One upside to a faltering real estate market is a plethora of good buys on property. General Motors took advantage of that fact by purchasing its Renaissance Center headquarters in Detroit for $626 million in cash. For another $200 million it picked up a couple of office buildings in Pontiac, too.

GM spokeswoman
Renee Rashid-Menem told The Associated Press that the company's lease was up for renewal on May 1, but they saw a good opportunity to get a deal on the place. She went on to say that as the real estate market improves, the company could sell the property and return to a lease arrangement.

Here's an interesting piece of trivia many outside the Detroit area may not know. Henry Ford II and Ford's real estate division built the Renaissance Center in 1977. General Motors claimed it as its HQ in 1996 and in 2005 completed a $500 million improvement project.

[Source: AP via Yahoo Finance]