DETROIT (WWJ) — A big-time Hollywood star is taking a gamble on the Motor City.

Hill Harper, known for his roles in CSI: NY and Homeland, announced Monday that he bought a business in Detroit and is also buying and renovating a home in one of the city’s historic neighborhoods.

Wednesday is Hill’s birthday, but he will be giving Detroit a gift — he has purchased the Roasting Plant cafe located in the First National Building in Campus Martius.

“Detroit is a great American city that was forged on innovation, social enterprise and entrepreneurship,” Harper said in a press release. “Having lived here filming two movies in Detroit over the past four years, I have come to love this city and its people. I believe in Detroit. It is truly a vibrant, unique and great American city.”

Harper, who is also a New York Times best-selling author, will also be bringing his youth Summer Empowerment Academy to Detroit this summer. SEA is a free high school and college readiness program that Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation runs in the most challenged areas in cities across the country.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas will be hosting a chat with Harper as the formal announcement is made on Wednesday, where Mayor Mike Duggan and other dignitaries are expected to be on hand.

Training and employing young people in the coffee business is part of Harper’s plan.

“Hopefully by my purchase it spurs other people to say ‘hey, I want to invest in this neighborhood too,'” Harper said. “I bought a home in the Boston-Edison Historic District and I’ve begun the renovation of that home. I’m telling everybody, ‘listen, invest in Detroit.'”


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