‘Detroit Center for Innovation’ will no longer be built at old Wayne County Jail site

Innovation hub expected to be built elsewhere

The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to change plans, and the same goes for cities and developers.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to change plans, and the same goes for cities and developers.

DETROIT – The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to change plans, and the same goes for cities and developers.

The University of Michigan had plans to build a facility at the site of the failed Wayne County Jail project in Downtown Detroit, off Gratiot Avenue. Dan Gilbert wanted something big and bold on the site, but that kind of success kept eluding everyone.

Architectural drawings were released in October 2019, presented by U of M benefactor Stephen Ross, Gilbert and Mayor Mike Duggan.

They aimed to bring what they called an “Innovation Center” and planted a Michigan flag downtown for the first time. The price tag was estimated to be about a third of a billion dollars. Months later, Ross committed the first $100 million.

The site has sat silent. It was revealed Wednesday that the project would be built elsewhere.

Ross released a statement that read, in part: “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 added he is “more committed than ever to deliver my vision of an innovation hub in my hometown.”

Bedrock Detroit released its own statement regarding the jail site.

More: Detroit development news


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.