Brian O’Connor, Detroit News

Thursday night’s reports that the PulteGroup Inc. — one of the nation’s largest home builders — will move its Bloomfield Hills headquarters to Atlanta surprised the governor and other top state officials gathered on Mackinac Island for the final night of a three-day conference celebrating the state’s recent economic successes.

State officials and many of the business movers and shakers at the conference scrambled for their cellphones after dinner as The Wall Street Journal reported online that Pulte’s board had approved the move Thursday and had already informed the Atlanta mayor of plans to bring 300 employees to 100,00 square feet of office space in the city.

“Of course, we don’t want them to leave — they’re a great Michigan company,” said Emily Gerkin Palsrok, spokeswoman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Gov. Rick Snyder’s office also had not heard from Pulte representatives, according to spokeswoman Sara Wurfel. “We feel like Michigan is the place to live, work and play, but we understand business needs change,” Wurfel said.

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