Today the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University broke ground – a project at Woodward and Temple we told you about last week.

However, the look of the building has been switched up pretty significantly. Gone are the columns and dome that reminds one of academia, and in its place is another glass facade that is going to be along Woodward avenue.

Here’s what the old rendering looked like. Much more stately and traditional college-looking than above.


In fact, so many of these new projects on Woodward Avenue have a somewhat similar look with large glass facades along with large panels mostly devoid of natural materials that north of Grand Circus Park and south of Grand Boulevard might soon be Glassward Avenue.

For their part, Wayne State is happy with the glass, in a statement.

“The glass façade and design elements, such as the café and the indoor-outdoor spaces, make the Mike Ilitch School of Business both visually striking and inviting to the greater Detroit community,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. “This new home for our business school will create a beautiful and accessible gateway connecting Midtown and downtown Detroit for students, faculty and the community alike. It’s a fitting and elegant design for a world-class business school made possible by entrepreneurs who throughout their career have been dedicated to opening up a world of opportunities for the people of Detroit.”

Here are the pertinent details, per Wayne State’s press office – including the fact the space will have a cafe:

Detroit-based Christman-Brinker has been selected to be the Construction Manager for the new business school building. Detroit-based architectural firm Smith Group JJR led the development of the updated design for the new structure. The Detroit Downtown Development Authority earlier in the day approved a Master Development Agreement to move the project forward, with full construction expected to start later this year and the first students taking classes in 2018.

The selection of a Detroit-based construction manager and architect for this important project extend the ongoing Michigan Made, Detroit Built efforts taking place throughout The District Detroit. To date, more than $300 million in construction contracts have been awarded to Detroit businesses and more than $400 million to Michigan businesses as part of work on Little Caesars Arena and other projects throughout The District Detroit.

The Mike Ilitch School of Business will serve more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students and provide flexible teaching, research, office and community spaces for students and faculty bringing WSU’s outstanding business programs closer to the market. The school will boast a competitive entrepreneurship track with coursework in areas including sports and entertainment management. Major structural elements of the new building will include:

  • Open collaboration space
  • Student support facilities
  • Conference learning center
  • Classrooms
  • Lab space
  • Faculty offices

The new business school will be highly integrated with its prominent position along Woodward Avenue, featuring a number of innovative street level, sidewalk uses including a full trading floor, an open air classroom, business incubator pop-up and corner café.

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