Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, announced a $100 million philanthropic gift to launch the fundraising campaign to advance construction of the Detroit Center for Innovation (DCI).
The DCI, which will be located on the former Wayne County Jail site, will also be made possible by a significant contribution of land by Dan Gilbert, CEO of Detroit-based Bedrock real estate company.
The first phase of the 14-acre Detroit Center for Innovation is expected to break ground in 2021.
“This gift is a symbol of progress and momentum in Detroit and I am incredibly proud to advance this transformative project,” said Ross.
“My time at the University of Michigan was foundational for my life and career, and I hope the students who come here seize the opportunity to make a difference and make an impact here in Detroit and across the country.”
The Detroit Center for Innovation will be anchored by a 190,000 s/f research and education center operated by U-M.
The academic building, designed by 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.
“Stephen Ross is an incredible supporter of the University of Michigan and its work, and we are grateful for his support of the Detroit Center for Innovation through this transformational gift,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel.
“As a world-class public research institution, the University of Michigan has a responsibility to help address the challenges our region faces. Our partnership in the DCI will further our ability and capacity to do just that.”
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.
Stephen M. Ross and Dan Gilbert have long been benefactors of higher education in Michigan. Ross has previously given nearly $400 million to the University of Michigan to fund career development programs an athletic campus and a business school, which was renamed the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
In 2016, Gilbert and Ross announced a donation to the Wayne State University Law School totaling $10 million.