University of Michigan’s Detroit Center for Innovation to be constructed in 2021

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Molly Anderson, Staff writer

   On Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, information regarding the building of the University of Michigan Detroit Center for Innovation was released by Mark Schlissel. For countless years, the Ann Arbor and Dearborn locations have been the only U of M establishments, until the news of this new center was announced, bringing more of the university to downtown Detroit.

   The establishment is to be built in place of where the Wayne County Jail is. In total, the site will amount to fourteen acres of land, 190,000 square feet, off of Gratiot at 1400 Saint Antoine St. The cost of this huge project will amount to $300 million and will be financed mostly by real estate mogul Stephen Ross, a Detroit native. In addition, contributions will be made by Dan Gilbert and other private and public funders.

   Replacing the failed Wayne County Jail with the campus will drastically transform the area, and is exciting for many.

   “Warren Evans (Wayne County Executive) had the vision to move a jail off this site because he saw the possibilities of something better, and because of him, instead of 1,000 prisoners on this site, we’re going to have 1,000 graduate students,” stated Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an interview for MLive.

   Thomas A. Finholt, dean of the School of Information is also excited about the opportunities that the location of the new building will offer for students.

   “Our students spend hundreds of hours each year in Detroit working on civic projects as volunteers during their fall and spring breaks and as summer interns at several local businesses. We look forward to the numerous research and educational opportunities this new center will present for our faculty and students to contribute to the growth and development of Detroit,” stated Finholt to the University Record.

   Construction of the center in 2021 will not just include a school, but several other facilities.

   “The project’s initial phase also includes mid-rise residential buildings for UM graduate students, incubator space for new tech businesses and a boutique hotel and conference center inside the former Detroit Police Department headquarters,” according to MLive.

   We can also expect the architecture of this building to be outstanding, according to Mike Murri in his editorial for WXYZ Detroit.

   “What we also like about the proposal is blending the old with the new. Ross is known for building standout architectural buildings. He vows to do that for the 190-thousand square foot U. of M. educational complex,” stated Murri.

   Looking beyond the features of this complex, the impact of the project already is immense.

   “This is a transformative project in the history of our region, with impact beyond U-M and Detroit,” said Dug Song, co-founder and former CEO of Duo Security, in an interview for the University of Michigan.

   The building of the Detroit Center for Innovation will be a great opportunity for students to bring new talent and hardwork to the city of Detroit. The new ideas of these students will grow to form the future development of Detroit.