By Andrei Login
Guardhat, an industrial safety technology developer, has completed the relocation of its headquarters from Southfield, MI, to the Lane Bryant Building in downtown Detroit’s growing tech district. The move to the 5,000 square-foot space at 1520 Woodward Avenue follows the company’s continued expansion in recent years. With satellite offices in Boulder, Co., Chicago, Ill., Bangalore, India, and Paris, France, Guardhat plans to accommodate an additional 10 employees in the new headquarters by the end of the year.
The Lane Bryant Building is among downtown Detroit’s historic gems, as it dates back to 1917, when company founder Lena Bryant and her husband were expanding due to the early success of Lane Bryant’s line of maternity and plus-size clothing for women. Dan Gilbert’s full-service commercial real estate firm Bedrock purchased the property in 2011 and completed an extensive renovation program in 2013, as the building had been vacant since the early 1980s, and required significant restoration. App developer Detroit Labs moved into the newly-revamped top two floors in 2012, and Guardhat now occupies a space on the third floor.
Nestled between Grand Circus Park and Campus Martius Park, and just two blocks south of Comerica Park and Ford Field, 1520 Woodward includes both office and retail space and is an ideal address for emerging tech companies. Industry juggernauts like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and LinkedIn also have offices in the area, as does Rocket Fiber, one of the Motor City’s leading internet service providers. Detroit is among the nation’s fastest-growing start-up hubs, with hundreds of new companies operating in financial technology, mobility, marketing and technology development.
Founded in 2014, Guardhat is a pioneer in high-tech software that is designed to improve the standard hard hat, through both wearable hardware and intelligent software. It is meant to detect and alert workers of potential hazards by monitoring their vitals and working environment. Moreover, in case of incidents, the smart hard hat will be able to establish audio and video contact with the injured workers, as well as detect toxic gas buildup.
CEO Saikat Dey stated that “Detroit’s established manufacturing industry and developing tech community provide the perfect backdrop for Guardhat, as represented by the city’s adept manufacturing identity and intelligent software ingenuity. We couldn’t be more excited to play our part in the city’s continued growth and revitalization.”