Ilitches, Ross to build UM Detroit Center for Innovation on site west of Fox Theatre – Crains Detroit Business

Ross said additional development across a variety of asset classes are also envisioned, including residential, retail, office and hotel.

Grand promises of large-scale development in the District Detroit area — largely controlled by the Ilitch family — aren’t new, however.

Seven and a half years ago, the Ilitches said they would develop the 45- to 50-block area in a short period of time with similar developments. That announcement was made at a time the city was just a few months away from emerging from of its historic municipal bankruptcy.

And while that’s where the Ilitches built Little Caesars Arena to anchor the district, it has been slow to deliver on a pledge for housing — although the first residents have recently moved into the first apartment development, the Eddystone, which was completed with the city threatening to take away the project .

In addition, much of the area envisioned as a vibrant series of mixed-use neighborhoods when it was announced in July 2014 remains surface parking.

In addition to the area, Olympia Development of Michigan developed the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, a new Little Caesars headquarters and a new office building. It has also been working on renovation of the Detroit Life Building as well as the Women’s City Club building, where the Monday announcement was held on the second floor.

Ross and Ilitch, now working together after a falling out with Gilbert’s Bedrock LLC real estate company, hope to change the perception of the area as a figurative development dead zone.

Some efforts have already begun.

Earlier this year, the city struck a deal for the sale for about an acre of land at the northeast corner of Charlotte and Third streets to an entity tied to Related and Detroit-based developer The Platform LLC for a project that, at the time, was to include 75 units of housing.

Ross is the developer behind Hudson Yards in New York City, the largest private real estate development in the U.S., and The Platform is run by Peter Cummings. Ross is the nephew of the late Detroit businessman Max Fisher, and Cummings is married to Fisher’s daughter, Julie Fisher Cummings.

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