Creative Space in Pontiac

UNITED SHORE BUILDS OUT AND MOVES TO STATE-OF-THE-ART CAMPUS

When current President and CEO Mat Ishbia joined United Shore, the company had about 12 employees. Today, there are 2,500 (and counting) on staff — and they’ve all moved to the company’s new headquarters on 60 acres in Pontiac.

United Shore is one of the largest wholesale mortgage lenders in the nation. Their new 600,000-square-foot building, formerly Hewlett Packard Enterprise headquarters, received a $40 million renovation that has transformed it into an amenity-filled campus.

“We’re all about culture and people, and you probably get that feel when you walk through,” Ishbia says. “You’re creating a great environment for the best people to want to join our team.”

The building reflects modern architecture partnered with just enough lighting to create a calming effect. Features include an on-site Starbucks, a doctor’s office, dry cleaner, game room, fitness center, convenience store, massage therapist, salon and dance floor, along with basketball and sand volleyball courts, indoor/outdoor putting greens, an outdoor dining patio and more.

Chief People Officer Laura Lawson was one of the creative masterminds behind the building redesign. “I love identifying new ways to support our people by offering them an exciting but functional work environment,” Lawson says. “I want people to want to come to work, not only to make a difference in their role and to make friends, but because the campus makes you energized and cultivates innovation and creativity.”

Many rooms reflect Michigan themes. The Silverdome conference room includes actual stadium seats. The Breslin has inlaid wood salvaged from the former Breslin Center practice court at Michigan State University. The Frankenmuth room — named after mid-Michigan’s Little Bavaria, long known as a destination for its sumptuous chicken dinners — is covered in chickens and furnished with drumstick pillows to match.

“We’re an open environment and everything you would need to do in your day is here,” Ishbia says. And it all plays out on just three floors, which keeps departments together. For example, if the sales department had to be divided over several levels, communication could be difficult. “We stay on the pulse of our people’s needs to identify what they need to evolve and to collaborate, and then it’s fun to put a creative spin on those elements,” Lawson says. “Everything in our headquarters has a specific intent and is meant to be utilized.”

This story appeared in the 2019 edition of Oakland County Prosper magazine.