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Stephen Ross gifts $100M to construct UM innovation center at site of failed Wayne County Jail

Posted at 10:06 AM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 10:06:55-05

Billionaire Stephen Ross announced a $100 million gift to launch construction of the Detroit Center for Innovation.

The DCI, located on the former Wayne County Jail site, is expected to break ground in 2021.

“Detroit has always been an incredible place of innovation and opportunity, and the Detroit Center for Innovation will usher the city into a new era of leadership in technology. This gift is a symbol of progress and momentum in Detroit and I am incredibly proud to advance this transformative project. 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,” Ross said in a press release.

The DCI will include the University of Michigan's 190,000 square foot academic building, incubator and start-up services, housing and hotel & conference center. The DCI will also be made possible by a significant land contribution by Dan Gilbert.

“This project could not be possible without the foresight and partnership of the City of Detroit, Wayne County, Mark Schlissel and Stephen Ross,” Gilbert said in a press release. “Together, we will strive to create a true centerpiece of the city – one that serves a higher purpose. This innovation center will create exciting opportunities as one of the city’s technology hubs well into the future, attracting employers, talent and technology.”

The facility will serve up to 1,000 graduate and senior-level undergraduate student pursuing advanced degrees in innovation disciplines, including mobility, artificial intelligence, data science, entrepreneurship, sustainability, cybersecurity, financial technology and more.