In a major upgrade for the city, Cobo Center—named after racist mayor Albert Cobo—will change names by the end of 2019. Chemical Bank has bought the naming rights for $1.5 million a year for 22 years.
Crain’s reports that, pending a large merger with Minnesota-based TCF Bank, it could be called TCF Center. Chemical Bank is Michigan-based, and the company has plans on building an office tower in downtown Detroit. They’ve also recently invested $5 million in neighborhood improvements in the city.
The intent to change the name of the popular convention center came about in the summer of 2017.
Albert Cobo was mayor of Detroit from 1950-57, during its most populous time. But his policies completely changed the city. According to the Neighborhoods,
While Cobo presided over Detroit’s population at its peak and spearheaded much of the modern development of downtown Detroit—including the construction of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, erecting the Spirit of Detroit statue, and other 1950s-era development—he is, in recent years, remembered most as a segregationist who prevented black Detroiters from moving into then-white neighborhoods and demolished slums where they were already living.
Until the merger is finalized later this year, the name will remain Cobo Center.