TCF Executive Chairman Gary Torgow unveils new TCF Center signage at Cobo Center.
Featured photo via TCF Center Facebook
The center formally known as Cobo got a new name on Tuesday, Aug. 27, revealed by TCF Executive Chairman Gary Torgow, TCF President and CEO Craig Dahl with the help of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and other dignitaries.
The name change breaks the center’s ties to a former Detroit mayor Albert Cobo, who served as mayor from 1950 to 1957 and whose policies sought to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods.
“Today a name of the past comes down from these walls,” TCF Financial Chairman Gary Torgow said, “and we proudly and honorably replace it with a name that stands for community and inclusion and a powerful future for everyone who is associated with it.”
Torgow made an impact in real estate with his company the Sterling Group before he turned to banking in 2010 with the purchase of a single bank branch. Through multiple acquisitions of distressed banks, Torgow and his partner, David Provost, built what became Talmer Bank into a $7 billion operation with dozens of branch offices in Midwest states. Talmer Bank merged with Chemical Bank, of which Torgow was chairman. Earlier this month, a merger between TCF Financial and Chemical Bank was finalized.
Torgow has been actively involved in the revitalization of Detroit, especially its neighborhoods. Last year, as part of the Strategic Neighborhood fund, he brought together seven companies, which pledged $5 million each to the fund.
“When we’ve had tough times in Detroit, Gary Torgow has been there,” U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said of the Detroit native. “He is one of the visionaries and the leaders that have helped to bring back not only Downtown but support what is happening in the neighborhoods.”
Since 2014, Chemical Bank’s leadership has pledged $1 million over five years to help renovate homes in the neighborhood surrounding Marygrove College. It also provides up to $2,500 in closing-cost assistance to low- and moderate-income households in the city.
Torgow is also active in the Detroit Jewish community, serving on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, as senior vice president of the Orthodox Union, as board president of Yeshiva Beth Yehudah and chairman of the Mosaic United Steering Committee, an Israeli Jewish initiative for the benefit of the diaspora Jewry.
“I can’t think of better partners than Gary Torgow and the team at TCF Bank to help secure the future of our region’s convention center,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Today’s announcement, combined with TCF’s commitment to build its new headquarters in downtown Detroit and Gary’s leadership building our Strategic Neighborhood Fund, shows TCF Bank is truly invested in our city and its people.”
The unveiling event was followed by a free block party outside of TCF Center open to all who call the city home.