Leaders from the University of Michigan and the City of Detroit gather to break ground at the future location of the University of Michigan Center for Innovation in Detroit.

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University of Michigan Center for Innovation Breaks Ground in Detroit

On December 14, members of the KPF team attended the groundbreaking ceremony, joined by the Mayor of Detroit, the Governor of Michigan, university presidents, and project collaborators.

The University of Michigan Center for Innovation (UMIC) is a 200,000-square-foot research and education building that also accommodates community programs. The project is designed to enhance the economic development of Detroit, as it supports ongoing university academic curriculum for the city’s high school students. Located at the centerpiece of the District Detroit mixed-use hub, the groundbreaking of UMIC marks the university’s return to the city; its first building was located near the corner of Bates and Congress streets, with the cornerstone laid in 1817.

Present at the ceremony, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, a University of Michigan alumnus, shared in his speech, “Now the University of Michigan is back home and we couldn’t be happier.” Also in attendance, musical groups from the university, including the Student Jazz Trio and Fanfare Band, played between presentations from Stephen M. Ross, who donated $100 million to help fund the project’s development, and the University President Santa J. Ono. “Today’s groundbreaking is far more than the promise of a new building,” Ono shared, “It is a profound expression of our sustained and lasting commitment to the city of Detroit, and of our faith in a shining future for the state of Michigan.”

KPF Principals Jill Lerner and Hana Kassem and Director Claudia Cusumano attended the ceremony.

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