DETROIT -- General Motors is doubling the size of its design studios as part of a previously announced $1 billion investment and renovation of its global technical center in suburban Detroit.
The automaker on Wednesday said it will break ground in mid-2018 on a 360,000-square-foot studio building, which will surround its historic design dome, auditorium and viewing patio. The new studio will connect to the company's existing 350,000-square-foot design center.
The project is expected to take two to three years and includes the addition of a parking structure underway at the southwest corner of the campus.
Michael Simcoe, GM's vice president of global design, said the new space will help his team be better prepared to develop cutting-edge designs for emerging autonomous vehicles and popular services such as ride sharing and ride hailing.
"Investing in our creative and skilled team and providing them with inspiring, modern spaces, new technologies and more ways to work together will foster innovation that leads to real solutions for customers," he said in a statement.
GM announced the $1 billion investment in the Warren, Mich., tech center in May 2015, a year after substantial flooding damaged several parts of the campus. The investment included new construction, significant renovations of some facilities and the expansion of some operations. Significant renovations were made to operations that included vehicle engineering, pre-production engineering and an alternative energy center.
The expansion of the design center is part of the final phase of the $1 billion investment. A company spokeswoman declined to disclose how much the design expansion is expected to cost.
The tech center campus is a National Historic Landmarks site. It opened in 1956 with a lavish dedication ceremony attended by President Dwight Eisenhower and was considered the pinnacle of engineering, design and advanced technology at the time.