Masco Corporation to relocate headquarters to campus grounds
BY ELAINE GEROU
It is huge, it is shiny, and it is moving into Schoolcraft’s territory. After years of Schoolcraft’s property off of I-275 being unused, there is finally a company moving in to call it “home,” as Masco Corporation is in the process of building its new headquarters there. Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. marks the official “ground-breaking” for Masco’s construction, which will start the transformation of the 11-acre, grassy field into a three-story, 91,100 square foot glass building.
Who is Masco?
Masco is the proud owner of 28 companies including Delta® and Hangrohe® faucets, KraftMaid® and Merillat® cabinets, Milgrad® windows and doors, Behr® paint and HotSpring® spas among other household products. The now 32,000-employee company with 130 locations across the USA all started as Masco Screw Products in 1929. It has transformed from one small tool company into a hardware empire.
Its current headquarters, located in Taylor, MI off of I-94, is 419,000 square feet. At one time, there were about 700 employees working in the headquarters and over 60,000 employees under Masco altogether. With only about 250 workers needed in the headquarters now, Masco is down-sizing their business and relocating to Livonia’s central location where I-275, I-96 and I-696 all cross paths to do so.
“Masco’s headquarter employees are very excited about our upcoming move to the city of Livonia and the wonderful campus of Schoolcraft College,” said Jeff Horka, Manager of Real Estate Transactions and Property Tax at Masco. “We certainly will miss the city of Taylor and have had the pleasure of an outstanding partnership with them for nearly 50 years. We are proud to have called Taylor our home and thank them for their longstanding support as we transition to our new location.”
The new partnership
It all began when Glenn Cerny, Schoolcraft Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, wrote a letter to city of Livonia in April requesting an Industrial District. Now, Schostak Brothers and Company, the company that developed Northville Park Place west of campus across Haggerty Road, is working to develop the land and building. Masco hopes to move in by March 2017 and will lease the land from Schoolcraft College for 15 years.
“The college is intent on figuring out businesses that will allow us to generate additional revenue and allow our students to get real world experience that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Out partnership will be able to leverage that,” Cerny said. “They’re going to be hiring students here from the college.”
The partnership will benefit both Masco and Schoolcraft through various shared services, such as the Fitness Center, food services, use of Schoolcraft’s classrooms or presentation rooms and even internship opportunities at Masco.
“Just by their mere connections here, students now have connections to a lot of sites,” Cerny said, referring to the 130 Masco locations in the country.
The lease will offer extensions to the partnership in the future, meaning it could last up to 40 years or more, benefitting generations of students to come.
“At a community college, there is a stereotype, and we’re getting rid of that stereotype very quickly. This is one of the ways to do that—to differentiate and connect partnerships like corporate America coming here on our campus,” said Cerny.
Not only will this partnership increase employment to benefit individual students, but through its profitability it will increase the moral of the school as a whole.
“I’m very pleased with the move onto campus. The revenue generated from their rental of the land will obviously give us dollars we can in turn use for students—classes, scholarships,” said Schoolcraft College President Conway A. Jeffress. “In addition to that, the company has synergies with the college that I think will work out well, so you get a relationship that has students interacting in real time with real business decisions, and that could be very useful for our students.”
According to Jeffress, Schoolcraft will earn about $300,000 from Masco every year.
Enriching the community
Although it is not obvious, this partnership will also benefit the local community in numerous ways.
Because Schoolcraft is a nonprofit political subdivision of Michigan, the land Masco is moving onto has not had to pay property taxes while unoccupied. Now with Masco leasing it though, property tax must be paid to city of Livonia.
“That’s one way we [Schoolcraft] generate money for the community,” said Cerny.
The groundbreaking ceremony will kick off the construction with a bang. Livonia’s Mayor, Jack Kirksey, President Jeffress, Masco CEO, Keith Allman, and 250 Masco employees will attend and celebrate under a large tent next to the soccer fields on Oct. 6 at 11 a.m.
For the remainder of October, progress will be made towards placing structural steel over the winter. Students shouldn’t expect much noise and minimal interruption on campus during construction. Construction will come in through south parking lot, and cones will mark off area.
With the leaves beginning to change, so is Schoolcraft’s campus. By collaborating in this partnership with Masco after having partnered with Wayne State University and the University of Toledo last year, the college continues to expand. Through these opportunities, a more positive light is being shed on Schoolcraft’s educational environment.