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Pontiac firm to open longest enclosed pedestrian bridge in US

The city of Pontiac will soon be home to what is being called the nation’s longest enclosed pedestrian bridge.

Fast-growing mortgage firm United Shore Financial Services announced Thursday that it has obtained city approval to construct the 1,000-foot-long, 26-foot-wide bridge across South Boulevard. The $20 million bridge will connect the firm’s existing headquarters to its recently acquired 900,000-square-foot expansion building.  Signature Associates is proud to have sold both of these buildings to United Shore.

In comparison, the “Skywalk” pedestrian bridge that connects the two halves of Somerset Collection is about 700 feet long.

Visible construction of the United Shore’s bridge is expected to be underway by May for a planned October opening. The bridge will be heated and air-conditioned, and will feature moving walkways.

The firm says it was informed of the length record by the bridge’s architectural firm, which it declined to identify.

United Shore says it has 5,300 employees and plans to add hundreds more this year. Some employees have begun working in the firm’s new building. To move between the two buildings, they either cross the road on foot or take a shuttle bus.

Mat Ishbia, United Shore’s president and CEO, said total capacity in the two-building, 1.5 million-square-foot headquarters is about 12,000 people. The firm is on pace to have as many as 7,000 employees by year’s end.

“The reason why we’re building it is we want the one-building feel,” Ishbia said. “We want our team to feel like one roof, one community.”

In contrast to many large employers, United Shore declined to accept any local or state development incentives when opening its Pontiac headquarters in 2018. The firm says it wants the city, including schools, to get the full economic benefit of United Shore’s presence.

Ishbia said United Shore also didn’t seek incentives for the bridge project.

“The city of Pontiac, Oakland County and the state of Michigan all know we aren’t interested in taking any handouts,” he said. “We did not ask for anything, and if they offered, we would not take anything.”

 

Posted By: Detroit Free Press on February 20, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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