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Development News

Wayne State looks to bridge research and entrepreneurs with new bio-tech building

Once planned to be the TechTwo small business incubator, the old Dalgleish Cadillac building in New Center is now set to become the future home of Wayne State University's Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building.

The university plans to begin renovating the former Cadillac dealership's 196,500 gross square feet in size into a research center shared by researchers from both the university and Henry Ford Health System this year. The new $93 million facility will also be a hot spot for entrepreneurs from the TechTown business accelerator across the street looking to commercialize new bio-technologies developed there.

"This is the most exciting thing I have been involved with in a while," says Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State University. This is the biggest development project Wayne State has taken on in its existence. It is about 50 percent more expensive than the $66.6 million College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences building, which held the record until this project.

The Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building will house Wayne State University programs in cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity, systems biology, bioinformatics and computational biology, behavioral translational science and biomedical engineering. Henry Ford Health System will move its bone and joint center and motion analysis lab into the building.

The building will provide enough laboratory space for Wayne State University to support 48 principal investigators and their teams. It will house approximately 425 workers when it become fully operational.

The project scope will renovate and re-purpose the 127,700 gross square feet of existing space in the Albert Kahn-designed building. It will also build an additional 75,000 gross square feet of a new companion building fronting Woodward Avenue and raze the adjacent American Beauty and Iron Works building. The demolition is set to begin in July and construction will start in November. The university expects to complete the project by 2015.

Source: Allan Gilmour, president of Wayne State University
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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