We will have a groundbreaking after all. On Thursday, the Board of Regents at the University of Michigan approved land donation and a $100 million gift that will lead the way to the UofM Center for Innovation in Detroit. 

The project needs to break ground by the end of the year in order to receive a $100 million earmark in the state budget. 

According to UofM, the Board approved:

  • A gift agreement with Ross for $100 million paid out over 10 years
  • A donation of 2.08 acres at the intersection of Grand River Avenue and West Columbia Street from Olympia Development of Michigan on which to build the UMCI and the $9.6 million purchase of 1.18-acres across from the UMCI on which to build a parking structure
  • Proceeding with the project and hiring the architectural firm of Kohn, Pedersen, Fox to design the six-story building

 The UMCI started with Stephen Ross as a partnership with Bedrock. It moved locations and partners a couple years ago; Olympia is donating the land, which is among many parking lots behind the Fox Theatre. The press release states that two other buildings will go up on this land in the future.

“UMCI is essential to our future, and that’s why I’m so excited about today’s decision by the Board of Regents,” President Santa J. Ono said. “I’m also incredibly grateful to the state of Michigan for its $100 million grant, and to our many other supporters and friends and partners who are making this future possible. Our founding as a university traces back to Detroit in 1817, so it’s critical to me that we are more than the University of Michigan, we are also the University for Michigan.”

The UMCI will be for research, education, and entrepreneurship, with community engagement, community development, and graduate level classes in robotics, tech, and sustainability. It's coming in at a cost of $250 million. Ross has given a gift of $100 million, the state is giving $100 million, and the rest will come from donors. 

Expect a groundbreaking for the project by the end of the year.