$148 Million Lightweight Research Center Opens in Detroit

A new innovation center officially opened in Corktown on January 15, marking another big step forward in Detroit’s drive to become a technology hub and lure back its lost manufacturing jobs.

A new innovation center opened in Corktown on January 15, marking another big step forward in Detroit’s drive to become a technology hub and lure back its lost manufacturing jobs.

1400 Rosa Parks Boulevard - Detroit

1400 Rosa Parks Boulevard – Detroit

Announced last year as a $148 million public-private partnership led by the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University and the Columbus-based independent research and development non-profit EWI, the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII) opened on Rosa Parks Boulevard. The institute is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) led by the Department of Defense and aims to implement innovations with lightweight metals into the commercial and military sectors.

ALMMII occupies 100,000 square feet of space at 1400 Rosa Parks Boulevard, near Detroit’s downtown and directly across from the 66,000-square-foot technology center developed by Quicken Loans. As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, the property’s last tenant was Mexican Industries, a local plastic auto-parts maker that filed for bankruptcy in 2001. After more than ten years of neglect, the graffiti-covered industrial building was renovated and upgraded to house ALMMII’s new program called LIFT—Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow—which will work with lightweight metals as aluminum, magnesium, titanium and advanced high-strength steel alloys to find new technologies that could be applied in various industry supply chains.

The new lightweight materials innovation center was designed by Southfield-based architecture and engineering firm Harley Ellis Devereaux and includes offices, meeting rooms and training spaces, as well as lab spaces for developing and testing technologies for manufacturing. The institute was funded by $70 million in federal grants over five years, and another $78 million in private equity from the 75 companies, organizations, research institutions and non-profits involved in the consortium.

 

Rendering credits to Harley Ellis Devereaux