Detroit Regional Chamber > Mackinac Policy Conference > Stephen M. Ross Leads Panel to Discuss Talent-Driven Development

Stephen M. Ross Leads Panel to Discuss Talent-Driven Development

June 1, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Anchoring a mixed-use development anchored by an educational, innovative institution will support economic development driven by talent attraction.
  • Developers need to be mindful of neighborhood residents and in tune with the needs of the talent they want to attract.
  • Detroit was an integral part of America’s growth and success, and this new development will help continue that legacy.

 width=NBC Sports host Mike Tirico moderated a panel of sports and development experts featuring Stephen M. Ross, chairman and founder of Related Companies; Keith Bradford, president of Olympia Development of Michigan and the District Detroit; Andrew Cantor, executive vice president of development for Related Companies; and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. This influential group explained the importance of considering current residents and accounting for talent attraction in developments with the example of a recently announced mixed-use district anchored by the Detroit Center of Innovation (DCI), a University of Michigan graduate school campus focused on research and innovation.

“The innovation center is really bringing engineering, computer science, information science, business, and law, together and giving a diversified background as a graduate school to attract talent,” said Ross.

 width=Gilchrist shared his support for this development as a competitive advantage.

“This is about creating a comprehensive living experience where every person in Detroit and who interacts with Detroit – every person from the state of Michigan or who want to come to Michigan – can see a place for themselves and a role for them to play in what’s being developed,” he said.

Bradford reinforced the connection between development and sports as a way to unite and inspire.

“What we’re trying to do with this development now with the addition of education – with the DCI – is united. And bring together a city that is diverse and all the offerings we have,” said Bradford. “It is a full comprehensive live, work, play, and learn environment.”

When asking why Detroit and why this timing, Cantor explained that it starts with talent, and Michigan has remarkable talent.

“Detroit and the Detroit area measures very, very well,” he said.

He also referenced his experience with the Hudson Yards project in New York, stating, “what mattered was we had a place where talent wanted to be, and that’s what drew companies.”

 width=A critical component of the discussion was inclusion and communication with the communities in which the development will take place. Bradford referenced the importance of economic inclusion and environmental justice despite having the right ideas, needing to pause and listen first.

Finally, Ross outlined the broader impact of this development. It’s a project that will not only attract talent and residents to Detroit but will help spur growth and enhance the region as a whole.