more than $2 billion and create more than 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs in addition to 1,100 permanent jobs.

About Michael and Marian Ilitch

Michael and Marian Ilitch are prominent entrepreneurs and philanthropists in southeast Michigan. The couple shares a commitment to developing and revitalizing the city of Detroit through high-profile investment projects and support for Detroit-based initiatives and organizations.

The Ilitches founded Little Caesars in 1959, and grew the company from a single storefront into the world's largest carryout pizza chain. This venture laid the groundwork for the development and acquisition of numerous other businesses and sports teams. Ilitch companies include Little Caesars, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Olympia Development and Ilitch Holdings. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel. The companies collectively employ over 23,000 people and have a total combined annual revenue of $3.3 billion.

Ilitch companies make contributions of time, money and resources to the community through Ilitch Charities, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, the Detroit Tigers Foundation, Little Caesars Love Kitchen, Little Caesars Amateur Hockey and the Little Caesars Veterans Program. In 2015, the Detroit entrepreneurs announced a gift of $40 million to Wayne State University to build a state-of-the-art business school facility in Detroit, one of the top 10 gifts ever to a public business school and the largest in the history of the university. In recognition of the Ilitches' generosity, the school will be named the Mike Ilitch School of Business. 

Milestones over 48 years of investing in the city include: Little Caesars opening its first restaurant inside the City of Detroit in 1967; purchasing the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 and turning the then-struggling franchise into four-time Stanley Cup champions and one of the most respected franchises in professional sports; purchasing and restoring the historic Fox Theatre and adjacent Fox Office Center in 1987; purchasing the abandoned Hughes and Hatcher clothing store in 1987 and renovating it into what is now the Hockeytown Café and City Theatre; moving their Little Caesars world headquarters from the suburbs to downtown Detroit in 1989 during a time when most businesses were leaving the city; purchasing the Detroit Tigers in 1992 and providing the majority of funding to build Comerica Park in 2000; and opening MotorCity Casino in 1999 followed by expansion to include the MotorCity Casino Hotel in 2007.

Today, the organization is developing dozens of currently underutilized blocks into an exciting, walkable and livable sports and entertainment district. The District Detroit will be anchored by state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena, which will serve not only as the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, but also as a platform for other sporting, entertainment and community events year-round.

With the completion of The District Detroit, the Ilitches investment in downtown will reach approximately $2 billion in brick-and-mortar projects. Ilitch companies currently employ over 7,500 people in the city of Detroit, and annually attract more than 10 million visitors to their downtown venues.

The couple's unfailing love for Detroit has garnered them significant recognition for their generosity and vision for the city. The Ilitches have received numerous honors, including the key to the city of Detroit, presented to the family in 2008, as well as the National Preservation Award for the restoration of the Fox Theatre, a National Historic Landmark.

About Little Caesars Pizza

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars® is the largest carryout-only pizza chain and fastest growing pizza chain in America*. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars has become the third largest pizza chain in the world and today has a presence in all 50 U.S. states, as well as 20 countries and territories worldwide.

Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named "Best Value in America"** for nine years in a row. Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese, dough made fresh daily in the stores and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.

An exceptionally high growth company with more than 57 years of experience in the nearly $135 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit, located in the heart of downtown Detroit, will be made up of a dynamic mix of sports and entertainment venues, including six world-class theatres and three multi-use sports venues including the new Little Caesars Arena – home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. The District Detroit will also feature residential, office and retail developments that connect these venues into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love.

Data from the University of Michigan demonstrates that The District Detroit will ultimately account for an impact of more than $2 billion by 2020 and create 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. More than $100 million in income from the Little Caesars Arena alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income to be created through future private development. Visit www.DistrictDetroit.com to learn more.

About The Ilitch Companies

The Ilitch companies represent leading brands in the food, sports and entertainment industries and include Ilitch Holdings, Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Olympia Development of Michigan. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.

*Fastest growing pizza chain in the US – based on net number of stores added each year 2008-2015
**Highest-Rated Chain – Value for the Money" based on a nationwide survey of quick-service restaurant consumers conducted by Sandelman & Associates 2007-2015   


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