Midtown Detroit Breaks Ground on LTU Center for Design and Technology

A vacant lot at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Willis Street in Detroit will be replaced by a 30,000-square-foot commercial building that will house Lawrence Technological University (LTU) as the anchor tenant.

A vacant lot at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Willis Street in Detroit will be replaced by a 30,000-square-foot commercial building that will house Lawrence Technological University (LTU) as the anchor tenant.

LTU College of Architecture and Design – Detroit Center for Design and Technology

The $7 million building is being constructed by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit planning and development organization that supports the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit area. According to LTU’s news page, the three-story structure was designed by Ann Arbor-based Quinn Evans Architects, Inc., which is set to open a satellite office in Detroit and lease space in the building. The project was funded by Midtown Detroit partners including Michigan Economic Foundation, Kresge Foundation—which awarded the Southfield-based University a $300,000 donation back in July to help its College of Architecture and Design consolidate the existing Detroit-based programs—NCB Capital Impact, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, private developer Peter Cummings, Detroit Development Fund, Knight Foundation, Invest Detroit—which will also relocate to the new building—and Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

“Having all LTU’s Detroit projects and academic programming under one roof will provide synergies that will position existing programs to have a greater social and community impact,” said Amy Green Deines, associate dean of LTU’s College of Architecture and Design.

Reportedly, LTU’s new “Detroit Center for Design and Technology” will occupy the entire second floor and a 1,200-square-foot storefront gallery on the ground floor. The design center will house three existing programs:

-          Detroit Studio, which was established in 1999 to provide design support for community and neighborhood-based projects in Detroit;

-          detroitSHOP, an urban design studio that is currently located in the Old Federal Reserve Building;

-          Studio Couture, a storefront exhibit space on Woodward Avenue where LTU design students and professional artists exhibit their work.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, LTU’s design center will occupy 14,000 square feet of space in the new building, while the remaining 16,000 square feet will be shared between Quinn Evans, Invest Detroit and an unnamed restaurant. LTU is expected to move in by fall 2014.

Rendering courtesy of Lawrence Technological University