UM Innovation Center in Downtown Detroit no longer planned for failed jail site

Posted at 2:48 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 14:48:39-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The University of Michigan and Bedrock will not build a massive innovation center on the site of the failed Wayne County Jail.

The site along Gratiot Avenue had planned to be a $300 million center for research and education at the university in the heart of Downtown Detroit.

Instead, Stephen Ross' company will build the center at another location in the city.

“The pandemic illustrated the need for the Detroit Center for Innovation to have a greater catalytic economic and social impact on the people of Detroit which was not possible at its current site,” Ross said in a statement. “I am more committed than ever to deliver my vision of an innovation hub in my hometown, and I reaffirm my commitment to the people of Detroit and the University of Michigan to create inclusive growth that propels job creation, affordable housing development and historic preservation for all Detroiters. We’re planning to move the DCI to a new location in the city with more space to ensure that we deliver.”

In 2019, Ross, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Mayor Mike Duggan and several other leaders made the announcement. The plan came after a major donation from Ross, who is a Detroit native and a long-time donor to the university.

It was supposed to focus on high-tech research, education, and innovation, and eventually serve up to 1,000 graduate and upper-level undergrad students who majoring in mobility, artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship and more.