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Accident Fund Will Make Board of Water & Light's Ottawa Street Station Power Plant in Lansing Its New National Headquarters
Date:10/8/2007

Transformational project will accommodate planned strategic growth that

will bring up to 500 new jobs to Lansing and Michigan

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In a bold move that will awaken a slumbering giant on the Grand River, accommodate up to 500 new jobs for Lansing and further revitalize the downtown area, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan subsidiary Accident Fund Insurance Company of America announced today it will establish its new national corporate headquarters in the Lansing Board of Water & Light's Ottawa Street Station power plant. The plan is part of a redevelopment agreement reached with the city and state.

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The agreement signals the start of a historic partnership process requiring the supportive efforts of local and state agencies as parties move forward to make this transformation a reality.

"Today, Accident Fund and our parent company - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan - are committing long-term to the city of Lansing, the state of Michigan and the people of mid-Michigan," said Elizabeth R. Haar, Accident Fund president and CEO. "We are here in Michigan to stay, we are growing jobs here and we are stating to the nation that Michigan is a great place to do business."

The announcement was made this morning by Accident Fund together with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, as well as many state and local officials who gathered for a panoramic view of the site along the banks of the Grand River. The redevelopment will be the largest adaptive reuse of a historic power plant in the state.

"This is great economic news for Lansing and Michigan, and another demonstration of our corporate commitment to Michigan," said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. "Accident Fund has grown significantly since becoming a national carrier of workers' compensation. We believe the company will continue to grow and expand here in Michigan if given more opportunities to do so in the future."

Accident Fund said it expects to create up to 500 new jobs for Lansing and Michigan, bringing its total workforce to 1,200. The new jobs will be created to accommodate the company's planned strategic growth over the next several years. Accident Fund determined it would outgrow its two present Lansing facilities by 2011, requiring a search for new national headquarters.

"Accident Fund will preserve a downtown landmark while transforming it into an exciting state of the art business campus," Haar said. "This redevelopment will be a catalyst to a revitalized downtown and Lansing community. It shows what can be accomplished by a strong, stable company that has the freedom to execute its strategic vision."

"We considered several sites for this expansion," Haar continued. "After a thorough analysis, we decided this decision was best not only for Accident Fund, but also for our home city and state."

The Ottawa Street Station power plant is presently owned by the Lansing Board of Water & Light. A redevelopment agreement was signed by Accident Fund, BWL and the City of Lansing. Accident Fund is working with The Christman Company of Lansing as the developer.

Haar said the downtown site offers room for growth and space for on-site parking in a campus-like setting. Preliminary plans include renovation of the power plant into Class A office space, as well as construction of an adjoining complementary building providing additional office space and a central energy plant. A 1,000-car parking deck also will be built, and the present Ottawa Street parking structure will be razed. Plans also include a linear public park along the riverfront.

The project is still in a developmental phase, and other details remain to be worked out. The seven-acre project site stretches north from Ottawa Street to Shiawassee Street between Grand Avenue and the Grand River. Planning is underway and the projected start date for the project is fall 2008, with completion slated for early 2011.

About Accident Fund

Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, Accident Fund is one of the nation's leading Workers Compensation insurers, operating in 43 states and the District of Columbia. The company also provides third party administration services and disability management. Founded in 1912, Accident Fund is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Accident Fund has three workers compensation subsidiaries; Accident Fund National Insurance Company, Accident Fund General Insurance Company and United Wisconsin Insurance Company.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred, Community Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individual market. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.


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SOURCE Accident Fund Insurance Company of America
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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