(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne County Executive Warren Evans joined together with Stephen M. Ross, philanthropist and Chairman of Related Companies, Matt Cullen, CEO of Bedrock, and University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel to announce plans for a 14-acre Detroit Center for Innovation in downtown Detroit.

Anchoring the site will be a world-class $300 million, 190,000 square-foot research and education center operated by U-M, the nation’s leading public research institution. This academic building, designed by world-renowned architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, will be a centerpiece of the first phase of a planned multi-building development at the east edge of downtown and will offer programs that focus on high-tech research, education and innovation. It is anticipated the new U-M facility will eventually serve up to 1,000 graduate and senior-level undergraduate students pursuing advanced degrees in a range of high-tech innovation disciplines, including mobility, artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship, sustainability, cybersecurity, financial technology and more.

(Credit: City of Detroit)

(Credit: City of Detroit)

Development of the academic building will be made possible by a major gift from Stephen M. Ross, who envisioned the Detroit Center for Innovation and is a long-term benefactor of the University of Michigan and native of Detroit, and leadership gifts from Dan Gilbert and other public and private funders.

The initial phase of the DCI build-out also will include incubator and start up services for entrepreneurs, collaboration space for established companies, residential units, a hotel and conference center and event space. The new multi-building complex will be located at the site of the former Wayne County Jail project at Gratiot and St. Antoine and serve as a new gateway to Detroit’s burgeoning downtown, connecting the Central Business District and Greektown Entertainment Center to Lafayette Park and Eastern Market.

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“This announcement represents an incredible commitment to Detroit by Stephen Ross, Mark Schlissel and Dan Gilbert that will allow us to develop, attract and retain world-class talent,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Detroit has always been a leader in innovation and this new center will help ensure that continues to be the case into the future. It also sends a powerful message to our young people about the city we are trying to build together. Instead of turning this property into a place where Detroiters are taken to be incarcerated, we are going to build for them one of the finest learning centers anywhere, filled with hope and real opportunity.”

Mayor Duggan, County Executive Evans and other project partners will take the next 90-180 days to assess the feasibility of the overall project and conduct community engagement with surrounding neighborhoods. Construction for the Detroit Center for Innovation is slated to commence in 2021.

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