Wayne State University purchased the abandoned Dalgleish Cadillac building on Woodward two years ago, and now they plan to finally put it to use.
Originally, TechTown was expected to use the building, but they haven’t had the funding for renovations. Now Wayne State has decided to use the building instead, with plans to turn it into a biomedical research center.
The project will be the largest in the history of Wayne State and is expected to cost $93 million for the completion of the 200,000 square-foot research center. Work will begin this summer, starting with the demolition of the Iron Building on Burroughs and Woodward to make room for the parking required for the research center. In addition to the renovations of the Dalgleish building, Wayne State also plans to build a 75,000 square foot addition on the empty lot across Amsterdam St. connected to the main complex by a pedestrian walkway.
Governor Snyder has budgeted $30 million for the project, called the Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building, and the legislature is expected to approve it in May. The rest of the financing will come from donations and debt instruments such as bonds.
Originally called the Walter J. Bemb Buick-Pontiac dealership, the building is another in a long line of Albert Kahn buildings located in Detroit. Due to its sturdy construction, Wayne State officials point out that isolating precision lab equipment from outside interference will be easy.
According to WSU President Allan Gilmour, “Instruments are so finely calibrated that researchers are always worried about vibrations. There won’t be any worries about vibration with this building. It’s solid,”
The Wayne State Biomedical Research Center is expected to be home to approximately 50 research teams, and will facilitate partnerships with Henry Ford Health System as well as the Detroit Medical Center. The Henry Ford Health System will move its joint and bone research program and its bio-mechanics motion lab to the new facility. WSU programs in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, bioinformatics and biomedical engineering are expected to be housed in the new center. The project is actually the result of a collaboration between WSU’s School of Medicine and College of Engineering.
This is yet more good news for the midtown area and will help connect the midtown and downtown areas along the Woodward corridor to form a 3-mile section of business and innovation unlike anything else in the country. The Woodward Corridor, or “Webward Avenue“, as Dan Gilbert refers to it, is expected to be the engine of growth that transforms and revitalizes Detroit for the 21st century.