U-M Detroit Center for Innovation to be built in The District Detroit

Detroit Center for Innovation new rendering.jpeg
Posted at 9:39 AM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 10:40:46-05

(WXYZ) — The University of Michigan Detroit Center for Innovation will be built in The District Detroit, the university and Olympia Development announced on Monday.

Watch live announcement at 10:30 a.m.

The plan for the center originally planned to be on the site of the former Wayne County Jail near Greektown, which is owned by Bedrock. In July, it was announced the center was no longer going to be there.

According to the university, the Detroit center for Innovation (DCI) will be located on a four-acre parking lot located between Cass Ave. and Grand River between Columbia St. and Elizabeth St.

In all, it's expected to be three buildings, anchored by a 200,000 square foot research and education center opated by the University of Michigan. It's expected to cost around $250 million to build it. A second building will be a technology incubator in the former Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge at 2115 Cass Ave. and a third building is being constructed and expected to create 300 units of housing along Cass Ave.

“As a native Detroiter, I believe it is critical for the DCI to have a catalytic economic and social impact on the people of Detroit. That impact will be best achieved in The District Detroit where it will connect with existing density and ignite additional development, especially with technology leaders like ServiceNow driving job creation, attracting entrepreneurs, and inspiring the next generation of trailblazing talent,” said Stephen Ross, Chairman of Related Companies, and a U of M alum. “I have tremendous respect for Christopher Ilitch and Olympia Development’s longstanding commitment to Detroit and am thrilled to partner with them to contribute to the vision of The District Detroit for the betterment of our entire community.”

Ross donated $100 million for the center, and groundbreaking is expected to begin in 2023.

“The Detroit Center for Innovation will increase access to opportunity for Detroiters, help nurture and retain talent, and drive positive social and economic impacts throughout the city, region, and state,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “We look forward to working with Stephen Ross and Related Companies – leaders in creating visionary neighborhoods, in developing affordable housing, and in creating unique places across the country – along with the University of Michigan to support the growth of the DCI.”

THe DCI is expected to enhance the university's ability to drive innovation and is a long-standing commitment to Detroit, U-M President Mark Schlissel said. He added that the university will be able to engage with industry, community partners and more.

“We are enthusiastic about what the Detroit Center for Innovation will mean for the city, its residents and businesses and our current and future students,” Schlissel said. “The University of Michigan is already setting the groundwork for this new academic center, and we look forward to providing the kind of advanced educational programs that will meet the needs of an evolving workforce and move our economy forward.”