Related Cos., Bedrock Team Up for $300M Detroit Innovation Center

The firms are part of the public-private partnership developing the 14-acre Detroit Center for Innovation which, along with the research building, will feature residential units and a hotel.
Detroit Center for Innovation. Image courtesy of Kohn Pederson Fox

The downtown site of Detroit’s failed Wayne County Jail project will soon become home to the mixed-use Detroit Center for Innovation, which will count a $300 million research and education center as its anchor. As part of a public-private partnership with the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan, Bedrock and Related Cos. will develop the 14-acre DCI, and the University of Michigan will operate the 190,000-square-foot academic building.

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Architecture firm Kohn Pederson Fox is behind the design of the U-M research and education center at DCI. The academic building will ultimately accommodate as many as 1,000 graduate and senior-level undergraduate students seeking advanced degrees in a variety of high-tech innovation disciplines. The project will also bolster Detroit’s emerging identity as an innovation hub. Related Chairman Stephen Ross’s Stephen M. Ross Philanthropies is helping to finance development of the facility with a major grant, and Rock Ventures founder Dan Gilbert and other public and private sources are providing additional funding. The remainder of DCI’s first phase will feature residential units, a hotel and conference center and event space, as well as accommodations for business incubators and collaboration space for established companies.

The next step for DCI entails a project feasibility assessment and community meetings, which local officials and project partners will conduct over the next 90 to 180 days. If all goes as planned, construction of DCI will get underway in 2021.

Reinventing a city

Detroit continues its post-bankruptcy renaissance with a bevy of new projects, and Bedrock is spearheading many of them. The company is currently constructing Monroe Blocks, a 1.4 million-square-foot, mixed-use destination downtown, and it recently selected an architect to design the $313 million adaptive reuse of the historic Book Tower property, also downtown. Just weeks ago, in October, the NBA’s Detroit Pistons opened their new training facility, the $90 million Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in the central business district. And even the ill-fated Wayne County Jail has been re-envisioned by the county and Rock Ventures as a $533 million criminal justice center at another location.